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Category: European History

Detail of image of Massachusetts state house showing image of cod on the wall

In Cod We Trust: Fishing Grounds and National Ambitions in Early Maps of North America

Posted by: Lena Denis

Growing up in a Brazilian-American household, I’ve long appreciated the delicious versatility of the Atlantic cod, scientific name Gadus morhua, known to the Portuguese-speaking world as bacalhau in its preferred salted and dried form. It was only when I began working as a map librarian, however, that I saw how powerful cod truly was. Centuries …

Southern Lands, Explorers, and Bears – Oh My!

Posted by: Amelia Raines

The story of the naming of America has been told before – not surprisingly considering the object central to the story, Martin Waldseemüller’s 1507 world map, is one of the most important treasures in the Geography and Map Division. The name was bestowed by the mapmaker to show his support for Amerigo Vespucci’s argument that …

An image of the book "The Travels of Marco Polo.

Who drew the Map with Ship?

Posted by: Cynthia Smith

Featured below is a map known as the “Map with Ship.” The map was donated to the Library of Congress in 1943 by a retired merchant and author named Marcian F. Rossi.  Marcian Rossi was born in Italy in 1870. He moved to the United States during the 1880s. The Rossi family inherited a collection …

A street map of Paris dated 1870

Exploring Haussmannian Paris

Posted by: Cynthia Smith

During the 19th century Paris underwent a major urban renewal. I am focusing on some of the maps that were published before, during, and after the renovation of Paris. Before the renovation, the residents of central Paris suffered from cholera epidemics, overcrowding and a high infant mortality rate. The Bievre River, which flowed into the …