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Digital Collections : The André Jeunet Collection

André Jeunet Collection

About the Collection

This digital collection consists of 210 images of French soldier André Jeunet (1896-1979), fellow soldiers, and civilians during World War I.  Most of the photographs were taken by Jeunet while he was serving in northeastern France (1915-1917) and the Balkans (1917-1918).

André Jeunet was born in Bourg-la-Reine, a suburb south of Paris, on September 20, 1896. He was drafted into the French army when he was eighteen years old and served as a Simple Soldat from March 1915 to April 1919. Jeunet trained in Autun and, even though he was an avowed pacifist, fought in the trenches with the 139e Régiment d’Infanterie at Somme, Verdun, and Chaulnes in France, and later with the 34e Régiment d’Infanterie Coloniale near Monastir in the Balkans.

After World War I, Jeunet worked as an architect and married Aimée Révil-Signorat with whom he had one child, Cécile, born in 1924. When Cécile was a teenager, Jeunet was drafted back into the French army serving once again as a Simple Soldat, this time in World War II.  Near the end of that war, Cécile met her future husband, Louisville, Kentucky native Richard Spalding, stationed at Aèrodrôme Farman near Versailles, servicing SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force). The couple reunited in 1948 and married in Paris. In 1949, they moved to Louisville, where Spalding became a professor of music at the University of Louisville. André and Aimée Jeunet visited the Spaldings in Louisville in 1951 and officially immigrated to the United States in 1958. André continued his architectural career with several Louisville firms, including Joseph & Joseph.  He died in Louisville on September 3, 1979, and his wife passed away in 1990.

The André Jeunet Collection in the University of Louisville Photographic Archives is physically comprised of two accessions. The first (ULPA 2004.003) contains 205 flexible film negatives (1 5/8 x 2 ½ inches each) with images that Jeunet captured using a Kodak vest pocket camera and 127 film. The second accession (ULPA 2010.003) consists of scans of three photographic prints and three postcards which Jeunet saved from his military days. One is a formal portrait taken at "Grand Magasins du Louvre" in 1916. Another print (ULPA 2010.003.002) was made from a negative in the first collection (ULPA 2004.003.044) and inscribed by Jeunet. The exact origin of the other four photographs is not known, but three were taken during his initial military training and printed as postcards, presumably for mailing to loved ones.

Both accessions were donated to the University of Louisville by Cécile Jeunet Spalding so that they would be preserved for use by future students of history.  Mrs. Spalding also provided the university with translated excerpts from both a diary that Jeunet kept during World War I and letters he sent to his family.

Conditions of Use

The University of Louisville welcomes fair use of this website and its contents. If you wish to publish, broadcast, or publicly display these materials, please notify Archives and Special Collections. In addition, it is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions, which may include paying fees for commercial use. For further information about permissions, use, and ordering reproductions, see Order Reproductions, or contact Archives and Special Collections, University of Louisville.

To cite an image from this collection, please use the format:

[Image Number], André Jeunet Collection, Photographic Archives, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky.

To cite the digital version, add its Reference URL (found by following the link in the header above the digital file).


Many of Jeunet's images were originally scanned in 2005 and 2006 by Vicki Niehaus, with help from Susan Knoer and James C. “Andy” Anderson, in preparation for an exhibition at the Frazier International History Museum, May 19 through September 4, 2006. The exhibit, titled “André Jeunet: Images of WWI by a Pacifist Soldier,” featured forty-seven photographs with translated excerpts from Jeunet’s writings. It was curated by Brian J. Davis, Head of Education at the Frazier, who later wrote a thesis on the subject, “André Jeunet: Expanded Educational Opportunities for a Photographic Exhibition.”

Most of the negatives were rescanned in 2009 by Susan Finley on an Epson Expression 1680 as 600 ppi TIFF images in 8-bit grayscale sized at 10 inches on the long side. The prints and postcards were scanned by Jennifer Hambley in March 2010 on the same scaner as 600 ppi TIFF images sized at 10 inches on the long side. Two prints were scanned in 8-bit grayscale. The third print and three photographic postcards were scanned in 24-bit RGB. All TIFFs were batch converted to JPEGs of "best" quality and resized to 600 pixels in the longest dimension using IrfanView version 4.25, then uploaded to CONTENTdm Digital Collection Management Software.

Susan Finley prepared the metadata in accordance with the University of Louisville Digital Initiatives data dictionary (PDF), using Davis’s work, which included interviews with Jeunet’s family, as well as additional research on content, locations, and dates. All but one of the titles were supplied by the researchers; Chaulnes 25-9-‘16 was written on the negative (ULPA 2004.003.023C) by the photographer.

Terri L. Holtze designed the HTML pages. Dwayne K. Buttler, J.D., provided copyright advice.

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