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Collection Overview

Chancerel, Charles-Antoine
Charles-Antoine Chancerel Manuscripts on Oidapa
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box B-001346
French Artificial languages


Consists of manuscript grammar books and a dictionary documenting an artificial language called Oidapa (Oïdapa, Oīdapa) that was invented by French civil engineer Charles-Antoine Chancerel in the late 19th century.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of four bound manuscripts documenting an artificial language called Oidapa (Oïdapa, Oīdapa) that was invented by French civil engineer Charles-Antoine Chancerel in the late 19th century. The manuscripts include a French-Oidapa dictionary containing a lexicon that spans over 300 pages, along with three grammar books describing Oidapa linguistics, characters, pronunciation, and grammar in French. The differences in the grammar books from 1888 and 1892 demonstrate how Chancerel's language grew more complex over time. Chancerel's introductory writings note that these texts are written to support students learning the language on their own without an instructor. They also describe Oidapa as both a cosmopolitan language ("langage cosmopolite") and an international language ("le sans nationalité"). This collection provides insight into a less well-known constructed language that emerged in Europe around the same time as popular international auxiliary languages such as L.L. Zamenhof's Esperanto and Johann Martin Schleyer's Volapük.


Arranged chronologically.

Collection Creator Biography:

Chancerel, Charles-Antoine

Charles-Antoine Chancerel was a French civil engineer who invented an artificial language called Oidapa in the late 19th century.

Collection History


Purchased from Eric Grangeon Rare Books in 2019 (AM 2020-24).


No materials were removed from the collection during 2019 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in October 2019. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in October 2019.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

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:

Charles-Antoine Chancerel Manuscripts on Oidapa; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box B-001346