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The Matron of Mesopotamian Antiquities

Gertrude Lowthian Bell (1868–1926) was a British archaeologist, explorer, and diplomat. Proficient in French, German, Hebrew, Persian, and Arabic, and an avid reader and writer, she traveled widely and was able to engage with native populations because of her ability to communicate in many languages and openness to experiencing unfamiliar traditions. She found the Middle […]

As The World Turns: Ellen Eliza Fitz and Her Inventive Globe Mount

As I was organizing globes in our stacks several weeks ago, a note on two of the boxes caught my eye. It said, “This globe sphere was produced by Gilman Joslin, but the significance of this work relates to the mounting which was invented by Ellen Eliza Fitz. Ellen Eliza Fitz patented a mount for […]

Visualizing DC’s Municipal Infrastructure,1890 to 2022

Maps can tell us all kinds of things about how others have viewed and shaped the world – from the borders of ancient empires to the layout of your neighborhood street grid. Today, spatial data commonly powers the maps and applications we use to access basic information about the places we inhabit: opening an app […]

Jules Verne and His Geographical Novels

Jules Verne was a prolific writer. He is often referred to as the “father of science fiction.” Verne became famous for his Voyages Extraordinaires, a series of 54 novels that were originally published by the French publisher and author Pierre-Jules Hetzel. The most widely read novels from the series are Around the World in Eighty […]

Visualizing Injustice: Early NAACP Cartographers and Racial Inequality in America

No good result can come from any investigation which refuses to consider the facts. A conclusion that is based upon a presumption, instead of the best evidence, is unworthy of a moments consideration.                       –Ida B. Wells, 1901 The use of cartography to highlight economic and […]

Magnificent Maps From the World Digital Library

Launched in 2009, the World Digital Library [WDL] was a project of the U.S. Library of Congress, with the support of UNESCO, and contributions from libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations around the world. The WDL sought to preserve and share some of the world’s most important cultural objects, increasing access to cultural […]