Mångge si Levesque?
If anyone knows how I can contact Rodrigue Levesque, please let me know.
He researched, translated and published the History of Micronesia series, which is an amazing set of primary source documents dealing with Micronesia. It is a collection of information that has yet to be fully incorporated into how we tell the history of our islands.
The books, when they were published were gof guaguan, very expensive, at least $100 each. But they were massive. When I was a graduate student at UOG, spending time at the University of Guam Micronesian Area Research Center, I loved reading through the lepblon Levesque siha.
They featured completely different perspectives from the traditional or canonical history of the Marianas, but using not just the official histories or accounts of events, but also letters by priests, government officials, soldiers and sailors, that he was able to collect in his research.
A few years ago Levesque finished his History of Micronesia series, with the volumes being split between physical printed copies and digital versions on CD.
But I haven't been able to find information on where I can get his books. A website listed in the article below no longer works. Some of his books were printed by University of Hawai'i Press, but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.
If anyone knows how to get ahold of Mr. Levesque or how to order a complete set of his books put fåbot ayuda yu', either for myself or even for the Guam Museum's collection.
Levesque completes sprawling Micronesian Encyclopedia
By Dennis B. Chan |
Posted on Jul 18 2014
Former Saipan resident Rod Rod Levesque has finished what he calls his masterpiece: the 48-volume encyclopedia A History of Micronesia: A Collection of Source Documents.
Levesque, who described himself as a translator, researcher, writer, and one-time UN consultant, said he was first inspired to tell the story of Micronesia in the 1980s.
He said he was flying over Micronesia to Manila in 1981when he learned the United States had allowed tourists into Micronesia for the first time. Levesque, a world-traveling Canadian, saw an opportunity. He changed his flight plans when he arrived in Honolulu and boarded a plane to Micronesia, landing on Johnston Island, where he recalls being told, “No photographs.”
According to Levesque, it was this experience of intrigue and mystery and the lack of history about Micronesia, compared to Polynesia and even Melanesia, that inspired him to start his decades-long project.
“I decided to let the world know about Micronesia and its interesting past,” Levesque said.
Over the years he relentlessly pursued the project, scouring archives, libraries, and institutions of a dozen countries and languages to find source material—all of which he photocopied, photographed, or typed into a few laptops.
According to Levesque, he translated 10 of the languages himself but was assisted by other translators for German and Japanese. “My Japanese translator took 10 years to do the work I gave her to do.”
Contents of his encyclopedia include canoe routes used by early Micronesians, the first maps of the Pacific during Columbus’ time, logbooks and narratives of European sailormen traveling through Micronesia in the 1800s, legal documents by colonial Spanish authorities, and personal documents of Catholic officials, like diaries and even poetry. Other documents cover shipwrecks, typhoons, trade, and population statistics.
Series 1 of his encyclopedia spans three centuries, from 1521 to 1819, and consists of 28 volumes.
According to Levesque, each volume of the first series contained more than 700 pages and weighed as much 5 lbs.
Levesque claims he invested over $1 million in printing and publishing the books, which were made available for distribution by University of Hawaii Press during the mid-90s.
But because of a lack of funds, Series 2, which would have completed his work, was put on hold.
Because of this, Levesque said he decided to publish the final volumes as seven electronic book or CD-ROMS, as soon as specialized scanners became available to convert them to pdf files.
From 1819 to 1945, Series 2 continues where the first series left off and closes at the end of World War II.
“I have reproduced facsimiles of documents about Micronesian languages, and other specialized topics, such as rare Spanish maps and charts and a couple of entire atlases of the islands of Micronesia,” he said.
As an international consultant, Levesque has worked for the United Nations in African countries like Zaire, Ghana, and Somalia, to name a few. He also served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 17 years and worked for the Canadian International Development Agency in Latin American countries.
The printed volumes for the first series cost $100 to $110. For the final 28 volumes, the e-books cost $500, plus $20 postage.
Levesque lived on Saipan part-time between 1984 and 1986, when his wife Virginia was director of the School of Nursing. He can be contacted at email@example.com or at Levesque Publications, 189 Dufresne, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada J8R 3E1.