At a time when tweets, pokes, emails, SMS and facebook messages reigned human relations in all its aspects: emotional, political, artistic… We do feel nostalgia to old times when letters were the only means to transmit one’s love, to declare war or conclude peace. Without remnant letters and manuscripts, we could have had no trace about history.
Paying tribute to the time of carrier-pigeon, the museum of letters and manuscripts situated in the 7th arrondissement brought together no less than 70 000 letters, autographs, manuscripts first editions and drawings of Proust, Einstein, Molière or Chopin.
The museum of letters and manuscripts displays a permanent collection in five departments over a space of 600 m2 and showcases centuries of history, from medieval manuscripts to the twentieth century texts.
The history department displays unique documents from ancient times to WWII. All items are of a great importance and somehow shaped the world and changed the weight of ruling powers. However, the most extraordinary item is the typed document signed by General Eisenhower sent to the allied chiefs of staff during WWII to announce that Germany has surrendered.
Science and discoveries department
When it comes to scientific discoveries, this department displays a wide range of one-off writing and diagrams that provide a grasp of theories and experiments that have transformed our daily lives.
Einstein’s general theory of relativity revolutionized the world and luckily traces of its draft are found in museum of letters and manuscripts. An extraordinary item written by Albert Einstein and Michele Besso (1913_1914) was repatriated from the United States. It is considered as the corner stone for the relativity theory that was published a year after in 1915.
A real treasure for scientists or history buffs!
This department will take its visitors to a musical journey through notes staves and original serenades of the greatest composers such as Mozart and Chopin. In addition to original writings, the music department contains as well personal correspondence of musicians which reveal a lot about their inner emotions and deepest thoughts. You’ll definitely leave the museum with a new perspective of their works and how their daily life influenced the creation of their masterpieces!
Literature and Arts department
The literature and art department traces several centuries of creativity, from the 16th to the 20th C through artists’ correspondence, illustrated letters and pictorial works. The extraordinary item among which is the first draft of Jean Cocteau’s manuscript “Beauty and the beast”.
In a nutshell, you’ll be amazed by the displayed items. There’s something for everyone, it’s really impressive!
In addition to the permanent collection ,several temporary exhibitions are organized by the museum each year on various themes: Among the most recent: “Jean Cocteau, stage man and image”, “Around Sartre”, “Journey to the Center of Jules Verne “,” Titanic heart of the ocean “,” Tell me about love “,” Saint-Germain des pressure the foam of Vian years “,” Marcel Proust’s Time Regained lost time “…
The museum of letters and manuscripts
222 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75007 Paris