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New Story Maps Published!

We are excited to announce the launch of two new Library of Congress Story Maps! At the beginning of May, the Library of Congress launched Story Maps, interactive and immersive web applications that tell the incredible stories of the Library’s collections. Created within a Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based software platform created by Esri, Story Maps […]

The First Isothermic World Maps

Called the “father of temperature mapping,” the renowned German naturalist and climatologist, Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) devised the concept of the isotherm, which he described in 1816 as a “curve drawn through points on a globe which receive an equal quantity of heat.” Humboldt’s initial diagram map of average temperatures appeared in 1817 in an […]

Places in Civil War History: Pivotal Virginia Battles, By Land and Sea

This is part of a series of posts documenting the cartographic history of maps related to the American Civil War, 1861-1865. The posts will appear on a regular basis. One of the most iconic naval battles of the Civil War was the four-hour duel between the ironclad vessels USS Monitor and the CSS Merrimac, which […]

The President’s Globe

The “President’s Globe” is big — really big and important. Weighing in at a whopping 750 pounds and sized at an impressive 50 inches in diameter, the globe was specially designed for President Franklin D. Roosevelt for use during World War II. The massive representation of the earth helped the president gauge distances over water […]

The Codex Quetzalecatzin comes to the Library of Congress

Writing is a strange invention. One might suppose that its emergence could not fail to bring profound changes in the conditions of human existence…                                                                           –Claude Levi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques Time and money are spent in collecting the remains […]

The Amphibious Landing Maps of William Bostick

William A. Bostick was an artist whose talents were utilized in the Second World War to help create chart-maps for the invasions of Sicily and Normandy. After the war, Bostick had a successful career as an artist and administrator of an arts school in Detroit. His works were nationally and internationally recognized. He died in […]

Places in Civil War History: Aerial Reconnaissance and Map Marketing

This is part of a series of posts documenting the cartographic history of maps related to the American Civil War, 1861-1865. The posts will appear on a regular basis. Aerial reconnaissance was first used in 1861 by the War Department using balloons tethered to the ground. Early balloon observers were civilian employees of the Army, […]

Grafton Tyler Brown, Trailblazing Cartographer of the American West

Historically, “cartographer” has commonly been a profession wearing many hats: artist, craftsman, communicator, documentarian, entrepreneur, and pioneer (among many others). To celebrate cartographers who embraced these multitudes of roles to achieve success, it is worth remembering their stories. Today, we recognize Grafton Tyler Brown, a trailblazing African American cartographer of the Pacific Northwest. Brown was […]

Places in Civil War History: Surveys of the Gulf Coast

This is part of a series of posts documenting the cartographic history of maps related to the American Civil War, 1861-1865. The posts will appear on a regular basis. From the early years of the Civil War, field and harbor surveys, topographic and hydrographic surveys, reconnaissances, and road traverses conducted by Federal cartographers led to […]