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That’s Just Hysterical: The Lindgren Brothers’ Tourist Maps

This is a guest post by Kelly Bilz, Librarian-in-Residence in the Geography and Map Division. If you’re buying a souvenir map, would you rather it be “historical,” or “hysterical”? The Lindgren Brothers aimed for the latter in their set of maps of American landmarks. With their distinct style—a yellow background, a blue (or sometimes red) border, and […]

A Place for Drying Fish Nets

  By the 1890s the eyes of the western imperial powers were turning eastwards, especially towards Manchuria. Why had Manchuria become such a hot property? As any real estate agent will say, it’s “location, location, and location.” For Russia, its imperial gaze followed the ambitions of Tsar Nicholas II and Finance Minister Sergei Witte, who […]

GIS Day on November 18th: Mapping the Pandemic

You are invited to join the Library of Congress in celebrating GIS Day on Wednesday, November 18th from 1-4pm EST, with an afternoon of engaging talks and discussions on the theme of “Mapping the Pandemic Cases, Traces, and Mutations.” This presentation will premiere with closed captions on both the Library’s YouTube site and on the Library […]

Verba Incognita: A Guide to Deciphering Latin on Maps

This is a guest post by Kelly Bilz, Librarian-in-Residence in the Geography and Map Division. Even though Latin had fallen out of vernacular use after the fall of Rome (and began to evolve into the modern Romance languages), it lived on in its written form, becoming the lingua franca, so to speak, of scholarship. In […]

The Exotic Animals of the Americas

European colonists were fascinated with the wildlife of the Western Hemisphere. They described fauna native to the Americas in memoirs, travel journals and poetry. Pictures of the unfamiliar animals were often printed on maps. In this post I will discuss four colonial era maps that were decorated with illustrations of animals. The two maps of […]

Go East, Young Jew, Go East

(The title of this post is a satirical  improvisation on a quote attributed to Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune,  when expressing his views towards the westward expansion of the United States.) Somewhere between China’s Heilongjiang Province (Manchuria) and the Russian Far East, nestled in a southern crook of Siberia’s Amur River, lies […]

Mapping A World Of Cities

Sponsored by the Leventhal Map Center of the Boston Public Library and the MacLean Collection Map Library in Chicago, IL, the Library of Congress is pleased to announce its participation entitled Mapping A World of Cities in a joint project with the American Geographical Society (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), the David Rumsey Map Center (Stanford Libraries, California), […]

William Hacke: A Pirate’s Cartographer

William Hacke was one of the most prolific manuscript chart makers for his time. According to the Oxford  Dictionary of National Biography Hacke produced over 300 navigational charts from 1682 to 1702. In this post I will briefly discuss his career and his role in the pardon of the notorious pirate Bartholomew Sharp. William Hacke was […]