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French Special Collections: Douce Collection


Douce collection

Douce, Francis, 1757-1834 Antiquary, Keeper of Manuscripts at the British Museum 1807-11.

The collection contains a range of different kinds of material much in languages other than French but including some French material.

Bequeathed over 19,000 volumes of printed books of all periods, including  including editions of works of lighter French fiction, original and translated, of the 17th and 18th centuries, amorous and facetious tales and ‘contes galantes’; In addition to the printed books, Douce’s bequest included some 420 manuscripts (of which two thirds are Medieval or 16th century, bought chiefly for their illumination, including Books of Hours and French romances).  Among these are four early manuscript editions of the Roman de la Rose.

Catalogue of the printed books and manuscripts bequeathed by Francis Douce, esq. to the Bodleian Library (1840)

Rare  Books Named Collection descriptions

Giles Barber, ‘Francis Douce and popular French literature’, BLR, XIV, 5 (October 1993) 397-428.

Giles Barber, ‘From Canaletto to the ostrich : Parisian popular entertainments in 1755’, BLR, XII, 6 (April 1988) 453-470.