Infant and Child Mortality in the Past

Infant and Child Mortality in the Past

Infant and Child Mortality in the Past

Infant and Child Mortality in the Past


This volume examines the trends of early-age mortality across time and space and the methodological and theoretical problems inherent in such studies. The approach is interdisciplinary, with contributions from demography, biology, medicine, and economic and social history. The geographical range encompasses Europe, North America, Japan, and India.


A centre for studies, exchanges, and researches created in 1984 in Lyon, the Centre Jacques Cartier has manifested a firm commitment to promoting and sup-porting international seminars in demography. Indeed, six meetings, involving top specialists at world level, have been held under the auspices of the Centre over a period of less than ten years on a variety of themes: population registers for demography and genetics, intergenerational demography, infant mortality, demographic systems, minorities, and population ageing.

The present volume contains revised versions of a selection of papers presented at one of these seminars, held within the Cinquièmes Entretiens du Centre Jacques Cartier, under the patronage of the Centre Jacques Cartier, the Université de Montréal, and the Historical Demography Committee of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population. Around the theme of 'Infant and child mortality in the past', a steering committee which included Alain Bideau, Bertrand Desjardins, David Reher, Jean-Pierre Bardet, and Roger Schofield organized a strong programme to which this book is a tribute today; its different chapters are more or less structured on the seminar sessions.

From 6 to 10 October 1992, science benefited from a most enjoyable environment provided by the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, usually devoted to music, which was graciously made available to organizers by the City of Montreal. Resources of the patrons were supplemented by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and from the Secretary of State of Canada, by the collaboration of the Federation of Canadian Demographers, and by services rendered by members of the Programme de recherche en démographie historique of the Université de Montréal. It is of course this generous support which enabled the seminar to take place.

The long and tedious process leading to publication was supervised in Montreal by Bertrand Desjardins, under the kindly guidance of the IUSSP's Marc Lebrun. Translation of six texts from French to English was ably done by Susan Dalton and Benoît Ouellette. Francine Provencher of the Département de démographie of the Université de Montréal did the typing rendered necessary by the neglectful character of human nature and the limits still present in the world of wordprocessing. Finally, Annick Desjardins patiently put everything together into a coherent manuscript. May all find here grateful acknowledgement of their diligence and conscientiousness.

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