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Madeleine Blaess Documents

Reference code: 296

Scope and Contents

Documents relating to the early life and career of Madeleine Blaess, Lecturer and later Senior Lecturer in the Department of French at the University of Sheffield.

The collection consists of diaries, personal papers and memorabilia from Madeleine Blaess´s school career in York, through her university days at Leeds to her academic career in the Department of French at the University of Sheffield. Notably, it also includes a journal written during Madeleine Blaess´s years in Paris during the German Occupation (296/3/42).


  • Creation: 1845 - 1989


Conditions Governing Access

Available to all researchers, by appointment


University of Sheffield

Biographical / Historical

Madeleine Blaess (1918-2003) was born in Alsace-Lorraine, France on 19th June 1918. When she was an infant, her parents moved to York in England. She attended the Bar Convent Secondary School, and went to Leeds University to study French in 1936. She graduated with a First Class Honours degree in 1939, and was awarded both the Ruston Scholarship and a University Research Scholarship. In October 1939, Madeleine Blaess enrolled at the University of Paris and at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes. In January 1940 she (in her own words on the University of Leeds Alumni website) "missed the last boat home". She remained in Paris until January 1945, obtaining the Licence-ès-Lettres in January 1944. From January to June 1941, she was lectrice in the English department of the University of Paris, and taught English part-time at the McGregor School of Languages on the Boulevard Montmartre. From June 1941 to December 1944, she worked at the Centre de Documentation de la Bibliothèque Nationale. Between February 1945 and June 1948, Madeleine Blaess was a lecturer for the Ministry of Information, carried out research at the Sorbonne and acted as tutor in the British Institute Correspondence Course for the Licence-ès-Lettres. In October 1948, she was appointed lecturer in the Department of French at the University of Sheffield, where she remained until her retirement in 1983, having concentrated her research and teaching on medieval French. Madeleine Blaess died in 2003.


10 Box(es)

Language of Materials





Custodial History

By bequest in July 2003


'320 rue St Jacques' (2018) by Wendy Michallat, contains translations and transcripts of Blaess' diaries and is available to download for free
Jacky Hodgson
Description rules
International Standard for Archival Description - General
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Western Bank Library
University of Sheffield
Western Bank
Sheffield South Yorkshire S10 2TN United Kingdom
+44 (0) 114 222 7299