La Curne de Sainte-Palaye Manuscripts

Scope and Content

Manuscript 'Glossaire des moeurs, cotumes etc de France', compiled by Jean Baptiste de La Curne de Sainte-Palaye for his 'Glossaire de l'ancienne langue franoise', 18th century, and comprising an alphabetical arrangement of topics on French manners and customs, with marginal references giving the volume and page of the manuscript or printed source from which the extracts were made.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born 1697; lexicographer; announced his 'Glossaire de l'ancienne langue franoise', 1756; died, 1781; his 'Glossaire' finally appeared in its entirety, 1875-1882. Publications include: as editor, 'Les Amours du bon vieux tems' (Vaucluse & Paris, 1756); 'Histoire littraire des Troubadours', arranged and published by C F X Millot (Paris, 1774), and 'The Literary History of the Troubadours', collected and abridged from the French by [Susanna Dobson] (London, 1779); 'Memoires sur l'ancienne chevalerie' (Paris, 1759-81), and 'Memoirs of Ancient Chivalry', translated by [Mrs S Dobson] (London, 1784); 'Memoirs of the Life of Froissart', translated by T Johnes (London, 1801); 'Dictionnaire historique de l'ancien langage franois: ou Glossaire de la langue franoise' (Paris, Niort, 1875-1882). See Lionel Gossman, 'Medievalism and the ideologies of the Enlightenment: the world and work of La Curne de Sainte-Palaye' (Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 1968).


The volumes comprise an alphabetical arrangement of topics with two supplements, both also arranged alphabetically.

Access Information


The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Acquisition Information

The Phillipps Manuscripts at University College London were given to the College by the German government in 1912.

Other Finding Aids

This collection is currently uncatalogued.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Some volumes are in poor condition.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal copyright restrictions apply.

Custodial History

The volumes belonged to Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872), baronet, an antiquary and bibliophile whose collection included c60,000 manuscripts of various kinds, some relating to the administration of Swiss towns. Various manuscripts were sold after Sir Thomas's death, some to the German government, and were dispersed to several libraries. Formerly Phillipps MS 260.

Related Material

University College London Library holds a copy of 'Dictionnaire historique de l'ancien langage franois: ou Glossaire de la langue franoise' (1875-1882) (Ref: 211 QUARTOS B 2LAC).