Anonymous and incomplete manuscript description of France, post-1785

Scope and Content

The manuscript comprises an incomplete description of the topography and history of regions innorthern France in the late eighteenth century. The manuscript is divided into articles and sectionscovering different parts of the country. Article 5 (incomplete) includes Soissonnois and Laonois.Article 6 is about the government of Champagne and article 7 covers the government of Lorraine, theBishoprics of Messin, Verdunois and Soulois, and the Duchy of Bar. Article 8 (incomplete) describesthe government of Alsace. The manuscript is written as a commentary of places visited by the author.Sites and customs observed during the tour have been described and placed in an historicalcontext.

Administrative / Biographical History

The authorship and provenance of these papers are not known. Although the paper and writing couldby contemporary to the description, it is possible that they are in whole or part a copy fromanother source. The text seems to have been written c.1785 on folded pages, with each bifoliumseparately numbered. The beginning and conclusion of the study are not present; bifolia are numberedfrom 39 to 56.


No archival arrangement has been necessary.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.


Other Finding Aids

  • This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on thedescription belongs to the University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advancein writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

The manuscript was apparently transferred to the care of the Department of Manuscripts in 1951.The folder housing the manuscript bears a bookplate with the arms of the Barons Vernon, and it seemslikely that the item at one time formed part of the Vernon library, which was passed to theUniversity in 1945.