We are sad to announce the death of Jean-Yves Sarazin, director of the Department of Maps and Plans at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, after a long illness, on 4 September 2016. He was 49.
After his training at the Ecole Nationale des Chartes and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Sciences de l’Information et des Bibliothèques (ENSSIB), he began immediately at the Department of Maps and Plans in 1995, becoming its director in 2010.
He worked for many years with Jean Boutier on the catalogue Les plans de Paris, des origines (1493) à la fin du XVIIIe siècle: études, carto-bibliographie et catalogue collectif, which appeared in 2007, and curated two exhibitions and their catalogues, Paris, Rêves de capitale (BnF, 2003) and Le Paris des Lumières (Archives nationales, 2005). After early work on notarial archives, he published numerous scholarly books and articles on the history of Geography and the history of Paris. He went on to direct two influential and important cartographical exhibitions, notably L’Âge d’or des cartes marines (The Golden Age of Maritime Maps), at the BnF in 2012-13, and Made in Algeria at the MUCEM (Museum of Mediterranean civilisations), Marseille, in 2016.
Jean-Yves Sarazin was an open-minded, ceaselessly inquisitive and dynamic director of the Map Library, who was at ease with all forms of transmission and all kinds of audience. He was equally comfortable in front of a scholarly conference or a school group. He was as committed to publications for a broader readership as to public lectures and debate. He was as impassioned by the conservation of ancient maps and manuscripts as by new digital methods.
His colleagues, his friends, all those who had the good fortune to work with him, share the sadness of his wife, his daughter and his family.