The Grand Chancery of the Legion of Honor creates and maintains a great deal of archival material. Biographies of over two million honorees, maison d’éducation student records, historical documents on decorations and on the Legion of Honor's buildings—these constitute an extremely rich patrimony.
Honorees and decorations
Dossiers of honorees cover a period of over 200 years, from the Legion of Honor's creation in 1802 up until today.
The biographies of 900,000 members of the Legion of Honor, a million holders of the Military Medal and 330,000 members of the National Order of Merit are catalogued.
These records have great value for historians and sociologists, as well as for everyone interested in genealogy.
The Grand Chancery also has precious documents on the creation and development of each of the awards under its management.
Maisons d’éducation of the Legion of Honor
The 60,000 dossiers of students and staff bear witness to daily life in the maisons d’éducation, going back to 1805, when they were established. Documents on these schools' creation by Napoleon I and the successive regulations allow us to understand the evolution over time.
The Museum includes a considerable body of historical archives on the French orders, from the Ancien Régime to today. Items on the museum's creation and the gifts and legacies that have enriched its collections recount its history since it was opened in 1925.
Hôtel de Salm, Castle of Ecouen, former Royal Abbey of Saint-Denis, former Couvent des Loges in Saint-Germain-en-Laye—the prestigious buildings of the Legion of Honor have been the object of numerous adaptations and restorations in every era. A history of these locations and architectural practices emerges from the conserved documents.
Access to the Archives
The archives of the Grand Chancery are undergoing a history of French decorations program of conservation and enhancement.
Currently, the only accessible resources are:
- archives of honorees of the Legion of Honor, the Military Medal and the National Order of Merit
- archives on the history of French decorations, from the Ancien Régime and the 19th and 20th centuries