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Camp de Mailly watercolor sketchbook

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-1025

Content Description

This watercolor sketchbook was created by a French soldier at Camp de Mailly during the summer of 1915 before his unit was deployed to the front. The artist created these paintings in a paper sample book from paper supplier Papeteries d'Arches, which was then run by Jules Perrigot. The watercolor paintings and sketches show landscapes (mostly local) and life in the camp, including tents, the airplane hangars, and soldiers at rest and at work. Two small portraits of soldiers are identified: one with the surname St. Vaillant, and one as Corporal Sébillot. Several images are not from the area around Mailly; these are the Belfry of Arras, the towers of the ruined Mont-Saint-Éloi cathedral, and the ruins of St. Agnan near Apremont in Meuse.

One image shows the 1st battalion, 2nd company's tents. This may have been the unit in which the artist served.


  • Creation: 1915 June-1915 August


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical / Historical

The artist signed one of the watercolor paintings in this sketchbook, although the name is not perfectly legible. The name is signed P. Bour[one illegible character]in. The dealer believes the name is P. Bourdin, although the name could also be Bourgin or Boursin. Based on the processor's interpretation of the artist's handwriting, the processor believes that the artist's name is likely P. Bourgin.

Alongside the dealer's interpretation of the artist's name, the dealer also wrote information in pencil that may be the unit in which the artist served; unfortunately, this is not fully legible and it is unknown how the dealer may have come by information not included in this book.

Based on the caption beneath one of the images in the sketchbook, the artist may have served in the 1st battalion, 2nd company. The processor does not know which larger French military unit contained this particular unit.


0.09 Cubic Feet (1 flat box (11 x 1.5 x 9 inches))

Language of Materials



This watercolor sketchbook was created by a French soldier at Camp de Mailly during the summer of 1915. The sketchbook shows scenes of military camp life and the surrounding landscape.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Justin Croft in July 2015.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in April 2024 by Jenelle Clark.

Guide to the Camp de Mailly watercolor sketchbook
Jenelle Clark
April 2024
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA