In the 17th century, printers and booksellers from Lyon moved to Trévoux, in order to circumvent French censorship. Trévoux was not in France at the time; it was the capital of the Souveraineté de Dombes, located on the imperial bank of the Saône. Since the king’s authority was not directly exercised there, certain trades found conditions more favorable to the development of their activity.
In 1671, Anne-Marie-Louise d’Orléans, sovereign of Dombes, granted a printer-librarian from Lyon permission to open a printing works in Trévoux. The business gradually expanded, and the Duc du Maine, successor to Anne-Marie-Louise d’Orléans, brought it to full bloom in the 18th century, when it passed into the hands of Parisian printer-booksellers; its reputation became European. At the beginning of the 18th century, the Compagnie de Trévoux, a group of booksellers founded by Étienne Ganeau, had a staff of around 30 and seven presses. The workshop still seems to operate in fits and starts to the benefit of other Lyonnais and Parisians until the principality of Dombes is annexed to the Kingdom of France in 1762.