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Worlds Revealed: Geography & Maps at the Library of Congress Blog, Library «Loc.gov» USA

Fri, 06 Jul 2018 17:39:30 +0000
The Changing Place Names of Washington, D.C.
The following post is by Kim Edwin, a library technician in the Geography and Map Division. Since coming to the Washington, D.C. area and joining the Geography and Map Division, I have enjoyed learning about the early history of our nation’s capital through maps and place names. In studying maps from the city’s early years […]

The following post is by Ed Redmond, a cartographic reference specialist in the Geography & Map Division.

As part of the Library’s newly opened, yearlong exhibit Baseball Americana, the Geography and Map Division will be featuring several blog posts describing the depiction and history of baseball stadiums on maps in major American cities. As the only city that has had more than one Major League Baseball franchise every year since the establishment of the American league in 1901, Chicago is a great place to start!

Historical baseball stadiums can be found mainly on two types of maps in the Geography and Map Division’s collections: panoramic maps and fire insurance maps. In the mid to late 19th century, local baseball diamonds in large cities were typically located near factories or industrial sites. The panoramic map, below, of Chicago published in 1892 shows a baseball diamond and grandstands near the railroad tracks and docks. One can only imagine that the proximity to the factory is associated with workers playing baseball at lunch or after work.

The city of Chicago. Currier & Ives, 1892. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

The City of Chicago. Currier & Ives, 1892. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Detail of The city of Chicago. Currier & Ives, 1892. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Detail of The City of Chicago. Currier & Ives, 1892. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

A more prevalent source for baseball stadiums on maps are large-scale fire insurance or real estate atlases of major American cities published in the late 19th century through the 1950s, which show the stadiums of many professional teams throughout the years. Fire insurance maps are highly detailed, large-scale maps of American towns and cities created for the purposes of helping fire insurance companies assess fire risk and insurance offerings for individual buildings. Today, these maps, especially those of the prolific Sanborn Map Company, provide a record of the built environment and changes over time.

Chicago is currently home to the White Sox of the American League, who play on the south side of the city, and the Cubs of the National League, who play on the north side. The history of both teams’ stadiums can be seen in the fire insurance maps.

The Chicago White Sox briefly played at South Side Park before moving to Comiskey Park in 1910. From 1911 until 1940, the Chicago American Giants, one of the most successful National Negro League baseball teams of all time, took over the park, seen on the Sanborn map below, and called it their home.

Shorling Park or South Side Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 4, plate 127, 1912. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Shorling Park or South Side Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 4, plate 127, 1912. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

The first game at Comiskey Park was held on July 1, 1910. The baseball park served as home to the White Sox for 80 years until the team moved to a new and improved stadium in 1990. Comiskey Park can be seen in both the 1912 map and the 1950 map below, and the changes it went through are evident. In the 1950, the base line grandstands were made out of brick with iron pillars supporting a wooden roof, while in 1912, the outfield bleachers were entirely composed of wooden construction and the bleachers along the baselines had no roof.

Comiskey Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 4, plate 49, 1912. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Comiskey Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 4, plate 49, 1912. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Comiskey Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 4, plate 49, 1950. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Comiskey Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 4, plate 49, 1950. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Meanwhile, on the north side of the city, the Chicago Cubs played at West Side Park from 1893 until 1915. Although the map shown below dates from 1917 when professional baseball was no longer played in the stadium, this first park was used for other spectator sports until it was torn down in 1920.

West Side Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 7, plate 71, 1917. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

West Side Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 7, plate 71, 1917. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Wrigley Field in Sanborn map.

Wrigley Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 9, plate 116, 1923. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

The Cubs moved to a new stadium in 1916. From 1916 to the present day, the Cubs have played at what was first known as Weeghman Field, then Cubs Park, and lastly renamed Wrigley Field in 1927 in honor of the team’s owner and chewing gum magnate, William Wrigley. The park is the second-oldest in the majors after Fenway Park in Boston and the only remaining Federal League park.

An interesting fact about Wrigley Field is that it was the last major league stadium to play all its home games during daylight hours, as there were no lights to illuminate night time games. Lights were not installed until 1988! With such a rich baseball past, it isn’t hard to trace the history of the sport in Chicago through maps.

