Calling all Napoleon researchers and 19th century French historians! You will be pleased to know that a major resource Napoleon – Letters and Papers: Sources of a Family is available as an Open Access resource.
This database, published by de Gruyter, provides access to the Bonaparte family’s autographs and correspondence. It is a valuable source for the study of French and European history, science, and intellectual attitudes from the late 18th century to the early 20th century.
The project will at first publish the correspondence of Prince Louis Napoléon Bonaparte (who would later become Emperor Napoleon III) until 1838, thereby covering the period that the Bonaparte-de Beauharnais family spent in exile at Lake Constance. A 2023 database update will contain his correspondence until 1873. The database will, for the first time, compile his surviving autographs into a collection that will make it possible to reinterpret the emperor’s personality and biography.
Future plans include adding digitised letter and papers of:
- Hortense de Beauharnais (launch planned for 2024)
- Eugène de Beauharnais-von Leuchtenberg (launch planned for 2025)
- Joséphine de Beauharnais (launch planned for 2026)
(Information has been taken from Overview.)You can search full-text or browse the resource in various ways, including by place and person. Most of the letters will be in French. The correspondence stretches across Europe, esp. Germany, Switzerland, Italy and England.
The letters are transcribed and can be viewed side-by-side with the digitised manuscript letter.
Biographical annotations helpfully identify people mentioned, even if they used an alias.