Photographing the Dark: Félix Nadar’s Descent into the Paris Catacombs

Today the Paris Catacombs are illuminated by electric lights and friendly guides. But when Félix Nadar descended into this “empire of death” in the 1860s artificial lighting was still in its infancy: the pioneering photographer had to face the quandary of how to take photographs in the subterranean dark. Allison C. Meier explores Nadar’s determined[…]

When Paris Was Reno: American Divorce Tourism in the City of Light, 1920-1927

Traveling to Paris for a divorce became all the rage in the early 1920s. It was one of the Franco-American scandals of the 1920s. It brought Americans on an eastward ho to undo in Paris what had been wrought in America.  It led to questionable legal practices at the Paris bar and diplomatic tensions over[…]

A History of the Medieval University of Paris

The historic University of Paris first appeared in the second half of the twelfth century. Introduction The historic University of Paris (French: Université de Paris) first appeared in the second half of the twelfth century, but was in 1970 reorganized as 13 autonomous universities (University of Paris I–XIII). The university is often referred to as the Sorbonne or La Sorbonne after the collegiate institution (Collège[…]