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The library enriches its special collections

The library enriches its special collections
27 Feb. 2023

Several recently acquired documents have joined the library's special collection. They concern a student from the first class (1794), another from the class of 1810, Lazare Carnot and his two grandsons Marie François Sadi (X1858) and Adolphe (X1857), and finally Henri Poincaré.

They illustrate several aspects of life at the École Polytechnique and the careers of its students.

First, two volumes of sketches by a student (Guilland) in 1810-1812 show the  graphic work done at that time, whether in geometry, topography or drawing.

Secondly, a correspondence between a student of the first class (1794), Carette, and his family, notably his brother and son (Ernest Carette X1828), gives us some insight into a polytechnic family under several political regimes, as the letters cover the period 1795- 1842. The participation of the Ecole polytechnique in the Egyptian expedition is mentioned (letter of 8 prairial year 6) and its consequences on the organization of the school.

Several documents also illustrate the contribution of several members of the Carnot family to history and science.
Lazare Carnot was one of the founders of the École.
Léonard Sadi (X1812), his son, was the first theoretician of thermodynamics.
His two grandsons, Marie François Sadi (X1857) and Adolphe (X1858), were respectively president of the Republic and member of the Academy of Sciences.

Finally, letters exchanged between Henri Poincaré (X1873) and Charles-Ange Laisant (X1859) shed light on the still poorly known links between these two mathematicians.

These documents were acquired thanks to the patronage of the Société des amis du musée, de la bibliothèque et de l'histoire de l'École polytechnique (SABIX), an association under the law of 1901, and the Carnot Foundation.