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Scientist of the Seas: The Legacy of Matthew Fontaine Maury

Matthew Fontaine Maury has been hailed as, among other names, the “Scientist of the Seas” for his contributions to understanding ocean navigation in the mid-19th century. His expertise is evident in his large body of work, and particularly in his maps. But while Maury left an indelible mark on the fields of oceanography and geography […]

The Rise and Fall of the Orange Free State and Transvaal in Southern Africa

The Orange Free State and the Transvaal (officially the South African Republic) were independent countries in southern Africa in the 19th century established largely by Dutch/Afrikaans-speaking settlers known as the Boers (Boer translates to “farmer” in Dutch). Occupying areas in what is today South Africa, the Boers of the 19th century were pastoral and religiously-oriented, […]

Places in Civil War History: Maps of the Peninsula Campaign, Part 2

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. By late May 1862, the Union’s Army of the Potomac, led by General George B. McClellan, was making significant headway in its march to the Confederate […]

Maps of Seoul, South Korea Under Japanese Occupation

Cartographic depictions of Seoul, the present-day capital of South Korea, during the time of the Japanese occupation of Korea are not often seen and the surviving artifacts a bit rare. The period of Japanese influence and control over Korea lasted from 1905 until 1945. It began with a protectorate that escalated into a full-scale colony […]

Places in Civil War History: Maps of the Peninsula Campaign, Part 1

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 grand Union strategies of the Civil War came to be known as the “Peninsula Campaign,” an ultimately failed attempt to capture Richmond, Virginia, […]

Native Americans in the First World War and the Fight for Citizenship

The Library of Congress is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the United States participation in World War I with an exhibit titled “Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I.” The exhibit examines the upheaval of World War I as Americans confronted it. Maps from the Geography and Map Division are included, […]

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 […]

Places in Civil War History: The Anaconda Plan and Union Victories in Tennessee

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 primary strategies employed by Federal forces in weakening the Confederacy was the use of blockading fleets along the eastern and Gulf coasts of […]