In February 1940, shortly before the German occupation of Paris, the eminent scholar/collector Paul Desachy noted in a memorandum (BN, NAF 16,459, f.132) his interest in an archive of Esterhazy-related manuscripts described in a contemporary catalogue of the dealer Maurice Dussarp. In July 1908, pursuant to an agreement with Desachy, Esterhazy had ceded to him all rights to his papers subject to the condition that Desachy leave them to the Bibliothèque Nationale, which he eventually did (BN, NAF 16,444–16,466). For whatever unknown reason, Desachy does not appear to have gained access to the archive described in the 1940 catalogue, which was still in Maurice Dussarp’s possession in the summer of 1946. To this archive has been added over the years since, other documents related to the Dreyfus affair including, most significantly, the accumulation of Blacker Papers (BP) on which the present study is largely based.
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