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As The World Turns: Ellen Eliza Fitz and Her Inventive Globe Mount

As I was organizing globes in our stacks several weeks ago, a note on two of the boxes caught my eye. It said, “This globe sphere was produced by Gilman Joslin, but the significance of this work relates to the mounting which was invented by Ellen Eliza Fitz. Ellen Eliza Fitz patented a mount for […]

Visualizing DC’s Municipal Infrastructure,1890 to 2022

Maps can tell us all kinds of things about how others have viewed and shaped the world – from the borders of ancient empires to the layout of your neighborhood street grid. Today, spatial data commonly powers the maps and applications we use to access basic information about the places we inhabit: opening an app […]

Louise E. Jefferson – A Hidden African American Cartographer

This is a guest post by Iris Taylor, a senior cataloging specialist in the Geography and Map Division. It is a common belief that you can acquire inspiration from a variety of people, places, or things. Seanna Tsung, a Library of Congress staff member, recently uncovered a unique collection of maps in the Geography and […]

Visualizing Injustice: Early NAACP Cartographers and Racial Inequality in America

No good result can come from any investigation which refuses to consider the facts. A conclusion that is based upon a presumption, instead of the best evidence, is unworthy of a moments consideration.                       –Ida B. Wells, 1901 The use of cartography to highlight economic and […]

Al-Idrisi’s Masterpiece of Medieval Geography

This is a guest post by Carissa Pastuch, a reference librarian in the Geography and Map Division.  German archeologist and historian Konrad Miller’s 1928 recreation of Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Idrisi’s (also al-Sharif al-Idrisi; circa 1100–66) Tabula Rogeriana, titled Weltkarte des Idrisi vom Jahr, Charta Rogeriana, has been explored in previous blog posts by both my […]