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The Beitler Collection at Penn
 

In the years since the Lorraine Beitler Collection of the Dreyfus Affair came to Penn a number of gifts and acquisitions have expanded the collection and increased the Library’s holdings in this area.

The largest gift to the collection is that of Dr. Jean-Max Guieu, a Dreyfus and Zola scholar at Georgetown University, and includes not only his definitive bibliography of the Dreyfus Affair, but also books and newspapers, such as Le Petit Journal Illustré, many of which are contemporary with the Affair. Other gifts have come from Yaël Perl Ruiz, great-granddaughter of Alfred Dreyfus, and Penn Professor David Stern.

In 2009, Dr. Guðmundur Hálfdanarson, Professor of History at the University of Iceland, discovered two substantive articles on the Dreyfus affair published in the late 19th century Icelandic newspaper, Bijarki. These articles provide yet another perspective on the geographical reach of the Dreyfus scandal in the popular press. Dr. Hálfdanarson commissioned English translations of the two articles. These articles and translations are accessible on the Historical Periodicals pages of this site. We thank Sigurdur Jonas Gudmundsson for his translations and Timarit Online, the Icelandic language periodical database, for permission to post the two articles.

In June 2011 Mr. Phillippe Lambert donated 132 printed issues of contemporary French newspapers that focus, primarily, on the Dreyfus Affair. In poor physical condition, the paper copies were restored by the Penn Libraries’ Conservation staff and now form part of the larger body of original newspapers and periodicals illustrating the media’s response to the affair within the collection. A French citizen, Mr. Pierre Stutin has been scanning, independently, sixteen titles (twenty-eight volumes) related to the Dreyfus Affair. He has completed three volumes to date. The curatorial team would like to thank these individuals for enriching the primary source materials contained in the Lorraine Beitler Collection of the Dreyfus Affair.

Recents acquisitions include:

  • a group of monographs previously owned by the Zola family
  • a decade of the periodical published by the anti-Dreyfusard group L'Action Française
  • the complete run of the Dreyfusard periodical Le Sifflet
  • select issues of La Fronde, the first major feminist newspaper in France
  • Dreyfus-related issues of other periodicals, including La Libre Parole, La Libre Parole Illustrée, and La Vie Illustrée
  • a small collection of correspondence sent to Captain Martin Freystätter, a judge at the first court martial in 1894, during and after the 1899 Rennes retrial, at which he was a witness for the defense (cataloged as Ms. Coll. 718)
  • An 1898 Dutch translation of Emile Zola’s “J’Accuse . . . !”: Brieven van Emile Zola aan den President der Fransche Republiek en den Minister den Oorlog (Amsterdam, 1898).
  • A copy of the limited edition Cahiers de l’île du Diable (Paris: Artulis, 2009), containing a complete transcription of fourteen surviving notebooks of Alfred Dreyfus, kept during the final months of his incarceration on Devil’s Island, and a facsimile reproduction of Notebook #7.