National Air and Space Museum Archives

Montgolfier Family Library Catalogue

Summary
Collection ID:
NASM.XXXX.0955
Dates:
1883
Languages:
French
.
Physical Description:
0.05 Cubic feet
1 folder
Repository:
At the request of an acquaintance, Alphonse de Montgolfier created
Catalogue des Livres des Aérostats
in 1883. Handwritten in French cursive, the catalogue begins with an introductory letter and then alphabetically records materials held in the Montgolfier family archives relating to Aérostats and their inventors - items likely amassed by his aviation ancestors Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection contains one hardcover, bound book titled
Catalogue des Livres des Aérostats
on the spine. Created in 1883 by Alphonse de Montgolfier, the catalogue recorded materials in his custody that related to Aérostats and their inventors. When compiled, the term Aérostats described 1700s and 1800s ballooning as well as other lighter-than-air aircrafts. Items in this catalogue mostly consist of books and other published materials; however, some unpublished works such as correspondence, essays, and papers are also included and annotated. The inventory is listed on 40 pages and arranged alphabetically by the author's surname then title (or title if no author identified).
de Montgolfier also provided a four-page introductory letter noting the catalogue's inception for an acquaintance requesting aeronautics titles in de Montgolfier family archives. Although unidentified, it can be speculated that the acquaintance and recipient of this letter was French chemist, aviator, and editor Gaston Tissandier (1843-1899).
This catalogue is completely handwritten in French cursive. Two bookplates pasted in the inside front cover: one stating "Ex Libris Gaston Tissandier" and the other "The Library of Congress / The Daniel Guggenheim Fund."

Arrangement
Arrangement
Alphabetically arranged by the author's surname then by title. If no author or title listed, alphebetically arranged by type of material.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The National Air and Space Museum Archives received this catalogue as a transfer from the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, who first obtained it - as a gift or purchase - from the Library of Congress. This transfer likely happened in 1966. From its second bookplate, it can be assumed that the Library of Congress procured the catalogue with the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for Aeronautics. The Library of Congress used this fund between 1926 and 1930 to facilitate technical development, improve safety, and expand the popularity of aviation. In 1930, the fund purchased books, manuscripts, and illustrations of The Tissandier Collection from Maggs Brothers of London.
From the "Ex Libris" bookplate, it can be postulated that the bibliographic inquest resulting in this catalogue came at the request of French chemist, aviator, and editor Gaston Tissandier (1843-1899) while collecting information for his aeronautic bibliography later published in 1887. The preface of this bibliography, titled
Bibliographie aéronautique: catalogue de livres d'histoire, de science, de voyages et de fantaisie, traitant de la navigation aérienne ou des aérostats,
further supports this conclusion when Tissandier cited consulting the catalogues of various private holdings and specifically noted the library of "M. le colonel de Montgolfier."
Alphonse de Montgolfier (1831-1897) was a lieutenant-colonel, public figure, and great-grandnephew of the aviation pioneers Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier. As the head of the eldest branch, de Montgolfier became the heir of his family's heritage and memories, which he maintained at his historical property Varagnes-le Bas, colloquially known as Varagnes-les-Annonay, in their small ancestral town of Annonay in southern France. Although written by de Montgolfier in 1883, it was likely his aviation ancestors who collected the materials itemized in
Catalogue des Livres des Aérostats.

Administration
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Library of Congress, Transfer, Unknown date, NASM.XXXX.0955.
Processing Information
Arranged, described, and encoded by Amara Pugens, 2022.

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access
Preferred Citation
Montgolfier Family Library Catalogue, NASM.XXXX.0955, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Aeronautics Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hot air balloons Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ballooning Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Balloonists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Montgolfier, Joseph-Michel, 1740-1810. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Montgolfier, Jacques-Etienne, 1745-1799 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tissandier, Gaston, 1843-1899 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151
NASMRefDesk@si.edu