Snuffbox said to have belonged to Pascal (detail)

Special Collections

Prosper Faugère

300 documents
Printed books, manuscripts

Prosper Faugère (1810-1887) spent his entire administrative career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, head of Archives and Chancelleries from 1866 to 1880. An historian and man of letters, he worked mainly on the life and work of Blaise Pascal. In 1844, he published what must be considered the first scientific edition of the Pensées. Shortly before he died, he also edited the Lettres Provinciales. In 1899, his widow, Marie-Héloïse Garnon, died. She bequeathed most of her husband's library to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but kept for the Mazarine Library "Pascal's Pensées and Lettres Provinciales, as well as the books, manuscripts, copies of manuscripts and autograph letters about Pascal and Port Royal." The bequest was accepted in 1902.

The collection is comprised of about 250 printed books and some thirty volumes of manuscripts. Among them are the precious volumes from the abbey of Saint-Jean d'Angély, containing several hundreds of items from Pascal, transmitted through his brother-in-law Florin Périer to his niece Marguerite Périer, then to the prior of Saint-Jean d'Angély and lastly to the Grand Seminary of La Rochelle, from which Prosper Faugère probably bought them. The manuscripts of the Pensées also passed through the hands of the Périers, to the abbey of Saint Germain des Prés then to the Bibliothèque nationale. The Faugère collection also contains several objects, including a portrait of Pascal, and his tobacco box.

In the Library it supplements an exceptional body of resources for the history of Jansenism.