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Access and Use


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Restrictions on use:Boxes 63, 72, 187, and 189 are available by appointment only, to be viewed one folder at a time.

Preferred Citation:

Cite As:Dean Lafayette Collection, #4611. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.


HISTORY OF OWNERSHIPConsisting of an enormous quantity of manuscripts as well as printed works, graphics, and other remembrances of the General, the collection had originally belonged to the Lafayette family and had been preserved at the family estate at Chavaniac. Early in this century it was sold to the Parisian antiquarian dealer, Dieudonne-Elie Fabius, who himself made substantial additions to the collection in the following decades.

Aquisition Information:

PROVENANCEThe Lafayette Collection was created in the 1960's through the interest and generosity of Arthur H. and Mary Marden Dean. The first step was taken in 1963 with the purchase of the Chavaniac or "Fabius" collection of materials by and about General Lafayette. When it was purchased for Cornell in 1963, the manuscripts alone filled fifty-three cartons. The French government agreed to its export but only after three of the cartons, which contained papers relating to the French Revolutions of 1789 and 1830, were removed and deposited in the Archives Nationales. In 1966, once again through the generosity of the Deans, Cornell expanded its holdings when it acquired the Lafayette collection of Marcel Blancheteau, a noted Parisian book dealer. The new addition contained over 600 items, mostly printed and graphic materials, which complemented the manuscript character of the Fabius purchase. See Laurent Ferri, "How Lafayette Collections Were Built in the U.S.A. (and at Cornell University in Particular)", http://www.library.cornell.edu/insidecul/ May 2008.