Crowd at Cubs Park. Photo by Kaufmann & Fabry Co., July 27, 1929. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Crowd at Cubs Park [Wrigley Field]. Photo by Kaufmann & Fabry Co., July 27, 1929. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.


Thu, 28 Jun 2018 13:12:35 +0000
Baseball Stadiums and Maps: Chicago
The following post is by Ed Redmond, a cartographic reference specialist in the Geography & Map Division. As part of the Library’s newly opened, yearlong exhibit Baseball Americana, the Geography and Map Division will be featuring several blog posts describing the depiction and history of baseball stadiums on maps in major American cities. As the […]

The following post is by Ryan Moore, a cartographic specialist in the Geography and Map Division.

The Orange Free State and the Transvaal (officially the South African Republic) were independent countries in southern Africa in the 19th century established by Dutch-speaking settlers known as the Boers (Boer translates to “farmer” in Dutch). Occupying areas in what is today South Africa, the Boers of the 19th century were pastoral and religiously-oriented, and they excluded indigenous people from participation in the church and state. Together, these countries were referred to as the Boer Republics, which lasted some fifty years until 1902, when they were defeated in the Boer Wars.

Dutch colonization of the region has its roots in the Dutch East India Company, which first established the Dutch Cape Colony, centered on the Cape of Good Hope and present-day Cape Town, in the 17th century as a re-supply port for trading vessels. In 1795, British forces invaded and took control, thereby establishing the Cape Colony under British dominion. By this time, some Dutch settlers (at this point, referred to as Boers) had migrated further inland to maintain their pastoral livelihoods. Beginning in the 1830s, a greater wave of migration, known as the “Great Trek,” saw thousands of Boers migrating eastward, further from the British controlled Cape Colony. A number of factors influenced the Boers’ tensions with the British that spurred the Great Trek, including the British abolition of slavery in 1833, onerous taxation, cultural differences, and others. Out of this migration, the Boer Republics were established in the 1850s. However, continued tensions, including the discovery of gold and diamonds in Boer territory (making the republics the richest in southern Africa), would soon spark war with their British colonial neighbors.

Map of Boer Republics in relation to neighboring colonial possessions.

“Map of South Africa, Showing the Seat of War between Great Britain and the Dutch Republics,” Chicago Record Newspaper, nd. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

The Boer Wars were fought from 1880 to 1881 and from 1899 to 1902. When fighting the more powerful and numerically superior British forces, the Boers employed a non-conventional, highly mobile style of fighting from which the word “commando” has its origins. Nevertheless, the map above, which appeared in the Chicago Record newspaper during the conflict, illustrates the Boer Republics’ precarious strategic situation. The republics were landlocked and surrounded by rival groups: Portuguese East Africa and the then-autonomous Swaziland to the east, and British colonial possessions to the north, south, and west. The map’s creators stated that “news of the war between Great Britain and the Dutch Republics of South Africa is received by cable daily from our correspondents at Cape Town, Pretoria, and Durban, Natal. It is the only Chicago paper which has its own correspondents at the seat of war.” At the time, undersea cables were the conduit of high-speed global communication. The map is a testament to both the political situation in 1899 in southern Africa and to how newspaper reporters gathered information in the field and communicated to a home base, which sometimes was on a different continent.

In Britain, supporters of the war effort sought to raise funds for British reservists who were placed on active duty and left with little means to support their families on a salary of “shilling a day.” The newspaper the Daily Mail created a successful charity campaign using the-then popular song “The Absent-Minded Beggar” with words by Rudyard Kipling and music by Arthur Sullivan of Gilbert and Sullivan fame. A surviving piece of that campaign is this cloth map, replete with song lyrics and sheet music.

The Absent-Minded Beggar. The Daily Mail Publishing Co., nd. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

The Absent-Minded Beggar. The Daily Mail Publishing Co., nd. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Following the British victory, the Boer Republics came under British control, becoming the Orange River Colony and Transvaal Colony (as seen in the 1902 map below). Today, these lands and others make up the Republic of South Africa. To learn more about the Boer Wars and their place in South African history today, watch independent scholar Martin Meredith’s excellent lecture “Diamonds, Gold and War: The British, the Boers and the Making of South Africa,” presented at the Library of Congress in 2007.

