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A presentation of the Fondation Napoléon : napoleonic primary sources

The site, designed built and run by the Fondation Napoléon, aims to put Napoleonic primary sources at the disposal of enthusiasts, researchers and historians via the Internet.
The site makes these documents now easily accessible. Most of all, however, readers can perform full-text searches on the material. By using the key word search, readers can in seconds get to documents which otherwise would have taken weeks to track down using traditional methods.


Enthusiasts, researchers and historians, students and librarians, etc.

Site organisation

The digitised documents are organized in:
- Archives group or coherent collection of documents produced or collected by a person or an institution in the exercise of its activities.
- collections of items of comparable nature, held in various repositories, collected by Napoleonica so as to form a significant set.

Every collection can be independently consulted.
The chosen documentary groups are accompanied with a research tool (summary or analytical inventory), and with a presentation of the collection and with the context of its creation. In the case of the textual collections, the consultation is made easy by a full-text search engine which allows a very fine investigation of documents.

A structure of normalized presentation was adopted. It contains for each collection:

Overview of the collection: complete description of the original and digitised collections and search guide.

Search tools for each collection.

Texts giving the historical background of the original documents.

You can search all the documents proposed on napoleonica or a part of them by using: Quick Search.

First collections

For the opening of the site, three collections from the archives of the Conseil d’Etat are made available, namely:

3660 ‘imprimés’ or working papers produced by the Conseil d’Etat, 1800-1815 a key source for the history of France with the complete inventory of the 4620 ‘imprimés’ of the Conseil d’Etat, 1800-1815; The full text of the 3660 ‘imprimés’ held in the Bibliothèque du Conseil d’Etat.

145 letters from Napoleon to Bigot de Préameneu: a collection which sheds important light on Napoleon’s religious policy.

245 sketches by Christophe-Frédéric Houdetot, "auditeur" at the napoleonic Conseil d'Etat: an extraordinary record.