Every month on the Geography and Map home page, we provide a monthly list of maps that have been scanned and added to the online collections of the Geography and Map Division. As has become tradition (see previous Year in Review posts), to celebrate the end of a year and to ring in the new, I take a look back at the lists of maps that were scanned this past year and choose just a few to share with you!
First up, scanned at the beginning of 2021, is this bird’s eye view map of Vienna, Austria, published in 1778. Attributed to Joseph Daniel von Huber (1730-1788), the map is comprised of 24 separate sheets which, when joined, form one large view of the city measuring 9.5 feet high x 13.5 feet wide. While not the largest map in the collections, it is certainly near the top of the list in terms of size!
Huber was trained as a military engineer and prepared several other large maps of cities in Bohemia and Moravia, including a privately created bird’s-eye view of the city of Prague, the historical capitol of Bohemia. Queen Maria Theresa (1717-1780), the archduchess of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, and Holy Roman Empress, commissioned Huber to produce a similar representation of the city of Vienna. The map is based on observations taken from 1769 to 1773. Huber finished his manuscript map in 1773 and started the process of having copper plates engraved to have it printed. His military deployment to Galicia stalled the project, which delayed the map’s printing until 1778
Topographical relief is represented by hachures, which are short parallel lines that depict hill shading, with their closeness indicating steepness of slope. Buildings are meticulously numbered with corresponding census numbers which allows one to identify the owner or inhabitant of the structures. The Library of Congress acquired the view in 1984 as a giant rolled map. As the map’s huge size made it a challenge for both research and exhibit researchers, transport for exhibits, as well as to store appropriately, a decision was made to section the map into its original 24 sheets.
Also digitized this year were the maps below of Africa and Europe, written in Armenian, and engraved by Father Elia Endasian in 1786. These were scanned to complete the digitization of Endasian’s four-map set of Africa, America, Asia, and Europe. Endasian revolutionized Armenian map-making in the 18th century with this set of four maps in addition to a world map and one of the Ottoman Empire. You can learn more about him and his works in a recent blog post written by a staff member of the African and Middle Eastern Division.
Next in this digitization showcase are several maps from the Pictorial and Propaganda War Map Collection that were scanned between April and June. This is a collection of 180 pictorial and propaganda maps that illustrate events related to World War I, the interwar years, World War II, the formation of the United Nations, and the Cold War. While many of the pieces were created as governmental propaganda, others appeared in commercial publications, including the Star Weekly, Fortune Magazine, the Daily Mail, and the Los Angeles Examiner. Some of the maps were created by famous cartographers, such as Ernest Clegg, Fred W. Rose, Arthur Kampf, Ezra C. Stiles, Richard Edes Harrison, Ernest Dudley Chase, and F.E. Manning. Five maps from this collection were digitized, two of which can be seen below.
Last up in this highlight reel is the panoramic map below of Liverpool, England, made in 1859! Most of the maps in our panoramic map collection are of cities in the United States, which makes this one stand out. Throughout the industrial revolution of the late 18th and early 19th century, Liverpool increased in size and importance, becoming a major port city for both goods and immigrants. At the time of this map, the population of Liverpool had grown to about 400,000. Click on the map to zoom in to see many of the details of the city!
There are so many more fascinating maps to be found in the lists of newly scanned maps from this past year such as a strip map of Broadway in New York City, a tribunal atlas for a case between Great Britain and Venezuela, a puzzle map of Asia, a manuscript map of haciendas in Mexico, and so much more! Take some time this new year to explore the new worlds that can be found through the digitized maps at the Library of Congress.
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