South Africa, Transvaal Colony, Orange River Colony, Cape Colony, Natal, Rhodesia and adjoining Territory. R.S. Peale, 1902. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

South Africa, Transvaal Colony, Orange River Colony, Cape Colony, Natal, Rhodesia and adjoining Territory. R.S. Peale, 1902. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.


Thu, 07 Jun 2018 19:11:28 +0000
The Rise and Fall of the Orange Free State and Transvaal in Southern Africa
The following post is by Ryan Moore, a cartographic specialist in the Geography and Map Division. The Orange Free State and the Transvaal (officially the South African Republic) were independent countries in southern Africa in the 19th century established by Dutch-speaking settlers known as the Boers (Boer translates to “farmer” in Dutch). Occupying areas in […]

This is part of a series of posts from Ed Redmond, Cartographic Specialist in the Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division, documenting the cartographic history of maps related to the American Civil War, 1861-1865. The posts will appear on a regular basis.

By late May 1862, the Union’s Army of the Potomac, led by General George B. McClellan, was making significant headway in its march to the Confederate capital of Richmond. The objective of the Union’s Peninsula Campaign, capturing Richmond by attacking northwest up the peninsula formed by the James and York Rivers, seemed within reach after a slow start to the campaign earlier that spring.

Confederate forces had retreated to the outskirts of the Confederate capital, preparing to defend the city near its doorstep. After the minor Battle of Hanover Court House on May 27th, in which Union forces defeated a small contingent of Confederate troops, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston launched a surprise attack at the Battle of Seven Pines, hoping to inflict heavy casualties on the threatening army. Although the result of the battle itself was inconclusive, it would become a turning point in the Civil War. General Johnston was seriously wounded in the battle and was soon replaced by Robert E. Lee, formerly Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ military adviser, as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. For most of June, Lee reorganized troops under his command while McClellan, vastly overestimating the army size of his foe, called for reinforcements of troops and supplies from Washington.

Map of Union and Confederate battle of Seven Pines.

“Plan of the Battle of Fair Oaks or Seven Pines, Va. Fought 31st May 1862.” by Robert Knox Sneden, 1862. From collections of Virginia Historical Society.

In what became known as the Seven Days Battles, from June 25th to July 1st, 1862, a series of aggressive Confederate assaults on Union positions would drive the Army of the Potomac away from Richmond. Although casualties were heavy on both sides, the Seven Days Battles was an undisputed victory for the Confederates: Union forces were pushed back about 20 miles from Richmond, morale among the Confederates surged, and the Army of the Potomac was decimated to a point that a renewed effort to capture Richmond via the peninsula would not be attempted again anytime soon. Union hopes for an imminent extinguishing of the rebellion were dashed.

The two manuscript maps shown below reflect the state of intelligence around Richmond during the summer of 1862.

Henry Abbott’s “Position of Richmond” shows the gradual Confederate advance and Union retreat from June 27 until July 7, 1862. Two annotations on this Confederate-produced map indicate that it was “compiled from ‘Map of Henrico Co.’ and ‘Sketch exhibiting the approaches with additional reconnaissance,’” as well as the fact that it was “copied from a map captured from the enemy June 27th 1862.”

Confederate map of Richmond, regional roads, and locations of Confederate and Union positions in Summer 1862.

“Position of Richmond, Va.” Abbot, Henry L., 1862. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

A slightly different map by Union topographical engineer John C. Babcock, entitled “Map exhibiting the approaches to the city of Richmond prepared for Maj. Gen. Geo. B. McClellan, U.S.A.,” covers the same vicinity and time period and bears a printed note indicating that it was “compiled from ‘Map of Henrico Co.’ and map of the ‘Position of Richmond.'”

