Napoleon and the principles of his libraries’ formation

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The article analyzes Napoleon’s instructions concerning the content of his book collections and the facts about the composition of his palace libraries. The author focuses on the relationship between the principles of the formation of the imperial libraries and Napoleon’s world perception. The emperor’s book collections were completed, on the one hand, based on his personal preferences, on the other hand, with an orientation to the needs for reference, historical literature, which he considered necessary for the planning of public policy. In addition, libraries, like theater, were meant to enrich Napoleon’s leisure time and entertain him. It is no wonder that historical works, as well as novels, remained the object of a constant, never-diminishing interest of the emperor. The changes in Napoleon’s world perception and the rejection of a number of his youthful ideas directly affected the structure of the imperial book collections, resulting in reduction of Enlightenment philosophers’ works.


Napoleon, france, first empire, the tuileries, napoleon's libraries

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IDR: 170175757

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