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Ralph E. Giesey Papers

Identifier: RG99.0095

Scope and Contents

This collection consists primarily of the research materials used by Professor Ralph E. Giesey for his extensive research project, entitled Projet Fox. (The name was derived by Giesey from the southern French village Fox-Amphoux, in which he did much of his research work in the 1970s.)  

Projet Fox is a major examination of French medieval and early modern family inheritance and succession law. Giesey undertook the project with, as he admits, a highly polemical motive - he wishes to explore the role of hereditary plutocracy in our own times., and the project studies French heriditary transmission of great wealth with an eye to such wealth transfer in the modern day.

The collection contains Giesey's Project Bibliographical Files, which consist of many of the articles, reprints and other sources Giesey consulted in the course of the project, arranged alphabetically by author. Also contained are numerous Source Materials consisting of reproduced copies of French legal and historical treatises, as well as a Subject File consisting of handwritten notes and jottings from Giesey. The file is arranged alphabetically by subject.

The last box in the collection contains Giesey's typewritten transcription of the 1565 Latin text Franco-Gallia, by Francois Hotman, sieur de Villiers Saint Paul. Accompanying this manuscript is a photocopy of the Library of Congress copy of the book itself.


  • 1944-1987


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

Ralph Giesey is a Professor Emeritus in History at the University of Iowa. He is a noted scholar of medieval and early modern French legal and social history. Among Giesey's works are "Le rôle méconnu de la loi salique: La succession royale, XIVe-XVI e siècles" (2007), "The Royal Funerary Ceremony in Renaissance France"(1960), "Rulership in France, 15th-17th centuries" (2004), "Le roi ne meurt jamais : les obsèques royales dans la France de la Renaissance" (1987), "If not, not : the oath of the Aragonese and the legendary laws of Sobrarbe" (1968), and "The juristic basis of dynastic right to the French throne" (1961).


4.25 linear feet


Includes Hotomanni's Francogallia (originally the only existing portion of the collection.) Donated to the collection in September 2008 are the research files for Giesey's extensive and decades-long Projet Fox, a study of medieval and early modern French.

Method of Acquisition

The bulk of this collection was donated by Ralph E. Giesey in the autumn of 2008.

Processing Information

B Partially Processe
Jeremy Brett
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242