Map of Union approach lines outside of Richmond in relation to common roads and railroads

“[Map exhibiting the approaches to the city of Richmond prepared for Maj. Gen. Geo. B. McClellan, U.S.A.]” by John C. Babcock, 1862. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

In other words, these maps represent the fast paced and fluid consolidation of cartographic information from both Union and Confederate sources on the field of battle. The cartographic and military information of prior maps would inform the creation of new ones.


Fri, 01 Jun 2018 19:25:12 +0000
Places in Civil War History: Maps of the Peninsula Campaign, Part 2
This is part of a series of posts from Ed Redmond, Cartographic Specialist in the Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division, documenting the cartographic history of maps related to the American Civil War, 1861-1865. The posts will appear on a regular basis. By late May 1862, the Union’s Army of the Potomac, led by […]

We are excited to announce the launch of two new Library of Congress Story Maps!

At the beginning of May, the Library of Congress launched Story Maps, interactive and immersive web applications that tell the incredible stories of the Library’s collections. Created within a Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based software platform created by Esri, Story Maps combine text, images, multimedia, and interactive maps to create engaging online narrative experiences. This new program provides a unique opportunity to pull together materials from all corners of the Library and to give voice to stories within the collections. Adding to the original three applications that were published, two new Story Maps are now available, based on the collections and work of the Geography and Map Division and the Law Library of Congress.

Maps That Changed Our World
Julie Stoner, Rodney Hardy, and Craig Bryant, Geography and Map Division

Alongside Rodney Hardy and Craig Bryant, I was part of the Geography and Map Division’s work to produce “Maps That Changed Our World,” an exploration of world maps through history. I have always been captivated by world maps and seeing how they have changed over the centuries. Starting with the first world map, maps of the world have a tremendous influence on how people and societies view themselves and their place in the world. The map collections at the Library of Congress contain thousands of examples of world maps created over the centuries and each can tell a story. These maps, chosen from the Library’s collection, illustrate specific points when there was a distinct shift in how the world was visualized and which ultimately lead to how we see the world today.

Screenshot of excerpt from “Maps that Changed Our World” Story Map by Julie Stoner, Rodney Hardy and Craig Bryant, Geography and Map Division, 2018. Map in Ptolemy atlas, Cosmographia translated by Jacopo d’Angelo and edited by Nicolaus Germanus, 1482.

The story begins with Greek scholar Claudius Ptolemy’s map of the world, first conceived in 150 AD in his textbook, entitled the Geography. Ptolemy’s book provided a list of over 8,000 locations known to Greco-Roman civilization, centered on the Mediterranean. Later, in the 15th century, maps of his world were recreated using his original text, perhaps most notably including Jacopo D’Angelo and Nicolaus Germanus’s 1482 reproduction, shown here. It continues with a discussion of maps from the Middle Ages, the 17th and 18th centuries, and then concludes with the present day.

Screenshot of excerpt from “Maps that Changed Our World” Story Map by Julie Stoner, Geography and Map Division, 2018. Map is Universalis cosmographia secundum Ptholomaei traditionem et Americi Vespucii alioru[m]que lustrationes, 1507, by Martin Waldseemuller.

Screenshot of excerpt from “Maps that Changed Our World” Story Map by Julie Stoner, Rodney Hardy and Craig Bryant, Geography and Map Division, 2018. Map is Universalis cosmographia secundum Ptholomaei traditionem et Americi Vespucii alioru[m]que lustrationes, 1507, by Martin Waldseemuller.

A Treasure Trove of Trials
Francisco Macías, Law Library of Congress

In his Story Map “A Treasure Trove of Trials,” Francisco Macías, a Senior Legal Information Analyst in the Law Library of Congress, explores the Law Library’s fascinating digitized collection of documents pertaining to piracy trials in the United States and Europe between the late 17th century and the turn of the 20th century. This story showcases colorful highlights of the collection, including dramatic accounts of pirate convictions and the trials of women pirates. An interactive map shows readers where some of these cases were tried and provides links to individual primary sources. The bibliography includes other sources of interest from throughout the Library on the topics of piracy and notable women who took up the male-dominated calling.

Screenshot of excerpt from “A Treasure Trove of Trials” Story Map by Francisco Macias, Law Library of Congress, 2018. Engraving is Blackbeard the pirate, 1725, by B. Cole.

