The Eugene W. Schulkind Paris Commune Collection

Scope and Content

The Commune Collection is rich in primary material, with long runs of an enormous number of newspapers and other publications issued during the Commune's life, and a sizeable gathering of cartoons and caricatures by contemporaneous artists. there is an album of photographs of Paris in ruins. Secondary material includes catalogues of commemorative exhibitions (many held in 1971) and scholarly works.. There are also bibliographies and inventories of other collections around the world. An associated collection of imaginative literature inspired by the events in Paris records its history in a different form.

Administrative / Biographical History

This collection is the only one of its kind in the UK, and one of the four strongest on its subject in the world. It documents in detail the events of 1871 when Republican Paris, at odds with Thiers's government for ratifying a humiliating peace treaty with Bismarck, found itself autonomous for 73 days after the government's retreat to Versailles. Thiers had plans to restore order by force, however, and the month of May culminated in the horrific scenes of the Semaine Sanglante when over 20,000 Communards were killed by government troops.

Access Information

Items in the collection may be consulted for the purpose of private study and personal research, within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Special Collections Reading Rooms.

Acquisition Information

The core material in the collection was bought in 1968 and, in order to make the collection as comprehensive as possible, Dr Eugene Schulkind, Reader in French, forged links with other institutions with comparable holdings around the world. Many items from these collections were reproduced and copies housed alongside the Library's own purchase.


Prepared by John Farrant, September 2002.

Other Finding Aids

A handlist is available in the Library and also on its website.

Conditions Governing Use

COPIES FOR PRIVATE STUDY: Subject to copyright, conditions imposed by owners and protecting the documents, the Library can supply, at a charge, photocopies, photographs or digital copies.

Some items in this collection are photocopies of original documents which may be in copyright. The Library is able to supply copies of them, only with the written permission of the copyright owner or representative.

PUBLICATION: A reader wishing to publish material in the collection should contact the Head of Special Collections, in writing. The reader is responsible for obtaining permission to publish from the copyright owner.