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Pictorial St. Louis – The Great Metropolis of the Mississippi Valley

The panoramic map was a popular cartographic form used to depict U.S. and Canadian cities and towns during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Known also as bird’s-eye views, perspective maps, or aero views, panoramic maps are nonphotographic representations of cities portrayed as if viewed from above at an oblique angle. Typically printed on […]

Winds of (Ex)Change in the Indian Ocean

Take a look at this monsoon chart, paying special attention to the western Indian Ocean between the east coast of Africa and the west coast of India, and you might notice a pattern: The left chart depicts the prevailing winds in the Indian Ocean in February; the right, in August. In winter, a sea of […]

The Matron of Mesopotamian Antiquities

Gertrude Lowthian Bell (1868–1926) was a British archaeologist, explorer, and diplomat. Proficient in French, German, Hebrew, Persian, and Arabic, and an avid reader and writer, she traveled widely and was able to engage with native populations because of her ability to communicate in many languages and openness to experiencing unfamiliar traditions. She found the Middle […]

Out and About in a Provincial Empire of Fascism

It is only natural that Rome, by reputation being the “Eternal City,” has evolved over its roughly twenty-seven-hundred-year existence. Even the briefest visitor would be hard-pressed to overlook the glut of imperial detritus, some ancient, most merely old, and some modern. All the relics from the latest phase seemingly appertain to the ill-fated regime of […]

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 […]