Screenshot of excerpt from “A Treasure Trove of Trials” Story Map by Francisco Macias, Law Library of Congress, 2018. Engraving is Blackbeard the pirate, 1725, by B. Cole.

The versatility of Story Maps to tell a variety of stories will help expand the Library’s mission and vision in the coming years. You can find all Library of Congress Story Maps at loc.gov/storymaps.


Thu, 24 May 2018 18:50:31 +0000
New Story Maps Published!
We are excited to announce the launch of two new Library of Congress Story Maps! At the beginning of May, the Library of Congress launched Story Maps, interactive and immersive web applications that tell the incredible stories of the Library’s collections. Created within a Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based software platform created by Esri, Story Maps […]

Located in a shifting sea of ice, the North Pole sits at the center of the Arctic Ocean, the literal top of the world. The shifting of the ice makes it impossible to establish a permanent base at the pole, though drifting stations have been created through the decades that are manned for several weeks at a time. But situated only 508 miles from the North Pole, a military installation named Alert, located at the northeastern tip of Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Canada, is the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world!

Detail of North America. U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 2007. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Detail of North America. U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 2007. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Ellesmere Island, Canada’s northernmost island, was first inhabited by Paleo-Eskimo peoples perhaps as far back as 2000 BCE, and archaeological evidence points to visits from Viking seafarers in the 10th Century. The earliest documented exploration of the northernmost parts of the island was conducted by the British Arctic Expedition, led by Captain George Strong Nares from 1875 to 1876. The expedition included two ships, the Discovery and the Alert, from which the present-day site gets its name. The goal of the expedition was to reach the North Pole via Smith Sound, the sea passage between Greenland and Ellesmere Island, which can be seen in the map below. The map, produced by the Canadian government in 1904, shows the explorations of Northern Canada up to that point. The path of the HMS Alert is represented by the dotted red line along the western tip of Greenland. Seen more closely in the detail image, the red crosshatch marks the coastlines explored by the crew of the Alert, with the current location of the military base near where the crew remained for the winter. Other explorers passed through the area in the following decades, the most notable of whom was Robert Peary in 1902 as well as in 1909, when he claimed to be the first person to reach the North Pole (although this remains a much debated claim today).

Explorations in Northern Canada and Adjacent Portions of Greenland and Alaska. Department of the Interior Canada, 1904. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Explorations in Northern Canada and Adjacent Portions of Greenland and Alaska. Department of the Interior Canada, 1904. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Explorations in Northern Canada and Adjacent Portions of Greenland and Alaska [Red dotted line and shaded area is path and exploration of the HMS Alert]. Department of the Interior Canada, 1904. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Detail of Explorations in Northern Canada and Adjacent Portions of Greenland and Alaska. Department of the Interior Canada, 1904. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress. Red dotted line and red crosshatched areas represent the path and coastal exploration area, respectively, of the HMS Alert.

After World War II, Charles J. Hubbard of the United States Weather Bureau proposed the creation of a network of Arctic weather and research stations. Negotiations between the U.S. and Canada led to the establishment of five stations, of which Alert became the last to be settled when the first twelve personnel arrived on April 9, 1950, the same year the sketch map below was created by the U.S. Weather Bureau. In 1970, American personnel left and the United States turned over full control of the station to the Canadian government. The base now hosts a military signals intelligence radio receiving facility, an Environment Canada weather station, an atmosphere monitoring observatory, and the Alert Airport.

Alert, North Ellesmere Island. U.S. Weather Bureau, 1950. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Alert, North Ellesmere Island. U.S. Weather Bureau, 1950. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Calling themselves the “Frozen Chosen,” the population of Alert varies between about 65 and 150 people, as the inhabitants are constantly rotating in and out of the site. Despite this fluctuation, Alert has been permanently inhabited since the creation of the station. The weather station at Eureka, also on Ellesmere Island, is the next closest outpost of humanity, about 300 miles away. The position of the base in relation to the rest of the Arctic can really be seen in perspective with the map below, created in 1925 by the U.S. Hydrographic Office.

