The Chadwyck-Healey Liberation Collection 1944-1946

Chadwyck-Healey donated a collection of 600 books to Cambridge University Library in 2012. Since then it has grown to over 3,000 books and is now large enough to enable us to answer the question, ‘How did the French use the medium of the book to express what had happened to them over the previous five years, the greatest crisis in French history?’ The collection is very comprehensive containing poetry, novels, plays, and children’s books as well as many accounts by inmates of German prisoner of war and concentration camps, together with regimental histories, books on the liberation of Paris, the resistance, political books, and accounts of trials of politicians and collaborators after the end of the war.  

See also: ‘The literature of the Liberation 1944-6’ by Charles Chadwyck-Healey, The Book Collector, volume 64, no. 1, Spring 2015.


Hitler’s visit to Paris, June 1940. Portfolio of photographs

When Hitler made his only visit to Paris on 23 June 1940 he took with him his personal photographer Heinrich Hoffmann and three guests, Albert Speer, Hermann Geisler and Arno Breker. The first two were involved in Hitler’s plans for the rebuilding of Berlin and Breker was his favourite sculptor.

The photographs that Hoffmann took are well known and have been reproduced many times but what was not known was that Hoffmann prepared portfolios of 20 original prints mounted on card, as mementos for the visitors.

Only one of these portfolios still exists and Chadwyck-Healey bought it from a book dealer in Paris in 2007. He has now donated it to the Bibliothèque nationale (BnF) in Paris as he regards it as part of the history of France, and of Paris.

Chadwyck-Healey had a long relationship with the BnF from 1985 to 1997 when Chadwyck-Healey France SA published the catalogue of the BnF on microfiche and then co-published the French National Bibliography on CD-ROM from 1985 to 1997. It has given him great satisfaction to donate this artefact which is so central to the 20th century history of France to this great library.

The Chadwyck-Healey Collection of Photo Books

This collection of 2,500 photo books from the 1920s to the 1980s was donated to the Bodleian Library, Oxford in 2019 under the Cultural Gifts Scheme. The collection was started by Chadwyck-Healey in 1989 through his interest in photography and books. It is particularly strong in photo books from the USA, France, Germany, central Europe and the USSR. It has complete runs of the most important journals. There are many association copies with interesting dedications.