Conserving La cosmographie vniuerselle d'André Theuet
A longtime friend and former Governor of the JCB, France Gagnon Pratte, has made a generous gift toward the conservation of the first volume of La cosmographie vniuerselle d'André Theuet, a book printed in Paris in 1575. Thevet was a Franciscan monk who obtained the position of cosmographer to the French court; after a brief visit to the New World in the 1550s, he completed this cosmographical treatise, a landmark account of the known world at the time.This rare volume was showcased in Autour du Monde: France, the Americas, and the Globe, a 2016 exhibit at the JCB that explored France’s signal achievements in North America as well as those less familiar settlements in Brazil, Guiana, the Caribbean, and the Falkland Islands. More recently, this volume was used for research and discussed at a weekly fellow's talk by Sergio Escribano-Ruiz, Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of the Basque Country, and current Alexander O. Vietor Fellow at the JCB working on Basque fisheries in the New World.
The back cover and spine of Thevet’s Cosmographie Universelle have separated from the text block, revealing a hidden structure of hundreds of folio leaves sewn together on six cords. All six have snapped near the end of the text, leaving small batches of pages detached from the rest of the book. The JCB is grateful for the opportunity to restore this important volume.