2021 Année Napoléon > Archives Nationales (French National Archives)

As part of the commemorations of the death of Napoleon I in 1821, the French National Archives are organising an exceptional exhibition, presenting numerous documents restored thanks to the international appeal launched with the Fondation Napoléon (September 2017-December 2018).

Updated on 2 September 2021

For further information, please visit the Archives Nationales website.

Exhibition > “Drawing for Napoleon. The Masterpieces of the imperial State Secretariat”
19 May – 18 October (Closed from 20 July to 30 August)


A presentation of about a hundred drawings and plans from the State Secretariat collection.
“Among the dozens of dossiers delivered every day to the Emperor’s cabinet, many were accompanied by plans, drawings or maps specially made to assist the the Head of State’s decision-making. Some of these documents are signed by the greatest names in art and architecture of the time, such as the painters David and Isabey, the engraver Denon and the architects Fontaine and Valadier, to name but the most famous”.

Location: Hôtel de Soubise, Salle des Gardes

CATALOGUE (published 4 March 2021)

ONLINE > All the documents of this archive – the 1764 plans, maps and drawings made to help Napoleon in his decision-making – have been digitised and are available to all in HD at the Digital Inventory Room.

A short video presents the exhibition and a selection of treasures that you can discover in this exhibition.

As we await news of the Museums in France being reopened, why not follow the Facebook Page of the Archives Nationales which will be organising weekly live visits of the exhibition.

Teaser >

Musée des Archives nationales – Hôtel de Soubise site
60 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 75003 Paris
Telephone: +33 (0)11 40 27 60 96

Connaissance des Arts magazine is a partner of this exhibition.


The Maison Chaumet is a partner of this exhibition.


GENERAL Information

List of partners of “2021 Année Napoléon”.

Calendar of Events.

Follow the special Instagram account for “2021 Année Napoléon” events.

Follow the Fondation Napoléon’s Facebook page in English.

Follow the Fondation Napoléon on Twitter.

Consult the page of the partner publishers and their published or republished works
on the occasion of the bicentenary of Napoleon’s death.

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PrEsentation OF THE Archives nationales

The French National Archives were founded during the French Revolution, and the institution’s mission is to collect, conserve, provide public access to, and to encourage young people to learn healthy citizenship via national documents. The AN conserve the archives from the different French political regimes from the 7th century up to today, not to mention the archives of Paris notaries, and private record groups of national interest.

Via the law dated 7 Messidor, An II [27 June, 1794], free access to state archives was established as the guarantee of the democratic regime and state transparency.

The institution houses nearly 350 linear kilometres of archives on all media, not to mention millions of “born” digital files.
Some of these documents are symbols of major stages in the history of France, notably: the Merovingian papyri; the trial of the Knights Templar; the diary of Louis XVI; the “Tennis Court” oath; the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen; Napoleon’s will; the successive Constitutions of France; and the first digital population census in 1962.