Jacob, Lewis

, an industrious French author and bibliographer, was born at Chalons sur Saone, Aug. 20, 1608. He was educated among the Carmelites, and entered into that order in 1625, and, during his studies, the distinguished progress he made in theology and 'he belles lettres, procured him easy access to the libraries and the collections of literary men of eminence, who | contributed very readily to promote his taste for bibliography and literary history. In 1639 he went to Italy, and resided some time at Rome, consulting the libraries, and collecting materials for his future works, particularly his “Bibliotheca Pontificia,” which he undertook at the solicitation of Gabriel Naude“, and published at Lyons in 1642; but this is by far the worst specimen of his talents, and has many ridiculous errors, which we can only ascribe to his having hastily copied erroneous catalogues, without consulting the books themselves. On his return to Paris he became librarian to de Gondi, afterwards cardinal de Retz, and was likewise appointed counsellor and almoner to the king. We find him then librarian to de Harlay, first president of the parliament of Paris, in whose house he lodged, and where he died May 10, 1670. He was a man of great industry and application, and continually employed in inquiries into the history of literature and literary men; but he was deficient in critical taste, undertook too many things at once, and hence committed errors which have thrown a suspicion on the general accuracy of all his works. Niceron has enumerated thirty-seven of his publications, of which the principal are, 1.” Bibliotheca Pontificia,“already mentioned, Lyons, 1643, 4to. 2.” Traite“des plus belles Bibliotheques du monde,Paris, 1644, 8vo. 3. “Bibliotheca Parisina, hoc est Catalogus omnium librorum Parisiis annis 1643 & 1644 inclusive excusorum,Paris, 1645, 4to. This catalogue, for such it simply is, without any thing but the titles of the books, he continued to the year 1650; and by way of supplement compiled his “Bibliotheca Gallica universalis,” for the same or a greater number of years, including books published in other parts of France. 4. “De Claris Scriptoribus Cabilonensibus, libri tres,1652, 4to. Among the many plans which he meditated, one was an universal library of French authors, which he is said to have compiled, but what became of it is not known. If completed, as Mr. Dibdin says, in 1638, it could not have been a work of much accuracy, for he had then scarcely attained his thirtieth year, and published long afterwards works which sufficiently shew that he never attained much experience and correctness in his researches. 1


Niceron, vol. XL, —Chaufepie,Moreri, Morhoff Polyhist, Dibdin’s Bibliomania.