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Harcourt Brown Voltaire Collection
University of Toronto, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

Voltaire; French literature

The collection was assembled by Professor Harcourt Brown of Brown University, for use in his bibliography classes. Many items are, therefore, bibliographical variants. The collection was donated to the library in 1979.

This collection of works by Voltaire and his contemporaries is particularly strong in eighteenth century editions. Professor Brown's interest in bibliographical variants is demonstrated by the inclusion of some of the many editions of Voltaire's works published by the Cramers in 1756-1757; the London [i.e., Rouen, Robert Machuel] edition of the works in 1750; and an early (1732) two volume compilation printed in Amsterdam mentioned neither in the catalogue of the Bibliothèque nationale (France) nor by Georges Bengescu. Many of Voltaire's works appeared in unauthorized editions and this collection includes: Histoire de Charles XII (Basle, 1732) which, according to the press figures, must have been printed in England; Essai sur les moeurs (London, 1732), the publication which Voltaire attributed to the Parisian bookseller Duchesne; and Théâtre de Voltaire (Londres, 1782), a piracy of the ten volume small-format Cazin edition of the same year.

French predominates. Selected foreign language material is also included.

1,300 items.

Bibliographic Access
The collection is catalogued.

Physical Access
The collection is open to the public with identification. For further information visit:

Interlibrary Loan: No.

Reprography: As the condition of the material warrants.

Reference Assistance: Yes.

Publications Describing Collection
None at present.