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Grant number: RZ-20044-97

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California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA 91125-0001)
Philip T. Hoffman (Project Director: September 1996 to present)

Notaries and Credit in Paris in the Eighteenth Century

To support the research and writing of a book on how notaries functioned as financial intermediaries in higher economic circles in Paris in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Historians and other scholars have long been familiar with notaries, the officials in continental Europe who drew up and preserved legal documents. We wish to investigate the surprising financial role they played in Paris, where, in the 18th century, the notaries opened financial markets to women, gave the state access to a new source of funds, and mobilized more financial capital for long term loans than banks and stock exchanges would until the 1860s. We would also like to see how investors managed to cope in the 19th century, after the French Revolution had practically destroyed notarial credit. Our evidence here would come from three enumerations of notarial contracts made available to us by the French National Archives, plus a variety of other printed and archival sources.

Project fields:
European History

Collaborative Research

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$39,000 (approved)
$38,859 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/1997 – 6/30/2000