The Arctic Regions. U.S. Hydrographic Office, 1925. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

The Arctic Regions. U.S. Hydrographic Office, 1925. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Due to its extreme latitude, four months out of the year are spent in complete darkness, four months with the sun just peeking above the horizon, and four months of total sunlight. The warmest month is July, with an average temperature of 38 °F (3.4 °C) while February is the coldest month of the year, with an average temperature of -28 °F (-33 °C)! While many may wish to visit this inhospitable land, as it is a military installation, access to Alert is restricted and visitors must receive special permission to go there. For those wanting to visit the northernmost civilian-inhabited place on earth, stay tuned for Part II of this post!


Thu, 17 May 2018 15:38:53 +0000
Extremities of the Earth: The Northernmost Inhabited Point
Located in a shifting sea of ice, the North Pole sits at the center of the Arctic Ocean, the literal top of the world. The shifting of the ice makes it impossible to establish a permanent base at the pole, though drifting stations have been created through the decades that are manned for several weeks […]

The following post is by Ryan Moore, a cartographic specialist in the Geography and Map Division.

Cartographic depictions of Seoul, the present-day capital of South Korea, during the time of the Japanese occupation of Korea are not often seen and the surviving artifacts a bit rare. The period of Japanese influence and control over Korea lasted from 1905 until 1945. It began with a protectorate that escalated into a full-scale colony and ended with the Allied victory over Japan in World War II. During the period of Japanese rule, the name Seoul was not used by the Japanese as a place name; instead, it was called Keijo in Japanese or Gyeongseong in Korean.

As part of its efforts to carve out its authority on the Korean peninsula, the imperial Japanese administration renamed local landmarks and geographic locales, reflecting those name changes in new maps. In 1910, the Japanese published the map of Seoul, seen below, annotated in English with red ink, to depict the important Japanese governor’s residence, as well as military and police installations, consulates, hotels, banks, museums, and gardens, among other locations. In the upper, middle portion of the map sits Gyeongbokgung Palace, which is annotated as “Keifuku Palace.” To the west of the palace is Seodaemun Prison, which was used to hold political prisoners. In the south is the city’s main rail hub Keijo Station, known today as Seoul Station. On the map, it appears to be wrongly annotated as “Nantaimun Station” (“Namdaemun” means “Great South Gate” in Korean).

Korea, Seoul City, 1:7500. 1910. From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Korea, Seoul City, 1:7500. 1910. From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

While the Japanese occupation of Korea was frequently brutal, with most political dissent and expressions of Korean culture harshly suppressed, the Japanese projection of their position in Korea softened considerably when shared with the West. In 1913, the Japanese Tourist Bureau published a two-sided map that promoted Seoul to potential American and European tourists. The map, with its warm and inviting colors, lists sight-seeing destinations. Prominently illustrated is the extensive stone wall that once guarded the ancient city. On the reverse side, the brochure states: “Tourists, who have enjoyed their excursions in the charming ‘Land of the Rising Sun,’ should come over to Chosen (Korea) and stay in Keijo to see the quaint attire and observe the peculiar customs and distinctive architecture of the ‘Land of the Morning Calm.'” A regional map, to the left of the text, depicts the proximity of Korea to Japan and a number of routes one could take by ship to visit. Speaking to Japan’s imperial authority over Korea, the brochure informed foreign visitors who enter Korea by way of Japan that “passports are now abolished” and baggage will be examined by Japanese and local customs officials.

Keijyo (Seoul). Japanese Tourist Bureau, 1913. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Keijyo (Seoul) pamphlet front. Japanese Tourist Bureau, 1913. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Keijyo (Seoul) back. Japanese Tourist Bureau, 1913. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Keijyo (Seoul) pamphlet back. Japanese Tourist Bureau, 1913. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

A decade later, the Japanese Tourist Bureau continued to market Seoul to Western tourists. The cover of a brochure, seen below, illustrates a woman in traditional dress gazing upon Gyeongbokgung Palace, perhaps an artist’s attempt to convey a romantic notion of a people and way of life unblemished by industrialization. The city map is semi-ringed with photographs, with the first illustrating the modern Chosen Hotel, which offered comfort and amenities that appealed to Western travelers, and the remainder of the photographs showing traditional depictions of Korean life and architecture that one might encounter on a sightseeing excursion. Tying the message together is the pink background, a color that symbolizes trust in Korean culture. Note the figures outlined in white wearing traditional dress and partaking in everyday life. On the reverse is a lengthy text explaining the geographic position of the city; a guide to banks, hotels, restaurants, and consulates; and suggested plans for sight-seeing excursions. Nearby destinations are highlighted, such as a trip to a hot spring.

