BÉGIN, EMILE-AUGUSTE (1802–1888), French physician, historian, and librarian. Bégin, who was born in Metz, studied medicine at the Military College in Strasbourg. He soon gave up his position as a regimental physician in favor of a literary career. His early writing dealt mainly with the history of northeastern France. He became well known for his four-volume Biographie de la Moselle (1829–32) and his literary and political periodical L'Indicateur de l'Est (1830). His historical research embraced Jewish communities, and some of his findings appeared under the title "Recherches pour servir l'histoire des Juifs dans le Nord-Est de la France" in Revue Orientale, 1–2 (1841–42). Bégin settled in Paris in 1846 and became a contributor to publications of the Academy of Medicine. In 1850 he cooperated in the official edition of the papers of Napoleon i and in 1853–54 produced a laudatory five-volume biography, L'Histoire de Napoléon Ier, based on hitherto unpublished personal papers. Napoleon iii rewarded him with an appointment as librarian at the Louvre, where he remained until 1871. In 1874 Bégin became librarian at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.
Dictionnaire de biographie francaise, s.v.; L'Austraisie, 7 (July, 1907), 3–26 (suppl.); Wininger, Biog, 1 (1925), 284.
[Herbert A. Strauss]
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