This is a guest post by Rachel Trent, Digital Collections and Automation Coordinator in the Geography and Map Division. Interested in bulk downloading maps from the Library of Congress’s online collections? Need a corpus of historical map images to build a training dataset for your machine learning model? Looking to learn more about Python or APIs? Curious […]
The Croatian seaport of Rijeka commands a stunning view of Kvarner Bay (Golfo del Carnaro), nestled in an arm of the northern Adriatic between the Istrian Peninsula and the Croatian littoral. Over the centuries its outstanding deep water port has attracted Celts, Greeks, Romans, Franks, Goths, Venetians, Byzantines, Hapsburgs, and Italians, most of whom have contested […]
This is a guest post by Kathy Hart, Head of the Research Access and Collection Development Section in the Geography and Map Division. Libraries and museums often feature maps and related geographic content in digital and analog, large or small exhibits, displays and workshops. When considering the variety of materials available, how does one select […]
One of my favorite computer games as a child was called The Yukon Trail. Made in 1994, the player became a prospector in the late 19th century Klondike gold rush, navigating the treacherous trail in an attempt to stay alive and strike it rich. What I recently discovered while browsing our map collections is that games related […]
Many years ago I visited an antique show held at the Washington D.C. Stadium Armory. Dealers from all over the United States displayed almost every kind of antique on tables throughout the market. One of the dealers owned an antique map store in St. Louis. I looked at many maps, dated from the 19th century […]
Washington, D.C., was established as the “permanent seat of the Federal Government” by the passage of the Residence Act in 1790. This act allowed President George Washington to select the site for the new city anywhere along the banks of the Potomac River between its junction with the Shenandoah River, near present day Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and its junction with the Eastern Branch or Anacostia River, just below the current location of Washington, DC.
The area demarcated for the new city was a blank slate and President Washington selected Major Pierre Charles L’Enfant (1754-1825) to create a design for it. The map below, published in 1794, reflects L’Enfant’s vision for the new city with a few improvements attributed to Andrew Ellicott (1754-1820).The detail below shows the Potomac River, the mouth of Tiber Creek, and the United States Mall as laid out by L’Enfant and Ellicott. Running along the Mall, as we know it today, was a creek that led westward from roughly the current site of Union Station to the Tidal Basin and, ultimately, to the Potomac River. What many Washingtonians may not realize is that both L’Enfant’s original design, and Ellicott’s improvement incorporated canals to facilitate the shipment of goods and construction materials to build the new city. In addition to the canal running past the White House, there were grand plans for a university on the west end of the Mall and a turning basin for the canal at the base of Capitol Hill. The proposed University resembles the original campus of the University of Virginia!
So why the canal? It was simply a time saving measure. The sandstone blocks that were used in Read more »
The small sun baked village of Kodok receives little attention these days. Lying on the west bank of the Upper Nile River in the world’s newest state, South Sudan, its population has swelled within the last few years due to an increase in refugees fleeing genocide and poverty in Sudan. Save for a few dusty […]
Originally published in 1874, these maps of the eastern half of the United States were designed to show the distribution of diseases including typhoid, malaria, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and rheumatism that affected the US population. The maps were published by L.H. Carney, M.D., but we find no biographical data on the author. Medical data (in the […]
The lunar maps shown in this post were created long before satellite images became available. The topography is highly detailed and the historical backgrounds of the astronomers who created them are compelling. The first working telescope was built in the Netherlands in 1608. British astronomer Thomas Harriot (1560-1621) made the first recorded sketches of the […]
While browsing through our digital map collections, I came across a map that forced me to stop and take a closer look. Titled Fire chart of the Borough of Manhattan, N.Y…, it was published in 1915 and shows the number of reported fires in Manhattan, block by block, for the years 1910, 1911, and 1912. […]