Bibliothèque Bleue Online

The Bibliothèque Bleue de Troyes represents a long and storied tradition in popular French print culture. Spanning more than 250 years and involving the publication of mass-produced, inexpensive books that were sold to peasants for pennies by colporteurs (peddlers), the Bibliothèque Bleue was comprised of texts ranging from the practical (recipes, almanacs, and how-to books) to the pious (hagiographies, prayer books, and other religious instruction) and to the entertaining (fiction, romans de chevalerie, songbooks, burlesque), providing a unique insight into the popular culture of 17th to mid-19th century France. The most significant collection (some 2570 volumes) of Bibliothèque Bleue material can be found at the Médiathèque du Grand Troyes, whose digitzation efforts – digital page images of some 623 separate imprints – form the basis of the Bibliothèque Bleue Online.