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Fernande Gontier papers

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 16416

Scope and Contents

The Fernande Gontier papers (1787-2005; 8.6 cubic feet) document Dr. Gontier's scholarship on Simone de Beauvoir; Colette; Etienne Cabet and his followers in Nauvoo, Illinois; Mathilde de Morny; and Comtesse Marie-Catherine d'Aulnoy. The collection includes manuscript drafts, research files, correspondence, and books representing Dr. Gontier's work. Materials also include manuscripts for cookbooks co-written by Dr. Gontier. The papers are arranged into six series.


  • Creation: 1787 - 2005


Language of Materials

Materials are primarily in French, though a substantial minority of papers are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is stored offsite. Please allow 3 business days for delivery to the Small Library reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is open for research use.

Biographical Note

Dr. Fernande Gontier is a scholar who received her PhD in French from the University of Virginia in 1973. Her dissertation was titled "Les Images de la Femme Dans le Roman Français de L'entre-Deux-Guerres". Since then, she has published numberous works--many in collaboration with Claude Francis--on French literary figures including Colette and Simone de Beauvoir.

Source: Materials within the collection; University of Virginia.


8.6 Cubic Feet (7 cubic foot boxes, 1 document box (letter), 1 document box (legal), 2 half-width document boxes (legal), 1 half-width document box (letter))


Series 1. Simone de Beauvoir, 1943-1989 (1.75 cubic feet). This series primarily contains photocopies Gontier made of publications by and about Simone de Beauvoir.

Series 2. Colette, 1866-2009 (3.25 cubic feet). This series contains manuscripts of Gontier's scholarship on Colette, photocopies of research materials, press coverage of Gontier and Claude Francis's biography of Colette, and the authors' correspondence with editors and publishers.

Series 3. Etienne Cabet, 1787-2001 (1.4 cubic feet). This series contains research notes on Etienne Cabet and his Icarian colony as well as photocopies of relevant research material.

Series 4. Mathilde de Morny, 1990-2000 (1 cubic foot). This series primarily contains drafts and manuscripts of Gontier's book on Mathilde de Morny, as well as photocopies of research material and publisher correspondence.

Series 5. Cookbooks, 1970-1985 (0.5 cubic foot). This series contains manuscripts and loose recipes for Gontier's book of honey recipes and a planned, unpublished successor focusing on vinegar.

Series 6. Madame D'Aulnoy, 1988-2005 (0.7 cubic foot). This series contains drafts of and research notes on Gontier's work on Madame D'Aulnoy.

Existence and Location of Copies

Dates and items pre-1970s reflect the initial publication dates of photocopies in the collection. These historical documents, like the Icarian periodicals and Simone de Beauvoir letters, are not originals.

Separated Materials

Books in the collection were transferred to the Rare Books division for cataloging.

Fernande Gontier papers
Tanner Greene
1 August2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States