Photographic credit: Bibliothèque de l’Institut de France 


Condorcet studies have considerably developed since the late 1980s, following the bicentenaries of the French Revolution and, a few years later, of the death of Condorcet in 1794. Much has been published, especially rare or unpublished texts by Condorcet on such topics as political arithmetic and the philosophy of history.

But while editions of the complete works or inventories of writings of several major figures of the Enlightenment - such as D’Alembert, the Bernoulli, Diderot, Euler, Linné, Spallanzani, Voltaire - are in progress, no similar enterprise has been undertaken for Condorcet. The last edition of his works, established by his daughter, Eliza O’Connor, dates back to the middle of the nineteenth century and the catalogue of his manuscripts drawn up in the 1920s by Marcel Bouteron and Jean Tremblot is seriously incomplete. Particularly in need of attention are Condorcet’s correspondence and scientific papers.

The Inventaire Condorcet aims to fill these gaps by cataloguing all of Condorcet’s manuscripts and publications and his complete correspondence (the main focus of our present work). A regularly updated bibliography of all secondary sources will also be made available. The specificity of this inventory resides in the attention given to the material analysis of manuscripts: we analyse the changes in Condorcet’s handwriting and spelling, we list the various types of papers (watermarks and quality) and as well as the wax seals. In each case, we attempt to identify the person or persons who put pen to paper (copyists, secretaries, friends and relatives, heirs, archivists…). The Inventory will also contain a list of unpublished texts and biographical information such as a chronology, a genealogy, details of Condorcet’s work at the Académie des sciences, the Académie française, under the Turgot ministry and at the Trésorerie nationale.

The Inventaire Condorcet will constitute an indispensable tool for all those studying his life and works and for those publishing his texts.

Plan of the inventory in print format

  • Condorcet Manuscripts
    • History and provenance of the main archives
    • Analytical and material inventory
  • Published works of Condorcet
    • Bibliography of works, reports, articles, brochures, etc. published before the Turgot ministry; between the Turgot ministry and the Revolution; from the Revolution up to the death of Condorcet; up to the edition of 1847-1849; since 1847-1849.
    • Bibliography by languages of translations of Condorcet texts.
    • List of unpublished texts published after the death of Condorcet: up to the edition of 1847-1849; since 1847-1849. Notes on the editions of 1804 and 1847-1849.
    • Location of rare printed texts.
  • Condorcet’s correspondence
    • Analytical and material inventory
    • Alphabetical list of correspondents, along with biographical data.
  • Secondary references to Condorcet
    • Notices, articles, works, etc. published: during Condorcet’s life; up to the edition of 1804; from 1804 to the edition of 1847-1849; from the edition of 1847- 1849 to the theses of F. Alengry and L. Cahen (1903-1904); from the theses of F. Alengry and L. Cahen to 1945; from 1945. Alphabetical index of authors. Iconography. Alphabetical index of artists.
    • Principal events, celebrations, commemorations, exhibitions etc. organised in honour of Condorcet.
  • Documentation and bibliographical information
    •  Biographical and chronological information: general chronology; Condorcet’s family; biographical notes on little known relatives of Condorcet (E. Cardot, Girault de Keroudou, A. de Keralio, Mme Vernet.); Condorcet’s houses and lodgings; Condorcet’s travels (Picardy, Dauphiné, Ferney and southern France, Brittany.).
    •  Condorcet’s activities: Condorcet at the Académie des sciences (nominations, presence at meetings, duties, reports read and evaluations of those reports, eulogies, evaluations of other reports, prizes and inventions, printed texts and manuscripts.); Condorcet’s activities under the Turgot ministry; Condorcet as Inspecteur des Monnaies; Condorcet at the Académie française; membership of associations, academies and societies; participation in meetings, commissions, committees -during the Révolution (Municipalité de Paris, Trésorerie nationale, Comité de Constitution, Comité d’instruction publique, etc.).


Last update on Wednesday 16 December 2020 (12:23) by  G. Foliot


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