Fonds 1318 - Dreyfus Collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Dreyfus Collection

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  • Multiple media

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Reference code

CA JPL-A 1318

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1898-1914 [predominant 1903-1908] (Creation)
    Dreyfus, Alfred, 1859-1935

Physical description area

Physical description

Textual material ; 144 postcards ; 66 photographs ; 17 prints

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Name of creator

Biographical history

The trials of Captain Alfred Dreyfus took place in the last decade of the 19th century and first decade of the 20th century. Dreyfus, an officer of the French general staff, was falsely accused of passing state secrets to the German military, tried and twice convicted (1895, 1899) of treason before finally being exonerated in 1906. The effects of the decade-long controversy were felt both within France and abroad for decades after the case proper was settled.

The media that surrounded the trial and its aftermath created a flurry of public commentary on the topic. Postcards in particular were a new and inexpensive format that propelled the scale of popular opinion expressed through their mass-circulation and often time provocative, antisemitic imagery.

Dreyfus counted among his defenders such illustrious figures as the future French prime minister Georges Clemenceau, the celebrated novelist Emile Zola, and the social thinker Bernard Lazare. Theodore Herzl, serving as Paris correspondent for the Viennese newspaper Die Welt, was disturbed enough by the antisemitic implications of the Dreyfus Affair to turn his thoughts and energies to political Zionism, the movement which he founded.

Custodial history

Provenance for this collection remains unknown.

Scope and content

The Dreyfus Collection contains material related to the Dreyfus Affair, specifically the publicity and commentary surrounding the trial. It consists of a collection of editorial cartoons, newspaper clippings, broadsides, photographs and drawings. The content represents both positions in support and against Alfred Dreyfus, some of which are explicitly antisemitic. The collection of postcards contains political cartoons and caricatures that were circulating at the time. Similarly, some of the posters represent the trial in a political manner. Newspaper clippings from the period are also included in the collection.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • French
  • English
  • Yiddish

Script of material

  • Latin
  • Hebrew

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General note

A portion of material was removed from the collection's two albums. For each of these items a note has been created that indicates its initial page number and position in which it was originally placed.

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