Research Guides

French and Francophone Studies


Welcome!
Find basic resources on French and Francophone Studies.  Please contact the subject specialist librarian for more help!
Subject Specialist

Arthur Dunkelman

Katherine Villa

  • Peer Research Consultant / UGrow Fellow 2020-21
  • kkv8@miami.edu
  • (305) x

Beatrice Skokan

  • Head of Manuscripts & Archives Management, Curator of Caribbean Collections & Subject Liaison for French and Francophone Studies
  • bskokan@miami.edu
  • (305) 284-3580
Album of Images from the Kislak Collection
By the end of August 1944, the Free French Forces and the U.S. Army were advancing on Paris, which was under threat of total destruction by Nazi occupiers. Using materials from the late Jay I. Kislak’s landmark gift to the University of Miami Special Collections, along with archival film and sound, in the video presentation above, Curator Arthur Dunkelman will tell the stories of two individuals whose bravery, commitment, and sacrifice during extraordinary times demonstrates the power of the human spirit to overcome fear and risk all for the cause of freedom.
Subject Specialist

Arthur Dunkelman

Katherine Villa

  • Peer Research Consultant / UGrow Fellow 2020-21
  • kkv8@miami.edu
  • (305) x

Beatrice Skokan

  • Head of Manuscripts & Archives Management, Curator of Caribbean Collections & Subject Liaison for French and Francophone Studies
  • bskokan@miami.edu
  • (305) 284-3580
About the Jay I. Kislak Collection
Jay I. Kislak (1922 – 2018), a real estate entrepreneur and mortgage banker, was born and raised in Hoboken, New Jersey. Soon after receiving a degree in economics from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania in 1942, he enlisted in the Navy, was commissioned as a pilot, and served as a naval aviator for the duration of WWII. After the war, he joined the family real estate and insurance business. In 1953, Mr. Kislak moved to Miami and founded the J. I. Kislak Mortgage Corporation. The Kislak Organization, now based in Miami Lakes Florida, maintains extensive operations in real estate and financial services. Mr. Kislak had an enduring interest in history and culture. Over the course of more than 50 years he and his wife, Jean, assembled a collection of manuscripts, rare books, maps, and cultural artifacts documenting the history and cultures of the early Americas. His vision for the collection - to promote public awareness of and scholarly research - led him to establish the Jay I. Kislak Foundation in 1984 and to donate a large portion of its holdings to the Library of Congress in 2004.  The Kislak exhibition, Exploring the Early Americas, opened in 2007 and has been viewed by millions of people. A 2013 contribution to the University of Pennsylvania helped to establish the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts in the Van Pelt- Dietrich Library. In 2016 the University of Miami and Miami Dade College received a landmark gift of the remaining portion of the Collection, more than 4,000 items. Housed in the University of Miami Libraries’ Special Collections in the Kislak Center, it is available to students, scholars, and the community. The Kislak Collection complements the University’s role as a hemispheric geographic and intellectual crossroads, connecting institutions, individuals, and ideas across the Americas and throughout the world. Although Jay Kislak is no longer with us, his legacy continues to inspire.

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