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Drew Special Collections and University Archives

Published works in French and English, typescripts, and memorabilia of the Belgian writer of detective novels Georges Simenon

Georges Simenon (1903-1989), a Belgian writer, is best known for his detective novels featuring police commissioner Maigret. This is a complete collection of his published works in French, as well as all of the English translations to date. Also included are critical and biographical works, photographs, audio tapes, and memorabilia of various sorts.

Drew's collection of Simenon was established in 1984 by former French professor and Simenon biographer, Lucille Becker, and former library director, Arthur E. Jones, for the purpose of serving both Drew's French language students and the scholarly community. Comprehensive in scope, it includes first editions in French and English of the complete works, as well as many subsequent editions (totalling more than 450 volumes in the two languages); the 27-volume Tout Simenon series published 1988-1993 by Presses de la Cité 52 spiral-bound notebooks of photoreproduced typescripts, donated by Helen Wolff (publisher of many of Simenon's works under her book division, Helen and Kurt Wolff Books, at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich); and about 25 biographical and critical works. In addition, there are several audio tapes, 2 framed photographs, and such ephemera as journal extracts, newspaper clippings, posters, transcripts from radio and television interviews, programs from colloquia, leaflets, a 1990 calendar illustrated with dustjackets from Simenon's works, and 5 issues of the Sunday books section of the Philadelphia Inquirer from the early 1940's, each containing an unabridged novel by Simenon.

The impetus for establishing this collection came from Helen Wolff's gift to the library of the 52 notebooks. Professor Becker also has contributed a number of volumes and related items. The library maintains a standing order to purchase additional volumes as they appear.

The core collection does not circulate, although duplicate copies of the monographs are placed in Drew's circulating collection. All of the monographs have been catalogued, and may be accessed through Drew's online catalogue. There is no list or finding aid for the ephemera.

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