Skip to main content

French fortifications

 Collection — Box: 1
Call Number: MS J3


36 plans of late 17th century fortifications, primarily in the region between France and Belgium.


  • Creation: 1667 - 1686

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.


1 box (1 case + 1 oversize folder with drawings of 39 fortifications ) : Ornamentation: Ink and watercolor; occasional pencil construction-lines. Some with key, some with names on plan, some without names of features. Some elaborate titles. Plans always include fortifications, watercourses, roads; often mountains, woods, marsh; occasionally buildings in perspective; once streets (unnamed). Scale (often in thoises). Pagination: Each plan on separate sheet, folded once: unfolded sheet ca. 53cm high, 77-91 cm wide. Formerly bound; formed part of numbered series of which Verdun was no. 66. Material: Paper watermarked with columbier and chaplet, countermarked Cusson and BQC. Scribe: Unsigned. Paper from Auvergne

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

39 plans of late 17th century fortifications, primarily on the France Belgium border: Ath A[?](Belgium), Amiens (Somme), Antwerp (Belgium), port of Agde (Hérault), Ardres (Pas-de-Calais), Abbeville (Somme), Avesnes-sur-Helpe (Nord).. Bapaume (Pas-de-Calais), Brest (Finistère), Béthune (Pas-de-Calais), Boulogne-sur-Mer (Pas-de-Calais, Bouchain (Nord), Charleville & Mézières (Ardennes), Charleroi (Belgium), Sierck (Moselle), Condé sur l'Escaut (Nord); [environs], Port Louis and environs (Morbihan) [present Lorient], Châlon-sur-Saône (Saône-et-Loire), Doullens (Somme) Dendermonde [or Termonde] (Belgium) La Fère (Aisne), Guise (Aisne), Gravelines (Nord), Hesdin (Pas-de-Calais), Ham (Somme) , Landrecies (Nord), Nieuport (Belgium), Namur (Belgium), Oudenaarde (Belgium), Peronne (Somme), Pinerolo (Piedmont, Italy) "Pignerole"-identification not certain], Le Quesnoy (Nord), Stenay (Meuse), Sedan (Ardennes), J St. Quentin (Aisne), St. Omer (Pas-de-Calais), Toul (Meurthe-et-Moselle), Toulon (Var), Verdun (Meuse).

Fourteen of these places were fortified by Vauban (Vauban, Sebastian Le Prestre de (1633-1707)); many of the others were fortified under Louis XIV, and superficial research does not rule out Vauban; but he had a hand in 160 forts.


Charleroi founded
After 1667
When Ath became an octagon
(Agde) Canal du Midi not shown [but would it show?]
Stenay redone by Vauban
Before 1686
(Charleville) Mont Olympe not yet razed
Vauban fortified Namur [but are these V's fortifications?]
Pinerolo not yet demolished
Sedan smaller than EB plan
Lorient not yet official name
(Chalon) Canal du Centre not shown

Physical Location


Other Finding Aids

For a detailed description of many of the maps, see

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Jacques Rosenthal, 1960?

Guide to the Collection of late 17th-century French Fortification Plans
French fortifications
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1964; revised by ksc, 2006. Finding aid encoded by skt, 2006.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Collection of late 17th-century French Fortification Plans, Department of Special Collections, MS J3, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States