Dreyfus affair collection
- Malteste, Louis, 1862-1928 (Person)
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for use.
Conditions Governing Use
2.02 Cubic Feet (1 letter size document box, 1 flat box (20.5 x 14.5 x 1.5 inches), 1 custom box (24 x 22 x 3 inches))
The Dreyfus affair split France in two between conservative and progressive forces. On January 13, 1898, the novelist Émile Zola wrote an open letter published on the front page of Aurore under the headline "J'Accuse," in which he accused the army of covering up its mistaken conviction of Dreyfus. Nationalists pressed to have Zola arrested; he was found guilty of libel and sentenced to a year's imprisonment and fined 3,000 francs. Zola fled to London and returned when Dreyfus's conviction was overturned.
More trials followed, but it was not until 1899--and the fall of the government--that Alfred Dreyfus was finally declared completely innocent of all charges. He rejoined the French Army in 1906, and was recalled to active service during World War I as a lieutenant colonel. He died on July 12, 1935, in Paris.
Source: "Dreyfus, Alfred" Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica Online. http://search.eb.com/eb/article?eu=31714 [Accessed May 13, 2003].
Scope and Contents
"L’Affaire" quickly engaged noted French writers, journalists, painters and illustrators. Of interest are original published articles of the period including the writings of Jean Jaures, co-political director of La Petite République and Jules Guérin, director of the newspaper called L’Antijuif. Also included is a published collection, Deux cents Dessins, of the painter and illustrator Hermann-Paul (Hermann Paul René Georges, 1864-1940).
The collection includes a set of lithographs titled the Musee des Horreurs (freak show), which depict prominent supporters of Dreyfus, statesmen, journalists and Jewish leaders as animals. The series was published in 1899 at the opening of the Exposition Universelle of 1900. Among those depicted in caricature are Louis Lepene, Émile Zola, Alfred Dreyfus, Georges Picquart, Georges Clemenceau, Henri Brisson, Fernand Labori and Ludovis Travieux.
Also included are twelve original copies of Le Petit Journal, supplément illustré (1897-1899) with front and back page drawings in color depicting events related to the Dreyfus trial. Le Petit Journal was anti-Dreyfus in its reporting. Zola’s criticism of the paper was published in a letter to France, December 14, 1897: "But when Le Petit Journal, with a circulation of over one million, which speaks to the ordinary people and reaches everywhere, disseminates error and leads public opinion astray, then matters are exceptionally grave." Fernand Labori, attorney for Zola and other Dreyfus supporters won a libel suit against the editor, Ernest Judet, and Le Petit Journal, August 3, 1898.
Final items in the collection are twenty-nine original pencil drawings mostly by the French illustrator, Louis Malteste (pseudonym used by Jacques d’Icy). Included are portraits of Alfred Dreyfus, Émile Zola, Henri Rochefort, Ferdinand Forzinetti, and Fernand Labori.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA