Documents: 6

Sub-project: Autographs of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

April 2014 - June 2017

Status: Completed

Financed by: swissuniversities

Description: The autographs of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) are preserved in different locations. When Rousseau moved from one place to another, he often left his papers to a close friend, for example Pierre-Alexandre DuPeyrou, who donated a big collection of important works and notebooks to the Library of Neuchâtel, today Bibliothèque publique et universitaire. Other autographs, that Rousseau left to his Genevan friend and editor Paul Moultou, are located in the Bibliothèque de Genève. Autographs can also be found abroad: in the Bibliothèque de l’Assemblée nationale, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, in the Musée Rousseau of Montmorency or in the Morgan Library & Museum in New York.
The Bibliothèque publique et universitaire de Neuchâtel starts by publishing “Les Rêveries du promeneur solitaire” and the “Dictionnaire de Musique” on e-codices in a new sub-project dedicated to the autographs of Jean-Jacques Rousseau with the goal of creating a common and coordinated network for the autographs of the Swiss philosopher.

All Libraries and Collections

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, R-49.1
Paper · 1 f. · 18 x 12 cm · not dated [ca. 1764]
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Lettres écrites de la montagne (Letter VII), second draft, autograph

The Lettres écrites de la montagne are the last work that was published during Rousseau’s lifetime. For the first time, the philosopher becomes directly involved in the affairs of Geneva. Beyond fundamental proposals, the letters contain further developed thoughts on the spirit of the Reformation as well as a defense of the Contrat Social. Letter VII, where this page comes from, supports the right of representation when it comes to correcting abuses of the Small Council, and it recommends that citizens convened in the General Council reject all new elections of magistrates if these should insist upon overstepping the rights given them by the Constitution. The Lettres were censored in Geneva as well as in Paris. This document is from the collection of Ch. Vellay (purchased by Martin Bodmer in 1926) and contains a draft of two passages from the Lettres. The first of these was published in the original edition (Amsterdam, M. M. Rey, 1764), the second in the edition of the Œuvres complètes of the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade. (giv)

Online Since: 06/22/2017

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, R-49.2
Paper · 38 pp. · 27.5 x 18.5 cm · December 1740
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Mémoire présenté à M. de Mably sur l’éducation de M. son fils

The Mémoire présenté à M. de Mably sur l’éducation de M. son fils is Rousseau’s first writing related to his experience as an educator. In 1740 he took up a difficult position as tutor in the family of the notable Jean Bonnot de Mably, provost general of police in the Lyon region. This position came to an end after only one year. Two young children with little inclination to study had been entrusted to his care: François-Paul-Marie Bonnot de Mably, called Monsieur de Sainte-Marie, five and a half years old, and Jean-Antoine Bonnot de Mably, called Monsieur de Condillac, four and a half years old. The long Mémoire, dedicated to the older boy, emphasizes the “educational mission” and experience with practical education: it is presented as a plan and a synthesis; its writing has been dated around December 1740. The young tutor addresses M. de Mably and makes known to him the plan and structure for the education of his son in order to shape “the heart, the judgment and the spirit.” This is not the natural education, which later on will be advocated in ’Émile. Did Rousseau really present this Mémoire to M. de Mably? Known is only that he gave this manuscript of the Mémoire to Mme Dupin, his employer in 1743, and that since then it has been kept with the “Papers of Mme Dupin.” It was published for the first time in Paris in 1884 by G. de Villeneuve-Guibert in Le portefeuille de Madame Dupin. The Fondation Bodmer’s manuscript is the only one in existence. A Projet d’éducation, much shorter, more clearly structured and of unknown date, was found among Rousseau’s papers at the time of his death (this manuscript, now lost, was first published in Geneva in 1782). It is very similar to the Mémoire and seems to have been written (brc)

Online Since: 06/23/2016

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Neuchâtel, Bibliothèque publique et universitaire de Neuchâtel, Ms. R 17
Paper · 182 + 48 pp. · 25 x 20 cm · 1764-1767
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions

Manuscript of the first three books of the Confessions and part of the fourth. In comparison with the other two recorded copies, this one contains numerous corrections and variations. Parchment half-binding (spine and corners); the shelfmark 23 is handwritten on the cover, which has a permanent protective covering of acid-free paper. The introductory text was omitted from the published version. (beg)

Online Since: 12/17/2015

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Neuchâtel, Bibliothèque publique et universitaire de Neuchâtel, Ms. R 55
Paper · 432 ff. · 24 x 18-18.5 cm · Paris · 1753-1764
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Dictionnaire de musique

First complete handwritten edition, with a number of deletions and cross-references. Each booklet consists of 12 bifolia. The pages were numbered by Rousseau. The recto of the pages contain the text, the verso corrections and additions. In his Dictionnaire de musique, Rousseau takes up again the approximately four hundred articles he had written in 1749 for the Encyclopédie. Starting in 1753, in answer to attacks and criticism brought on by his articles, he begins to revise and rewrite them. Because he strives for lexicographic completeness in the field of music, the author composes more and more new entries, reaching close to nine hundred terms. In 1794 the manuscript is donated to the Neuchâtel Library by Pierre-Alexandre DuPeyrou (1729-1794) from Neuchâtel, Rousseau’s friend and publisher. (beg)

Online Since: 04/09/2014

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Neuchâtel, Bibliothèque publique et universitaire de Neuchâtel, Ms. R 78
Paper · 140 pp. · 16.8 x 10.7-10.9 cm · Paris · 1776-1778
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Les Rêveries du promeneur solitaire

Carefully handwritten copy of the first seven Promenades (of the ten that make up the published text), with several crossed out and deleted passages. Each booklet consists of 12 bifolia. From page 1 to 83, the pages were numbered by Rousseau, from page 84 by Th. Dufour. In Les Rêveries, Rousseau performs one last introspection in the form of philosphical thoughts and reflections, which he himself characterizes as an appendix to his Confessions. In the fifth Promenade, he describes with nostalgia the moments of solitary happiness he experienced on St. Peter's Island in Lake Biel. The Rêveries are Rousseau’s last text; after the philosopher’s death, they were retained by his friend and publisher Pierre-Alexandre DuPeyrou (1729-1794) from Neuchâtel, who in his testament bequeathed the manuscript to the Neuchâtel Library. (beg)

Online Since: 04/09/2014

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Neuchâtel, Bibliothèque publique et universitaire de Neuchâtel, Ms. R 79
Paper · 25 + 33 ff. · 15.5 x 10.3 cm · 1777-1778
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Draft of the “Promenades”

Small notebook with an 18th century cardboard binding that was covered in parchment. Double numbering by Théophile Dufour. Ink and pencil. The heavily corrected manuscript contains the draft of walks eight through ten of the Rêveries du Promeneur solitaire as well as parts of the Dialogues. It also contains references to botany. (beg)

Online Since: 12/17/2015

Documents: 6