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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 […]

The City Which Would Not Be Cowed: The Great Chicago Fire of 1871

This is a guest post by Sonia Kahn, Library Technician in the Geography and Map Division. Many of us have heard the tale of Mrs. O’Leary’s infamous cow as the driver of one of Chicago’s greatest disasters. Whether or not the beast did in fact start the blaze may never be known, but the fact remains that […]

All Aboard! Next Destination: Middle America

This is a guest post by Britt Long, Detailed Reference Librarian in the Geography and Map Division. Since the founding of the United States of America, our country has been in the import and export business. We have bartered and traded goods across land and sea, developing systems of transportation that are both innovative and […]

19th Century Colonization and Slavery in Charles Minard’s Flow Maps

Flow maps are characterized by representing direction and amount of movement between an origin and a destination – and Charles Joseph Minard is widely regarded as the first cartographer who mastered the art of the flow map.  He is best known for his flow map of Napolean’s 1812 invasion of Russia titled “Carte figurative des […]

From Telegrams to Weather Apps: A Brief History of Wind Mapping

Today it’s easy to check the weather without even leaving the house: hourly predictions for rain, wind, temperature, and humidity are available to most of us through our phones at the touch of a button. Warnings for severe weather flash across our screens to help keep us safe – but how did we get here? […]