Sieur d'Anville's contract (1759)

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France : Mss. Fr. 22147 n°6

Sieur d'Anville's contract (1759), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Record-ID: f_1759

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Full title:
Contract between an author, le Sieur d'Anville, and his booksellers (Desaint, Saillant and Durant)

Full title original language:

Even before the writer's work came to be qualified as a property, the contractual sphere asserted itself, in the course of the seventeenth century, as a sphere of freedom which allowed the author to affirm concretely his interests in the publication of his work. This private space was all the more important, given that the book trade regulations before the decree of 30 August 1777 were on the whole subservient to the corporative organisation of the market. Little by little we can see how it is no longer the author who has to be prepared to part with a sum of money should he wish to be published, but, rather, the bookseller/publisher, who accepts the principle of authorial remuneration. The latter comes to constitute a new source of revenue for the author, allowing him to emancipate himself from his traditional supports, such as the institution of patronage. As testified by the contract of the notable French cartographer Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville with his publishers - a contract which is no doubt quite representative - this sum corresponded to the transfer of the manuscript, or, more generally, in the eighteenth century, of the work and the principal rights which were attached to it. However, even after this cession, the author could, again by means of the contract, retain access to his work - in particular, by reserving for himself the right to make corrections to the manuscript for the first or any subsequent editions. Here again, the book trade regulations did not offer any real protection to the author in this respect.

1 Commentary:


Related documents in this database:

Author: Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville (1697-1782)

Publisher: unpublished

Year: 1759

Location: N/A

Language: French

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France : Mss. Fr. 22147 n°6

Persons referred to:
Barthélemy, Jean-Jacques
Capperonnier, Jean
Desaint, Jean
Durand, Laurent
Saillant, Charles
d'Anville, Jean Baptiste Bourguignon, Sieur

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Royal Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres (Paris)


author/publisher relations
authors' remuneration
editions, new
public utility

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