Contents and Arrangement

Papers on the French Resistance, 1929-2007 (mostly 1939-1980)

11 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Materials consist primarily of correspondence and official records that document 20th-century French poet René Char's activities during World War II, in particular, his involvement with the French Resistance as head of Section Atterrissage Parachutage (SAP) Region 2 in the Basses-Alpes.

Most of the correspondence includes incoming letters from fellow Resistance fighters that date from during and after the war. Records primarily include those relating to SAP, such as memos, official documents, reports, and personnel files (fiches individuelles or fiche de renseignements) that provide biographical information and information about individuals' service. Also included are some photographs as well as a few manuscripts and related materials, in particular, drafts of addresses by Char and others, and correspondence relating to Char's book of poetry, Seuls demeurent. While most materials are to or about Char, there are several dozen letters, documents, and writings from and by Char scattered throughout the collection. Some materials in the collection also relate to Char's widow, Marie-Claude Char, specifically her involvement in events and projects relating to her husband and his papers.

Note that names and materials of a similar nature are represented throughout the collection.


The order of the materials, most likely established by René Char and Marie-Claude Char, was mostly maintained.

Collection History


AM 2018-88


No materials were removed from the collection during 2018 and 2022 processing beyond routine appraisal practices.

Processing Information

The papers on the French Resistance was processed by Faith Charlton with assistance from Julia English '19 and Matthew Oakland '20 in 2018. Finding aid written by Faith Charlton in 2018. Folder inventory added by Julia English '19 and Matthew Oakland '20 in 2018.

The correspondence was processed by Kelly Bolding, Faith Charlton, and Amy C. Vo in 2022. Finding aid updated by Kelly Bolding, Faith Charlton, and Amy C. Vo in 2022. During 2022 processing, archivists did some minor sorting and interfiling of unsorted letters in the Correspondence series. While materials were removed from binders, most were left in the enclosures (sleeves) in which they were housed at the time they arrived at the library.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Papers on the French Resistance; René Char Papers, C1599, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
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Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (mss): Boxes B-001233 to B-001243

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