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At a Glance
This collection is arranged into six series.
The Robert O. Paxton Papers include: arranged correspondence featuring exchanges between Paxton and his occasional collaborator and one-time coauthor Michael Marrus; research materials and notes for Vichy France and the Jews (published 1981); and course materials (including lecture notes, syllabi, and exams) for two history courses Paxton taught at Columbia from 1968 to 1995. The lecture notes--which help to illuminate Paxton's teaching style, the depth of his lecture preparations, and the evolution of his topical emphases across the decades--may be of particular interest to history and pedagogy scholars alike.
The collection also features extensive photocopied and original clippings on the French presidential election of 1981; clippings of French reviews for La France de Vichy (published 1972); and seventeen severely embrittled books covering legislative and parliamentary election results in France before World War II. All books are in French; publication dates range from 1911 to 1936.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
This collection has no restrictions.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Robert O. Paxton papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Source of acquisition--Gift of Robert O. Paxton. Date of acquisition--1998 & 2004.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Papers processed Daniel Eshom April 2005.
Boxes 8-18 were rehoused in 2022. They are not fully processed, but can be made available without further intervention.
2010-02-18 Legacy finding aid created from Pro Cite.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
2022-05-06 Boxes 8-18 incorporated into finding aid. kws
History / Biographical Note
Robert Owen Paxton [B.A. (1954), Washington & Lee University; B.A. (1956) and M.A. (1961), Oxford University; Ph. D. (1963), Harvard University], was born June 15, 1932, in Lexington, Virginia. An esteemed historian and the award-winning author of numerous books including The Anatomy of Fascism (2004), Vichy France and the Jews (1981), and Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order, 1940-44 (1972), Paxton is professor emeritus at Columbia University, where he taught from 1969 to 1997. He read history at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar from 1954 to 1956. His subsequent awards and honors include fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies (1974-75) and the Rockefeller Foundation (1978-79), as well as designations as chevalier by the Ordre National des Arts et des Lettres and officier by the Ordre National du Merite (France).
Widely regarded as the premier scholar on the history of Vichy France, Paxton was the first historian to fully explore the circumstances and extent of France's collaboration with Nazi Germany during World War II. His work is particularly renowned in France. Elisabeth Bumiller wrote in The New York Times that Paxton is the "intellectual godfather to a new and influential generation of French historians." A frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and numerous other publications, Paxton taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook before he joined the Columbia faculty.