Partnership Archives Nationales: digitalised minutes of Napoleon’s letters online
From 1 September 2016, all the minutes of the letters written by the First Consul and Emperor, that are today preserved in the archives of the Secretariat of State (AF / IV / 861-908), are available to the public on the website of the Archives Nationales. This considerable mass of papers, transferred to the Archives in July-August 1849, comes from the Emperor’s ‘cabinet intérieur’, a restricted-access bureau reserved for the Emperor and his permanent and immediate collaborators. This bureau was responsible for the safekeeping of the Emperor’s personal work, namely the minutes of letters dictated by him and folders of reports and correspondence.
As part of the partnership agreement signed with the Fondation Napoléon in 2014, 49,700 digital views produced at the expense of the Fondation in 2005-2006 from backup microfilm AF / IV from the Archives Nationales have been published in the “Salle des inventaires virtuelle” (SIV, “Virtual Inventory Hall”). And according to that same partnership agreement, for each sequence of the inventory created (which corresponds to a month of the original correspondence, in general, classified chronologically, from Frimaire VIII to July 1815), the references of these letters in the edition of the General Correspondence of Napoleon I (published by the Fondation with Fayard since 2004) are specified. The letters published by The Correspondence are based (apart from a few exceptions) on the dispatches that are today held in various places all over the world. Here you have, therefore, hours of possible comparative reading between the original minutes (now online) and the dispatched versions (printed), available to researchers and enthusiasts of the imperial epic.
2 September 2016