Monique Pelletier was born in 1934. She is a graduate of the Ecole des Chartes (National School of Palaeography and Archival Studies), the French school created in 1821 which contributes to the professional training of executives (chief archivists, librarians and curators) responsible for preserving and making available France’s cultural heritage.
Monique Pelletier obtained her diploma of Archivist Palaeographer after defending her PhD on the “Great Council from Charles VII to François 1st”. Her studies on the history of cartography are founded on her large knowledge of the French monarchy and its institutions in the XVI century, a particularly complex period in Europe history.
Appointed as Conservator at the French National Library in 1960, she was first in charge of developing the Book Catalogue of the Library (1960-1969). In 1976 she became Chief of the Department of Maps and Plans, and transformed her department into a modern and open map library, encouraging and herself participating in the research activity on the history of cartography. These activities pushed her to contribute actively to several international networks (IFLA, LIBER, IMAGO MUNDI and the ICA).
Within ICA, she succeeded Helen Wallis to lead the Commission of History of Cartography from 1987 to 1995. She also led the French Committee of Cartography from 1988 to 1998. Today as an Honorary Member of the Committee she is directing the publication of the journal Le Monde des Cartes. Always keenly involved in her research activities, she has participated in conferences, organised meetings and published many reports.
Her bibliography is lengthy and includes major volumes on cartographic development in France. It is summarized in a book produced for her retirement and focused on her career in cartography: Monique PELLETIER Tours et contours de la Terre : itinéraires d’une femme au cœur de la cartographie (Monique Pelletier – Rounds around the Earth : the itinerary of a woman in the heart of cartography), Presse de l’ENPC, 1999.
Her most recent book, published in 2009, is entitled: De Ptolémée à La Guillotière XV-XVIe siècles. Des cartes pour la France : pourquoi? comment? (From Ptolemy to La Guillotière, XV-XVI century: maps for France, why, how?), CTHS Edition, 2009.