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[Detail] Vue de Quebec, capitale du Canada. 1755.

Introduction

Map of New France

Canada ou Nouvelle France. When was this map drawn? What does it tell you about French exploration in North America?

France in America/France en Amérique is a bilingual digital library made available by the Library of Congress in partnership with the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.  The collection contains complete books, maps, prints, and other documents from the partner libraries illuminating the role France played in the exploration and settlement of the continent, the French and Indian War, and the American Revolution.  Additional documents exploring economic, scientific, literary, and artistic exchanges between the two nations in the course of the nineteenth century will be added to the site.

France in America augments the study of American and world history through a variety of primary and secondary sources including travel narratives, missionary accounts, journals, prints and drawings, and an extensive collection of maps.  Documents from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Library of Congress examine early French explorations, colonial settlements, Franco-Indian alliances, international colonial rivalries, French support of the American Revolution, and the U.S. acquisition of Louisiana.  These materials provide an exceptional documentary record of French colonial America and Franco-American relations in the early nineteenth century.

The Themes section offers essays on numerous aspects of France’s role in the early years of European influence in North America, all illustrated with and linked to documents from the collection. Also included are a helpful chronology and a series of descriptive maps. This section provides an excellent entry point for students wishing to explore the collection.

A number of documents in the collection reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century explorers regarding Native Americans they encountered.  In addition, historical narratives written in the nineteenth century also contain offensive references that expose some prejudices of the period.