New Acquisition: Educational Cards on Post-Revolutionary French Geography

Bourrut-Lémerie. Analyse Géographique des Départments de la France. Paris: [Bourrut-Lémerie], ca. 1830 2nd ed.

Library Call Number: G1840 B77 1830

Created 4 January 1790, the French departments replaced the country's former provinces, based on regional and historical differences, with a new system designed to bind the regions into a unified nation through a rational administrative structure.This complete set of 90 cards measuring 13cm x 8.3cm includes index cards and 86 hand-coloured engraved cards of the French départments folloowing the revolution. Housed in the original gilt wooden box, each card contains a map of the featured Department and a description of characteristics. The second edition is remarkable for its increased embellishment and lavish illustrations. Though the maps were very similar to those used in the first edition, the second edition relied on entirely new plates to capture additional agricultural and historic details about the departments. You can see a difference between the first and second editions here. There is only one other copy of the second edition of this very rare set of educational cards housed in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.

You can also check out more photos of the cards in our photo album on the ARC Facebook page.

Title card from the Bourrut-LĂ©merie card set
Title card from the Bourrut-Lémerie card set