Cultural action



La Grande Paix de 1701 (The Great Peace of 1701)

In July 1701 about 1300 American Indians converged on Montreal to take part in a conference which would result in a general peace between France, the five Iroquois nations and about thirty American Indian nations allied to the French. The Great Peace was signed on 4 August. This put an end to the "Iroquois" wars and instituted peace which would last until 1760. Long years of fighting and negotiations had been necessary.

La Grande Paix de 1701 (The Great Peace of 1701)

Regard sur Madagascar (A View of Madagascar)

Photographs by Emile Pierre, a Public Works Civil Engineer in Madagascar (1903-1927)

Regard sur Madagascar (A View of Madagascar)

Théâtre français en Indochine (French Theatre in Indochina)

The French theatre in Indochina breathes out "a French perfume". The dossier highlights the close links between entertainment intended for an audience of expatriates and the undertaking of political propaganda by the French administration in the colonial era.

  Théâtre français en Indochine (French Theatre in Indochina)

Costumes ottomans (Ottoman Costumes)

Ottoman costumes: a rare XVIIIth Century collection presenting 96 richly coloured plates

  Costumes ottomans (Ottoman Costumes)

De Gaulle et l'Afrique (De Gaulle and Africa) - 1940

After the call on 18 June 1940, support for Africa was a determining factor in the birth of the Free French...

  De Gaulle and Africa - 1940

Etude sur la musique annamite (Study of Annamite Music) by Gaston Knosp (1874-1942)

Original manuscript document of about fifty sheets dated from 1900, produced by Gaston Knosp and beautifully illustrated by an unknown person.

  Annamite music

Un fonctionnaire aux Colonies (A Civil Servant in the Colonies):
Romain Louis Auger

Personnel files at the Archives Nationales d'Outre-Mer: through the life of a magistrate in the colonies, Romain Louis Auger (1798-1831), the reader can find out about one of the fates of colonial civil servants, and also find the necessary information for performing a search in a colonial personnel file.

  Romain Louis Auger

Bataille du rhum (The Rum Battle)

In 1674 the "Bataille du rhum" took place in Martinique, or how several Frenchmen dealt with the powerful Dutch fleet....

  Bataille du rhum

Amet Crékiba,
a Moor with a big heart

A rescuer of those who were shipwrecked on the "Medusa" for whom the ANOM was surprised to find a request for help in the personnel files, which made it possible to retrace his destiny. An unexpected follow-up to the dossier "Les naufragés de la Méduse (The shipwrecked from the Medusa)" produced in 2010.

  Amet Crékiba

Félix Eboué

This very unusual person, the grandson of slaves, was among the companions of General de Gaulle in the early days

  Félix Eboué

A la frontière algéro-tunisienne
en 1960 (At the Algeria-Tunisia border in 1960)

Photographs taken by Dominique Darbois in August 1960 on the Algeria-Tunisia border in the FLN refugee camps (particularly at Ghardimaou) and in Tunis.

  Dominique Darbois

L'album africain de Vaccari (Vaccari's African album)

Undoubtedly the first work from the presses in Algiers... This collection of 24 lithographed costumes is both a bibliographical curiosity and an ethnographic testimony of life in Algiers about 1830.

  Album africain (African album)

Evasions du bagne (Escapes from the penal colony)

Escape: A subject of fantasy and hard reality lived by numbers of detainees in the colonial prisons, very few escaped but everyone dreamed of it.

  Evasions du bagne (Escapes from the penal colony)

Hanoï, représentations de la ville coloniale (Hanoi, Images of the Colonial City)

To join in the Hanoi millennium celebrations which were marked in the Vietnamese capital in 2009, a collaboration with the Vietnam Archives to present as many plans which marked the development of the city as there are symbolic monuments.


Les naufragés de la Méduse (The Shipwrecked from the Medusa)

Who knows the historical reality which is the basis for the Géricault painting? An episode in colonial history for which many witness accounts are kept in the Archives Nationales d'Outre-Mer.

  La Méduse (The Medusa)

The Guernut Commission:
Front Populaire Commission of Enquiry

In 1937 it had to take stock of "the legitimate needs and aspirations of the populations inhabiting the colonies" in order to implement reforms. However it only lasted a year, but the information, sketches and photos it collected are a mine of exciting information.

  La commission Guernut (The Guernut Commission)

Au bagne de Guyane en 1884 (In the Penal Colony in Guyana in 1884)

71 pencil sketches drawn by Charles Picard, Deputy Head of the Penitentiary Administration Office, on the sites of the penal colony in Guyana: their historic and artistic value are unmatched.

  Bagnes (Penal Colonies)

L'Indochine des Moï (The Indochina of the Moi Tribes)

In 1891 on the discovery of the Indochina of the Moi people: notebooks observing the mores and customs of these people he spent time with during the 650 km of the expedition, and also many photos.


Femmes parées (Women's Adornments)

Through photos from the Ulysse image database, transversal research on feminine adornments in the various countries of the French colonial empires.

  Femmes parées (Women's Adornments)

une rencontre (a meeting)

To evoke Zoummeroff dating, the fascinating meeting of two enemies brought together by many things.


"Office colonial scolaire" (Colonial Education Office)

How history and geography are taught - nostalgia of these large educational wall panels which decorated the walls of primary classes in the first half of the XXth Century - they enliven the imagination while hailing a policy.

  Affiches scolaires (Educational Poster)

"Odette Du Puigaudeau"

The journey of an authentic, brave Breton explorer who travelled in Mauritania in the 1930s with her little "Kodak Junior". The "eye" where there is a mixture of a real graphic gift and a way of looking at people...

  Odette De Puigaudeau

"L'Indochine de Pestel" (Pestel's Indochina)

Aurélien Pestel (1855-1897) took a large number of photographs of Indochina: his pictures were copied in numerous publications. The album, from which several extracts have been selected here, was presented at the World Exhibition in Lyons in 1894: remarkable photos in an album with a traditional Vietnamese lacquer binding that is, itself, a work of art.


"Guide d'hygiène colonial" (Colonial Hygiene Guide)

A series of humorous posters published in Saigon in the 1940s and highlighting the elementary instructions on prophylaxis designed for the colonial troops in the Far East...

  Guide d'hygiène (Hygiene Guide)

"La détention d’Alfred Dreyfus
à l’Ile du Diable" (The Detention of Alfred Dreyfus on Devil's Island)

What was Alfred Dreyfus doing on Devil's Island? What was the place where he was detained like? Here we have a glimpse of some of the answers...


"Colonial Exhibition
in Paris - 1931"

These enormous events that were the great exhibitions required logistics on a similar scale: showcases, poster projects, international advertising, concourses for the lighting, public toilets, entrance tickets, organised travel, etc., so many items that the organising committee had to take into account.

  Colonial Exhibition

"Costumes de l’Union Française" (Costume's of the French Union)

In 1946 a series of very beautiful graphic plates in colour by Emile Gallois showing the costumes of the French Union, territories placed under the authority of the French Republic: here in Indochina.

  Costumes de l'union française (Costumes of the French Union)