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ACA/Lambert Franco-American Collection


The ACA/Lambert Franco American Collection of Geisel Library holds over 3,000 monographs and periodicals, many of which were collected by Franco-Americans during their early years in New Hampshire.  Holdings include books in French and English, covering a wide variety of topics of interest to the culture, language, and history of the Franco-American community.

Researchers, students, and members of the community are welcome to use the collection.

Questions can be directed to, or phone the library at 603-641-7300.


Mission Statement

The purpose of the ACA/Lambert Franco-American Collection is to develop and promote interest in and study of Franco-American culture and history for the College and the community—both locally and globally.  This is accomplished by collecting, processing, preserving, and making accessible materials relevant to the Franco-American experience.  The collection focuses on Manchester and other areas of New Hampshire and New England, with additional materials representing the history and culture of French North America. 



The collection was originally gathered by Adélard Lambert, who in 1899 as a door-to-door salesman in Manchester, NH witnessed a French-speaking client about to toss a book into her kitchen stove.  Lambert rescued the book, starting a collection of over 4,000 volumes, including many French and French related books unwanted by members of the Manchester community.Logo for Institut Canado Americain, Manchester, New Hampshire

In 1918 "la Collection Lambert" was sold to the Association Canado-Américaine (ACA), a Franco-American fraternal benefits association.  The collection grew to over 8,000 volumes, thanks to generous donors including Msgr. Adrien Verrette.

In 2008 the ACA Library Preservation Consortium, LLC purchased and donated the collection to Geisel Library.   Members of the consortium include Richard Lavalliere, George Lavalliere ('87), and Raymond E. Pinard.   Holdings have been added to Worldcat, and the Special Collection Room was dedicated in August, 2010.  The collection continues to grow, with new books purchased and donated by the community.


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The Collection

According to the 2000 United States Census, over 25% of the population of New Hampshire identified themselves as  French Americans (of French and French-Canadian ancestry).  New Hampshire, and particularly the city of Manchester, have strong historical and cultural French and Québécois roots.  The holdings of the ACA/Lambert Franco-American Collection were originally collected by members of this Franco-American community, thereby reflecting their interests and concerns. 

All material in the ACA/Lambert Franco-American Collection are listed in the Geisel Library Catalog.  Catalog searches can be modified to limit to the location ACA/Lambert Franco-American collection.Gabrielle Roy, French-Canadian author

Book subjects include religion, history, language, the arts, and education.  There is a wide selection of fiction, poetry, and drama.  Authors are predominantly Canadian, American, and French.

Periodicals are local and regional, from both the U.S. and Canada.   Significant titles include: Journaux de la Chambre D'assemblie du Bas-Canada;  Annales Propagation de la Foi; and The Guidon.

Rare Books:  The collection houses many rare and significant titles.  These are available for in-library use only, with library supervision.   Titles includeLes Voyages de la Nouvelle France Occidentale, by Samuel de Champlain (1632); Nouvelle Decouverte d'un Tres Grand Pays Situé Dans l'Amérique  by Luis Hennepin (1698);  Journal Historique Du Dernier Voyage by Henri Joutel (1713). 

The collection continues to grow, with new purchases and donations.  If you would like to be a part of the tradition of contributing to the resources of the collection, please contact the library at, or 603-641-7300 for more information.


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Access and Facilities

Library of Congress. Manchester, NH 1909 Franco-American mill workersThe resources of the collection at Geisel Library are open and available for use by the researchers, students, and the community (rare book use is supervised).  Certain materials may be circulated (to current Saint Anselm College students and faculty) or borrowed by researchers and the public via interlibrary loan.

The ACA/Lambert Franco-American Collection Room is located on the lower level of the library.  Visitors to the collection are asked to register at the Circulation Desk before they examine materials.

All material in the ACA/Lambert Franco-American Collection are listed in the Geisel Library Catalog.  Catalog searches can be modified to limit to the location ACA/Lambert Franco-American collection.

All ACA/Lambert Franco-American Collection holdings are also listed in Worldcat.

Geisel Library is wireless, and laptop computers are allowed in the reading room.  Copying and scanning facilities are available in the library.

The collection is available whenever the library is open.  (Hours and Directions)

Please contact the library at, or 603-641-7300 for more information.


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Links and Other Resources

Robert Perreault's ('72) Portraits article on the ACA/Lambert Franco-American Collection (PDF/2,200 KB)

The Franco-American Centre Manchester, NH

Manchester Historic Association

New Hampshire Historical Society

The Franco-American Women's Institute

Assumption College – French Institute

University of Southern Maine Franco-American Collection

American Canadian Genealogical Society (Manchester, NH)

Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society (MFGS)

Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society

French Canadian Genealogy Research

Le Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques


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