James Joyce and Sylvia Beach at Shakespeare and Company, 1925.

James Joyce and Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company.

In 1919, an American named Sylvia Beach opened a bookshop and lending library in Paris.

She called it Shakespeare and Company, and it soon became the meeting place of the Lost Generation—the community of writers and artists that included Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, and Ezra Pound.

Mapping Expatriate Paris: The Shakespeare and Company Lending Library Project (MEP) is a digital humanities project at Princeton University that uses Beach’s archives to recreate the world of the Lost Generation. MEP tracks the membership of the Shakespeare and Company lending library to reveal what its members read and where they lived. MEP also captures how the expatriate community in Paris changed from the end of World War I to the German Occupation of France in 1940, and the community’s connections to French writers and artists—André Gide, Simone de Beauvoir, and Jacques Lacan, among others—who frequented the library.