As Abbé Pierre’s sole legatee, Emmaus International has the responsibility of promoting its founder´s ideas and works and protecting his memory. It holds Abbé Pierre´s personal archives, which it manages and promotes, along with those belonging to the whole Emmaus movement. 

In order to preserve and make them accessible to researchers, Emmaus International deposited the archives at the National World of Work Archives (ANMT) in Roubaix in December 2000, in the presence of Abbé Pierre. 

The responsibilities are split into several areas: 

On a global scale, this is a colossal and complex task as Abbé Pierre has become such a well-known figure and a leading example in the fight against poverty and injustice. 


Archives nationales du monde du travail 
78 Bd du Général Leclerc 59100 Roubaix (France)
Phone: 03 20 65 38 03 

Find out more about the archives of Abbé Pierre and the movement

Find out more about the archives of Abbé Pierre and the movement

Two hundred linear metres of Abbé Pierre and Emmaus International´s archives have been deposited at the ANMT – paper documents, the oldest of which date from 1927, a photo library, posters, sound recordings and audio-visual material. The archive inventory and many digitised documents are available on the ANMT website.

The archives currently deposited at the ANMT represent only a portion of the Emmaus movement’s archives. Many of these archives are in the homes of individuals or member groups, or have been deposited in local public archives in France or other countries. Emmaus International is working to identify, save and make an inventory of all these archives, with the help of many volunteers.

In 2012, Emmaus International opened its archives for the first time and entrusted Bayard Editions with the publication of a substantial work entitled Inédits (Unpublished), which brings together Abbé Pierre’s combat texts, intimate writings and correspondence. Two other books were published in the same year: L´abbé Pierre, Mes amis, au secours! (Découvertes Gallimard) and the biography L’abbé Pierre, un homme libre (Le Dauphiné libéré, collection Les Patrimoines); these two works benefited from a rich iconography from our archives. 

To celebrate the centenary of the birth of Abbé Pierre, the ANMT organised a special exhibition from December 2012 to April 2013, with the title, ‘Abbé Pierre, brother to the poor, activist for peace’ taken from the personal statement on one of Abbé Pierre´s CVs. 

Set up in 1994, the exhibition ‘Through the lens of Abbé Pierre’ reveals a little-known and more intimate side of Emmaus International´s founder. The exhibition has been back on display since 2012 at the Abbé Pierre – Emmaus Centre and many other locations, and has stirred a great deal of interest from the public. 

At the end of 2014, Emmaus International published a book of quotations by Abbé Pierre. They address society´s big issues and debates, “Pensées inédites pour un monde plus juste”. This book has been completed and republished in 2019 under the title “Drawing strength from the infinitely small”.