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Michèle Bernstein papers

 Collection
Call Number: GEN MSS 1556

Content Description

Collection of correspondence, writings, and photographs, largely dating from the 1950s and 1960s, documenting Michèle Bernstein’s relationship with the leading figure of the Internationale Situationniste (I.S.), Guy Debord, and her involvement with the movement. Personal papers contain 19 letters from Debord to Bernstein sent circa 1956-1968 discussing the activities of the I.S., 22 autograph manuscript poems by Debord addressed to Bernstein in 1964, postcards, and photographs of Bernstein, Debord, and others. Writings include annotated proofs and original maquettes for issues no. 1-9 of the Internationale situationniste journal, for 3 monographs of the Skandinavisk institut for sammenlignende vandalism’s Bibliothèque d'Alexandrie series, and for various situationist tracts.

Dates

  • 1952-1989
  • Majority of material found within 1958 - 1964

Creator

Language of Materials

In French.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Box 7 (Guy Debord poems): Restricted until 2022 January 1. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Conditions Governing Use

The Michèle Bernstein Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Michèle Bernstein and Didier Lecointre-Dominique Drouet on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2019.

Arrangement

Organized into two series: I. Correspondence and Personal Papers, 1952-1989. II. Situationist Publications, 1955-1964.

Extent

4.05 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.mbernstein

Overview

Collection of correspondence, writings, and photographs, largely dating from the 1950s and 1960s, documenting Michèle Bernstein’s relationship with the leading figure of the Internationale Situationniste (I.S.), Guy Debord, and her involvement with the movement. Personal papers contain 19 letters from Debord to Bernstein sent circa 1956-1968 discussing the activities of the I.S., 22 autograph manuscript poems by Debord addressed to Bernstein in 1964, postcards, and photographs of Bernstein, Debord, and others. Writings include annotated proofs and original maquettes for issues no. 1-9 of the Internationale situationniste journal, for 3 monographs of the Skandinavisk institut for sammenlignende vandalism’s Bibliothèque d'Alexandrie series, and for various situationist tracts.

Biographical / Historical

Michèle Bernstein (1932- ) is a French writer. She was a founding member of the avant-garde group Internationale situationniste from 1957-1967, a member of the editorial committee of the Internationale situationniste journal, and the first wife of the movement’s leading figure, Guy Debord (1931-1994).

While a student at La Sorbonne, Paris, Bernstein associated with the Internationale lettriste and contributed to its newsletter Potlatch. Bernstein and Guy Debord met in 1952 and married in 1954. In 1957, Debord and Bernstein were among a group of break-away Lettrists who formed the Internationale situationniste, along with Ralph Rumney of the London Psychogeographical Association, members of the International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus, Asger Jorn, Giuseppe Pinot-Gallizio, and Piero Simondo, and others. Bernstein then wrote for the Internationale situationniste journal, and authored two roman à clef novels about the I.S.’s inner circle, Tous les chevaux du roi (1960) and La Nuit (1961).

Bernstein left the I.S. in 1967 and, though separated before, Debord and Bernstein divorced in 1972.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization. Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Title
Guide to the Michèle Bernstein Papers
Author
Ève Bourbeau-Allard
Date
July 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.