Guilmin / Leconte Street Guides
to 20th Century Paris
Plans de Paris par Arrondissement, etc.(click images for details)
how old? Guilmin related editions bookseller covers
|This is a display of little map books, guides to the streets and sights of Paris in the 20th century, as produced by A. Leconte and his predecessors. I've collected them for years, and I've often seen them described as "n.d." - no date. Actually, this isn't always the case - the date just isn't where you'd expect to find it... (see below)
For a self-guided tour, click on Covers, pick one to start with, and from there you can use the forward and back buttons at the corners of ever page to navigate the entire set... Most images can be enlarged by clicking them.
On the Editions Leconte website (11/2009), we learn that that the Leconte company was founded in 1920 by Jules Leconte, at 15 Quai Saint-Michel, in the 5th arrondissement. So, for a start, we can assume that any book indicating J. Leconte as publisher, was published in or after 1920.
Until 1928 the little maroon guides were published by L. Guilmin. Between 1928 and 1931, we find them published by L. Guilmin and A. Leconte jointly; until something earlier appears, it seems that any book indicating A. Leconte was published after 1928. All books with A. Leconte on the title page show the address, 38 rue Sainte-Croix-de-la-Brettonerie (until sometime between 1989 and 1994, when the company completed the move begun in 1980 to Ivry-sur-Seine).
For dating Guilmin and Guilmin/Leconte guides which do not show a year on the printing line, the maps showing the Métro have been used to deduce the approximate year of publication. The Métro effectively began in 1900, and the dates of line creation and expansion, as well as station renaming are often known. Much of the results of Métro research in this regard have been published on Wikipedia, and I have summarized this information into a table included here as the Métro Timeline. (A similar list prepared by Peter B. Lloyd, Paris Metro Maps: timeline, may still be online.)
Here's an example of how the data from the Métro Timeline was used to assign 1913 as the approximate publication date of one of the earliest Guilmin editions in this collection:
(Code (8-XV) means "Line 8, Arrondissement 15", etc.)
This means that while the map (usually the large map, but sometimes the Métro map) shows a change completed in 1913, no later changes are shown, and so the year 1913 can be assigned as the approximate year of publication. Of course, it may have been later, if the changes in the Métro had actually taken place, but the maps hadn't been updated. (As most of these volumes were "assembled", rather than printed together, there are cases where the Métro Timeline shows the attached map to be later than the text block year, like L. Guilmin 1928.)
By considering the various volumes, I've come up with a tentative timeline/tree diagram of publishing company relationships for them...
Summarizing the chart...
1905-[1912-13] L. Guilmin publishes at 90 Blvd. Voltaire
80. Rue Saint Lazare
entre la gare et la Trinité
Paris IXᵉ Tel. Trinité 23-13
229. Bd St Germain
Paris-VIIᵉ Inv 10-24
de la Société Parisienne d'Expansion Chimique
28. Cours Albert-1ᵉʳ
Librairie Blondel la Rougerie
7. Rue Saint Lazare
230. Rue de Rivoli Paris
(image: Dr. Hanno V.J. Kolbe)
Booksellers & Stationers
37. Avenue de l'Opéra, Paris
W.H. Smith & Son
248. Rue de Rivoli, Paris
58. Rue des Ecoles_Paris_Vᵉ
Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville
Rayon de Librairie