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Overview  |  The Collection and the Penn Libraries
The Lorraine Beitler Collection of the Dreyfus Affair, housed in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, comprises over 1,000 items documenting the history of the Dreyfus Affair and its impact on the art, society, and politics of France and the modern world.

All of the major events of the Affair, from the wrongful conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus for treason in 1894, to Emile Zola's galvanizing statement headlined "J'Accuse . . .!" in 1898, to Dreyfus' long awaited exoneration in 1906 are represented by original items in the collection.
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The power of print media was crucial in swaying public opinion during the Affair.
The Collection contains many examples of the diverse genres and formats of printed matter from the period. These include posters, roadsides, newspapers, magazines, prints, caricatures, books, and postcards. In addition to highlighting the crucial role of the media in the Affair, these documents remain provocative and visually arresting even over a century later. The Collection also includes original correspondence, photographs, and material artifacts which record the impact of the Affair in its own time and help document its memorialization through the subsequent decades.

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Assembled by Dr. Lorraine Beitler as a resource for scholars, a teaching collection for students, and as a traveling exhibition designed to stimulate discussion of the issues of prejudice, racism, and social injustice in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, it has been exhibited around the world at more than 20 venues since 1994. The Lorraine Beitler Collection of the Dreyfus Affair was donated to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries on October 30, 2002.