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The W.T. Bandy Center for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies

The collection provides a resource for scholars to consult material about Charles Baudelaire's life, works, and related studies. Visiting scholars have the opportunity to research the collection in topics such as Baudelaire's influence on literature and the visual arts, urban history, modernity, synesthesia, and popular culture.

The Bandy Center's most important holdings consist of:

• First editions of Baudelaire's works

• Journal and newspapers which first published his writings

• Collected editions of his works

• Materials on Baudelaire and related topics

• Translations of Baudelaire's works into various languages

• Illustrated editions

The critical focus of the collection is an exhaustive bibliography of writings by and about Charles Baudelaire. Titles of books and ephemera in the Bandy Center are available through the W.T. Bandy Center Web site, Baudelaire database, and the library catalog, Acorn. Current information is added to the Recensement Bibliographique and available from the Bandy Center Web site under Publications.

W.T. Bandy Collection



Baudelaire Database
Baudelaire Database
W.T. Bandy Project Files: Charles Baudelaire and Related Files
W.T. Bandy Project Files: Edgar Allan Poe
Une Micro-Histoire
Raymond P Poggenburg Charles Baudelaire
Une Micro-Histoire
Baudelaire Finding Aid

Felix W. Leakey Collection
19th and 20th centuries

Pascal Pia Collection

Pascal Pia (1903-1979), literary critic, poet, and editor, occupied a prominent place in twentieth-century French literary and intellectual circles. The Pascal Pia Collection contains French literary works, journals, and ephemera. Many of the publications are from the modern period, with emphasis on prose and poetry since the mid-nineteenth century. There are a number of signed copies are in the collection; personal gifts of such major authors as Albert Camus and André Malraux, both good friends of Pascal Pia.

The Pascal Pia Collection is a unique resource for those interested in the avant-garde and in the relationship of literature and the arts. A reviewer commented that "The Collection of twentieth century poetry is most remarkable...Of undoubtedly the greatest value is the collection of periodicals. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries many of the significant literary contributions were made in so-called...little magazines...I have never seen a collection of such periodicals as exquisite as the Pia Collection. Many titles are very, very rare indeed..."

Pascal Pia  Collection

Pascal Pia

Hervé Vilez-Paul Verlaine Collection

Hervé Vilez-Paul Verlaine Collection W.T. Bandy Center for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies Vanderbilt University

Scope and Content Note

Updated: August 10, 2016 Abby R. Broughton

The Hervé Vilez-Paul Verlaine Collection begins in 1866, the year the symbolist poet Paul Verlaine first debuted his work in print. With over 1,400 items, the collection provides in-depth coverage of Verlaine’s life and works and ranges from original 19th century newspaper clippings that highlight the poet’s contribution to the contemporary literary scene to modern works that prove his continual influence in the 21st century, as well as original paintings, drawings, and other artistic creations. The collection features editions of Verlaine’s poetry and prose, as well as works he enriched by virtue of writing introductions, dedicating poems, and other literary contributions during the late 1800s. The majority of the collection features books, pamphlets, and journals published in the French language, though also includes numerous translations of Verlaine’s poetry in languages such as English, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Hungarian.

The collection is enhanced by an extensive ensemble of Verlaine’s erotic poetry, comprising what former collection owner, the poet Hervé Vilez, named “Verlaine en Curiosa”. Highlighted among this group are numerous erotica-illustrated volumes from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Featured works include a hand-written edition of Hombres (Hommes) from 1925, copied at “Bourg l’Abbé, 69 place des Eréctions” and justified by a fingerprint, a leather-bound with ivory inlay 1936 edition of Amies, Hombres with large-scale watercolors by Brutus, as well as new illustrated interpretations of Verlaine’s poetry, such as the 1997 hand-colored, erotic version of Freundinnen – Amies, illustrated by Elfriede Weidenhaus.

The works in this collection are enhanced by Vilez’s own catalogue, which includes original date of sale descriptions, annotations, and information by rare book experts, all of which call attention to the value of the collection’s first editions, many of which are signed, annotated, or illustrated by hand.

