The Liberation of Paris, 19-29 August 1944: “Images de notre délivrance” by Georges Duhamel and Claude Lepape

1On the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Paris, we would like to talk about Images de notre délivrance (Liberation.a.7), published in December 1944 by the Editions du Pavois (the publisher in 1946 of L’Univers concentrationnaire by David Rousset, which was awarded the Renaudot prize, Liberation.c.119 and Liberation.c.918). The book, clearly of a bibliophile nature, is presented by the editor as a documentary, the result of an accidental collaboration between a writer, Georges Duhamel (1884-1966), and an artist, Claude Lepape (1913-1994), both reacting to a unique historical event:

Ce livre est un document. Il est né de la rencontre fortuite de deux sensibilités. L’Ecrivain et le Dessinateur ne se sont pas concertés, mais leurs réactions, si diverses et en même temps si proches, constituent l’un des documents les plus émouvants sur les glorieuses journées de la libération.

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“Sombre est noir” by Amy Bakaloff and Óscar Domínguez (1945): war poetry, from anthologies to illustrated collections

Bakaloff Amy, Sombre est noir, orné d’une gravure à l’eau-forte et de deux dessins de Domínguez. Paris, 1945. Liberation.b.356

One of the last books acquired through the Liberation collection is Amy Bakaloff’s Sombre est noir (Liberation.b.356), a collection of French poetry written during the Second World War and dedicated to Paul Éluard and Georges Hugnet, a writer and publisher engaged in the Résistance. It includes an engraving signed by Óscar Domínguez and two drawings. It is a rare work, one of 232 copies, some numbered on Annam paper, some on blue vellum, and some on vélin des Marais. Continue reading

Judging books of the Liberation of France by their cover: a new feature of Cambridge University Library catalogue

Book covers, originally designed to protect the pages of a book, now serve a commercial purpose: they attract the gaze, aiming at inducing the purchase and reading of a book. Their design and appearance are determined by national or sectorial rules and traditions: academic versus popular publishing, paperbacks versus hardbacks. In this blog, I will explore some of the characteristics of current French book covers’ design, the growing importance of book covers images in social media and digital collections, and a specific project designed at Cambridge University Library: adding pictures of book covers to catalogue records of the Liberation collection, 1944-46. Continue reading

“Les alliés”: Belgian children’s literature in the Liberation collection, 1944-1946

As the cataloguing of the remainder of the Chadwyck-Healey collection is progressing, we want to shed light on some of the items which have been recently catalogued. In February, Anne-Laure Lacour and Clara Panozzo completed the full cataloguing of a series of booklets of juvenile literature, the Collection “Les alliés”, published in Brussels between 1944 and 1947. With about 400 items, consisting of individual publications as well as series, children’s literature represents a significant portion of the Liberation collection.

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Update on the Cambridge Chadwyck-Healey Liberation Collection, 1944-1946

The Chadwyck-Healey Liberation Collection, 1944-1946, which consists of books and pamphlets in French on the Second World War, the Occupation and the Liberation, has become a major part of the French Special collections at Cambridge University Library. In 2014 the Liberation collection comprised 600 volumes, but it now includes over 3000 items. Over the years, staff from the Collections and Academic Liaison and the Rare Books departments have contributed to the processing, cataloguing and promotion of the collection, including Sophie Defrance, Sophie Dubillot, Josh Hutchinson, David Lowe and Clara Panozzo Zénere. We are now very pleased to be able to recruit a new cataloguer who will be in charge of cataloguing the last 1000 books of the collection!

The collection, donated to Cambridge University Library by Charles Chadwyck-Healey, started in 2001 with the purchase of the photographic album by Jean Éparvier, À Paris, sous la botte des nazis, Éditions Raymond Schall, 1944 (Liberation.a.33), and is very rich in illustrated books. In 2014, for the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Paris, the collection was the focus of a Cambridge University Library exhibition: Literature of the Liberation, the French Experience in Print, 1944-1946 (see Cam.b.2014.25).

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