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French Special Collections: Zaharoff Collections

Zaharoff Collections

In November 1918 the University accepted a gift of £25,000 for promoting the teaching of French from the financier and arms dealer Sir Basil Zaharoff. This fund established the Marshal Foch Professorship of French literature, and has also enabled the library to make extensive acquisitions of antiquarian French works. The Zaharoff collection now consists of c. 800 vols primarily of French literary interest.  These volumes are all kept on site at the Taylorian and may be requested at the Enquiries Desk.


Hughes, Jill  History of the library and its collections in Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Deutschland, Österreich und Europa Wissenschaftsportal b2i Fabian-Handbuch

Thomas, David  Major French authors in Oxford libraries 1526-1800 Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 1986



Highlights of the Zaharoff Collection

Molière, 1622-1673 La critique de L'escole des femmes . 1680 | ZAH.II.A.45

Play was first performed in 1663 and the first edition was also published in 1663.  This is an early edition and is listed in the Guibert bibliography (Guibert Section 1 1961: 145-146)

Guibert, A.J. Bibliographie des oeuvres de Molière publiées au XVII siècle Paris: Editions du centre national de la recherche publique 1961 REF.F.30.MOL

Racine, Jean, 1639-1699. Esther : tragédie tirée de l'Écriture sainte. | Thierry, Denys, -1712 M. DC. LXXXIX. | A Paris, : Chez Denys Thierry, ruë Saint Jacques, à la Ville de Paris. | [16], 86, [4] p. : 1 ill. ; 12⁰ ZAH.II.A.23

This play was first published and performed in 1689.  This is an early 12⁰ edition of the work (but is not the original 4⁰ edition also published in 1689) and is mentioned in the Racine bibliography of  Guibert (Guibert 1968: 96-97)

Guibert, A.J.  Bibliographie des oeuvres de Jean Racine publiées au XVIIe siècle et oeuvres posthumes Paris: Editions du centre national de la recherche publique, 1968  REF.F.30. RAC


Aignan, M. (Étienne), 1773-1824 ; Berthevin, Jules-Julien-Gabriel, 1769- ; Huyghe, G 1794. Le martyre de Marie-Antoinette, Reine de France. : Tragédie en cinq actes..  | A Liége, et se trouve à Bruxelles; : Chez G. Huyghe, Imprimeur-Libraire, Marché aux Fromages. | 68 p. ; 8⁰ ZAH.III.B.82