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Archive: 2021 (6 Posts)

A stick chart of the Marshall Islands.

The Unique Seafaring Charts of the Marshall Islands

Posted by: Cynthia Smith

The Geography and Map Division holds thousands of vintage and antique nautical charts. Among the most compelling navigational charts in our holdings are the traditional stick charts of the Marshall Islands. The first time that I saw them, displayed in shadow boxes, I thought they looked like striking works of modern art. My curiosity led …

A stained glass window showing an image of Saint Brendan.

Searching for Saint Brendan’s Island

Posted by: Cynthia Smith

Over the years I have noticed the placement of Saint Brendan’s Island on historical maps. I became curious about the mythical island and the story behind it. Saint Brendan’s Island was placed in different locations on maps of the Atlantic Ocean. The island was often placed west of England and Ireland. It was also placed …

A picture of Mars with two aliens looking at earth through a telescope.

Observing the Fire Star: Selected Maps of the Red Planet

Posted by: Cynthia Smith

Mars receives more media attention than the other planets in our solar system. People are obsessed with the classic novels The War of the Worlds and The Martian Chronicles. The movies Total Recall and The Martian were huge hits. Mars has polar ice caps, dry river beds and extinct volcanoes, and Martian landscape posters have …