The Revue des musées de France offers a Special Issue on the history of the collections from the Versailles Public Library's Cabinet of Curiosities and of Decorative Objects, which today are in the musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac.

The component objects come mainly from North America, from the time of the First French Colonial Empire, which stretched from the valleys of the Saint Lawrence River to the Mississippi, and on to the tropical regions of the Caribbean. Birch-bark boxes and snowshoes, "tourist" souvenirs from Canada, a variety of weapons, moccasins, bags, clothes, and ornaments from the North American Great Plains and the Prairies, as well as the South-East, tell the story of France's bonds with its former allies, the Montagnais, Huron, Illinois, and Choctaw peoples, as well as other nations such as the Apache and the Comanche.

Revue des musées de France. Revue du Louvre, 2021, n°1
March 2021

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September 18, 2021 - Exhibition "The Curiosity of a Prince"

In 1806, the Versailles Public Library received an extraordinary collection of objects from around the world, most of which can be found today in the musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac. The collections expanded considerably during the nineteenth century, due to the generosity of a number of Versaillais donors. When the musée d’Ethnographie du Trocadéro in Paris took over the collection in 1934, it comprised roughly 534 items from Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas.

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