Biographical notice on Hervé Vilez: Hervé Vilez, of Boulogne-sur-Seine, France, began writing poetry at the age of fourteen. In 1967 he received the Prix international de Poésie classique. He subsequently won several more poetry competitions, notably multiple Académie Française championships. In 1981 he became Secretary General of the Société des Amis de Rimbaud, which sparked his interest in the life and works of Arthur Rimbaud’s lover, the poet Paul Verlaine. In 1986, he was decorated with the Médaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris by Jacques Chirac.

Hervé Vilez-Paul Verlaine Inventory
Hervé Vilez and Professor Robert Barsky

Hervé Vilez and Professor Robert Barsky

Hombres, Aquarelles de Brutus, From Amies by Paul Verlaine, 1936.

Hombres, Aquarelles de Brutus, From Amies by Paul Verlaine, 1936.

Gilbert Sigaux Collection

Gilbert Sigaux (1918-1982) was an author, translator, professor of theater history at the Conservatoire national d'art dramatique in Paris, and secretary of the Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques. Over many years, Sigaux gathered an enormous personal library of play texts, books, and other valuable documents on the theater.

The Gilbert Sigaux Collection contains about 6,000 volumes, including monographs, theater journals, and primary texts, as well as almost 75,000 items on authors, directors, actors, and theaters. These files contain such items as press clippings, programs, publicity releases, Sigaux's personal notes, and articles from journals.

"The collection represents," according to Dan M. Church, Emeritus Professor of French, "the single most valuable resource for research on theater in France in the twentieth century."

Gilbert Sigaux Collection

Gilbert Sigaux

Gilbert Sigaux Collection Exhibit

Morris Wachs Collection

Morris Wachs (1921-2001) was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 24, 1921 and died in Nashville on August 8, 2001. He was a graduate of Brooklyn College. He received his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin in 1959. He initially taught at DePauw University in Indiana, and then joined Vanderbilt University as associate professor in 1962, retiring in 1992 as Professor Emeritus, after 30 years of service. Professor Wachs was an eighteenth century specialist, with a focus on the poetry of Denis Diderot (1713-1784).  Wachs was the descendent of the great rabbinic Cohn family. He was fluent in Yiddish and Hebrew and took an interest in the development of the Judaica Collections in the Divinity School Library at Vanderbilt, playing a role in the acquisition of the Yiddish holdings. He created the annual Jacqueline Wachs Essay Prize for undergraduates in the French and Italian Writing Competition in memory of his wife. Jacqueline Touret Wachs was a long-time senior lecturer with the Department of French & Italian at Vanderbilt. His estate endowed the Blair School of Music with the Morris and Jacqueline Wachs Scholarship. Wachs was well known for his knowledge of the French Enlightenment. As a bibliophile, he helped build the library’s collection of eighteenth-century French literature. He served as a member and chair of the executive committee of the Modern Language Association of America on the French Literature of the Eighteenth Century section.

Morris Wachs was a great book collector, focusing on eighteenth century French literature. His collection is particularly rich in rare popular fiction, providing an insight into the literary tastes of the eighteenth-century. His collection represents material of the Enlightenment, ranging from orientalism, satire, novels, epistolary fiction, almanacs, and fictional travel accounts. The book collection is housed at the Library Annex in separate Microclimate boxes and occupies 116 linear feet. The collection also includes 118 lantern slides housed in an old wooden box, each slide labeled individually. The lantern slides are glass slides with the dimensions of about 3-3/8” x 4”. These slides contain images related to the eighteenth century and the Enlightenment, including book covers, portraits, and paintings. Wachs may have purchased the lantern slides along the Seine River from the bouquinistes of Paris. The lantern slides were digitized by the Visual Resource Center at Vanderbilt and linked to the Bandy Center site.

The collection of about 700 monograph titles and lantern slides was donated (purchase/donation) to the W.T. Bandy Center for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies, Vanderbilt University in 2004 by Sol and Frieda Shaviro, the sister of Morris Wachs.

For additional information:
Paul Kingsbury, “Wachs Collection Is World Class,Acorn Chronicle, Fall, 2004, p. 14.