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Lépine, Pierre, Cartes Anciennes: cartes originales ou reproduites.  Montréal: Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec, 1994. 11 x 8½ inches; paper; 348 pp; 20 illustrations. ISBN: 2-551-13274-6. (Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec, Section de l’édition, 1700 rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, P.Q. 2HX 3K6, Canada.  Can $42.80)

The provincial library has provided a core listing of 48 atlases, over 1600 maps alphabetically by author, and related materials which represents a part of the collection having a bearing on Quebec.  These include some maps of France and spillover from atlases that cover other parts of North America.  All are cross-indexed by placenames, map-makers, titles, and dates.  A gaff was noticed, however: Laurie & Whittle, the firm, appears under “R” for Robert Laurie.  A visitor to the collection will know what to expect: many of the earliest maps are in facsimile, with others in microfiche and photo reproductions.  Important works, like Champlain’s maps, and most eighteenth century examples are present in the original.

The sheer number of entries way exceeds that found in Early Printed Maps of Canada 1540-1703, but Kershaw’s volume is more generous in  illustration and commentary.  For Anglophones, the fact that Cartes Anciennes, is entirely in French (other than the verbatim titles) should not prove difficult, for its strength is in the indices and it is well organized.  Undoubtedly, these books will work well in tandem.

Jon K. Rosenthal, 1994
 

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