Archives Online at Indiana University

View options:

Search within this document:


Want to learn more?

  • Do you have a question about this collection?
  • Would you like to view the original items in this collection?
  • Are you seeking permission to publish or reproduce items in this collection?

Please contact the holding repository: Lilly Library, IU Bloomington


Bookmark and Share

Vidocq mss., 1833-1847

Summary Information

Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Lilly Library
Indiana University
1200 E. Seventh St.
Bloomington, IN 47405-5500
Phone: 812-855-2452
Fax: 812-855-3143

Vidocq, Eugène François, 1775-1857

Vidocq mss., 1833-1847

Collection No.
LMC 2045

62 items

Materials are in French.

Consists of the correspondence and documents of French police officer Eugène François Vidocq, who founded the first private detective agency in 1832 in Paris. The collection concerns the business of this agency, including bills for services rendered and reports by Vidocq to his clients. Most of the correspondence pertains to cases involving finding debtors and persuading them to settle their obligations.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Biographical Note

Eugène François Vidocq (1775-1857) was a French police officer who founded the first private detective agency in 1832 in Paris.


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

A collection of 62 documents, mostly correspondence, all dealing with the business of his agency during the period of 1833-1847. During this period of time a lion's share of his work appears to have been in finding and then persuading reluctant debtors to settle their obligations. That aspect is clearly reflected in the agency's correspondence which includes 14 letters signed by Vidocq. The collection consists of letters from clients with assignments for Vidocq, his inquiries to police and other officials all over France and abroad (Berne, for example), their replies, Vidocq's reports to clients, often with advice on how to proceed in difficult situations, followed by dunning letters, responses to them, and finally, bills to clients.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Acquired: 1990
Usage Restrictions
Prior arrangements are not necessary before coming to the Library, however, patrons from out of town are encouraged to communicate with the Library in advance of their visits to ascertain availability of materials.

Photocopying permitted only with permission of the Curator of Manuscripts, Lilly Library.

Preferred Citation
[Item], Vidocq mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Vidocq mss., 1833-1847

Folder 1 Collection