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John M. Kelly Library | Archival and Manuscript Collection

The Zola Research Program fonds

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Émile Zola | Self Portrait

The Zola Research Program, also known as Le Programme de recherché sur Zola et le Naturalisme or Programme Zola, was a 20-year project to collect, organize and publish the letters of Émile Zola. The Program was a joint effort between one team based in the University of Toronto's Department of French, and one in Paris made up of researchers from an array of French cultural institutions. The first of ten volumes of the Émile Zola Correspondance series was published in 1978. Subsequent volumes were published approximately 18 months apart until the final volume was published in 1995.

The Zola Research Program fonds consists of photocopies of letters, postcards, telegrams and other correspondence by and to Zola. Matters both personal and professional are discussed in the letters. Each letter is accompanied by contextual information about individuals mentioned therein and historical background. The fonds also consists of materials documenting the Zola Research Program itself. This collection is the largest repository of Zola letters available in North America and open to the public.

Additionally, the Collection Théâtrale André Antoiné contains a series of 40 original autographed letters from Émile Zola. This collection also inlcudes 26 first edition Zola books and a number of other books by or about Zola. A description of the autographed letters and a list of the Zola books in the collection is available in the Collection Théâtrale André Antoiné finding guide.

The Sablé Collection for 19th Century French Studies located in the Rare Book collection at the John M. Kelly Library contains over 500 books by and about Émile Zola. This collection is accessible through the University of Toronto Library Catalogue.