René Durand (1864–1962) was born at Perrusse, Haute-Marne, France, and was educated at the lycée de Chaumont, the lycée Louis-Le Grand in Paris and l’École normale supérieure. He taught Latin at the University of Dijon (1886–87), the University of Lyon (1887–98), l’École normale supérieure (1898–1904) and the Sorbonne (1904–32).
Durand was esteemed as an outstanding teacher and Latinist, as well as a master of ancient Greek and Old French. However, he published almost nothing apart from an occasional review. As one of his colleagues wrote:
Ce savant qui connaissait à fond la langue et la literature latines, n’a pas écrit de these et il n’a presque rien publié, parce qu’il s’est adonné à la passion d’enseigneur et de renseigner.
He devoted a great deal of his time to revising editions of classical texts prepared for the collection Guillaume Budé. He also revised the Dictionnaire latin-français compiled by F. Gaffiot (1934).
The Durand Collection was purchased from the booksellers Stechert-Hafner of New York in 1963.
The Durand Collection comprises about 4000 volumes, mostly published in France in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. It also contains a number of German and Italian works and a few English titles. The great strength of the collection is in editions of Latin and Greek classical texts. There are also a large number of books on ancient history, archaeology, literary criticism, philology and art:
Classique garnier series (14 vols, 1930–40)
Daremberg, Charles and Saglio, E., Dictionnaire des antiquités grecques et romaines d’apres les textes et les monuments (9 vols, 1877–1919)
Dobson William S., Demosthenis et Aeschinis quae extant omnia … (10 vols, 1828)
Estienne, Henri, Thesaurus graecae linguae (8 vols, 1831–65)
Marquardt, Joachim and Mommsen,Theodor, Handbuch der Römischen Alterthumer (10 vols, 1876–82)
Pro Alesia (1906–32)
Revue des etudes grecques (1898–1961)
Revue des etudes latines (1923–35).
The books in the Durand Collection have been catalogued individually and integrated in the general collection. A list of the titles can be found on the acquisition file.
Chabot, G. Durand, René, Dictionnaire de biographie française, vol. 12, Librarie Letouzey et Ané, Paris, 1970, p. 682.
Saint-Denis, E. de, René Durand (1864–1962), Bulletin de l’Association Guillaume Budé, 4th series, no. 3, October 1962, pp. 275–8.