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The City Which Would Not Be Cowed: The Great Chicago Fire of 1871

This is a guest post by Sonia Kahn, Library Technician in the Geography and Map Division. Many of us have heard the tale of Mrs. O’Leary’s infamous cow as the driver of one of Chicago’s greatest disasters. Whether or not the beast did in fact start the blaze may never be known, but the fact remains that […]

Reaching the South Pole During the Heroic Age of Exploration

During the early 20th century, the British explorers Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton, and the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, led expeditions to the South Pole. Roald Amundsen’s polar party was the first to reach the South Pole on December 14th, 1911; five weeks later the polar party led by Robert Falcon Scott was the […]

A Book Tied Up in Knots

This post is part of the series Excavating Archaeology, which features selections from, and research on, the Jay I. Kislak Collection of the Archaeology & History of the Early Americas and related collections, housed in the Geography and Map Division and in the Rare Book & Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress. He […]

All Aboard! Next Destination: Middle America

This is a guest post by Britt Long, Detailed Reference Librarian in the Geography and Map Division. Since the founding of the United States of America, our country has been in the import and export business. We have bartered and traded goods across land and sea, developing systems of transportation that are both innovative and […]

Finding John Huston’s Feathers

This post is part of the series Excavating Archaeology, which features selections from, and research on, the Jay I. Kislak Collection of the Archaeology & History of the Early Americas and related collections, housed in the Geography and Map Division and in the Rare Book & Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress. Nature […]

Fast-Track to Destruction City Aboard the Gospel Temperance Railroad

Though much of the history of cartography involves map-makers striving to capture the world in increasingly accurate scientific detail, sometimes the domain of the map-maker is to capture the plane of imagined, metaphorical, allegorical, or even spiritual.  Such is the journey you’ll take on the “Gospel Temperance Railroad,” a 1908 map creation by George E. […]

Summer Reading Projects or How to Become Levi-Strauss

This post is part of the series Excavating Archaeology, which features selections from, and research on, the Jay I. Kislak Collection of the Archaeology & History of the Early Americas and related collections, housed in the Geography and Map Division and in the Rare Book & Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress. Writing […]