Keijo, Explanation . Japanese Tourist Bureau, 192-. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Keijo (Seoul), pamphlet cover. Japanese Tourist Bureau, 192-. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Keijo (Seoul) pamphlet interior. Japanese Tourist Bureau, 192-. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Keijo (Seoul) pamphlet interior [bottom half flipped for readability]. Japanese Tourist Bureau, 192-. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

The quaint appeals to tourists are upended in this American military map of Seoul from 1942 (seen below). With World War II well under way, American military leaders worked to assemble a list of potential targets. Utilizing a 1934 map, American intelligence overlaid a grid in red to help determine the coordinates of locations within the city. American troops, however, only landed in Korea after the war’s end. Although the Japanese had been ejected from Seoul and the rest of Korea, issues between Korea and Japan regarding the Japanese occupation were unresolved and remain so on some levels today. The maps remind us that at one time, Seoul was called Keijo, a Japanese administrative entity and a tourist destination. On the other hand, they are evidence of colonialism and represent the land of Korea sans a Korean voice.

Keijo, Chosen Prefecture, 1934. American Army Maps Service, 1942. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Keijo, Chosen Prefecture, 1934. U.S. Army Map Service, 1942. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.


Wed, 09 May 2018 20:29:32 +0000
Maps of Seoul, South Korea Under Japanese Occupation
The following post is by Ryan Moore, a cartographic specialist in the Geography and Map Division. Cartographic depictions of Seoul, the present-day capital of South Korea, during the time of the Japanese occupation of Korea are not often seen and the surviving artifacts a bit rare. The period of Japanese influence and control over Korea […]

This is part of a series of posts from Ed Redmond, Cartographic Specialist in the Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division, documenting the cartographic history of maps related to the American Civil War, 1861-1865. The posts will appear on a regular basis.

One of the grand Union strategies of the Civil War came to be known as the “Peninsula Campaign,” an ultimately failed attempt to capture Richmond, Virginia, the Confederate capital, by landing troops at Fortress Monroe in March 1862 and attacking northwest up the peninsula formed by the James and York Rivers.

Under the command of Major General George B. McClellan, the Union’s Army of the Potomac made slow progress up the peninsula, in large part due to McClellan’s extreme cautiousness in engaging his troops in battle against Confederate forces led by General Joseph E. Johnston. For most of April 1862, Union troops laid siege to Yorktown, as depicted in the C.H. Worret panoramic map shown below. The view presents the embattled city of Yorktown with more than 23 Union troop and artillery positions firing on the walled fortress.

Panoramic view of siege of riverside fort.

“The siege of Yorktown, April 1862,” C.H. Worrett, c1862. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Confederate forces finally evacuated Yorktown and the siege concluded on May 5, 1862, when McClellan’s and Johnston’s forces entered into pitched battle at Williamsburg. Miles D. McAlester, chief engineer of the Army of the Potomac’s III Corps, drew the below sketch of Union and Confederate positions at Williamsburg. The map shown here was published in 1872 by the office of the Chief of Engineers of the U.S. Army as part of post-war reports documenting the conflict. As for the battle itself, the Union army incurred more casualties than the Confederates (2,283 soldiers killed to the Confederates’ 1,682), but Johnston’s forces were again forced to retreat further west.

Map of Union and Confederate positions at Battle of Williamsburg, including forest and roads.

“Sketch of the battlefield and Confederate works in front of Williamsburg, Va., May 5th 1862” by Lt. Miles D. McAlester, Chief Engineer 3rd Corps, Army of the Potomac, 1862. Published 1872, U.S. Army. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Despite McClellan claiming victory at Williamsburg, the battle’s ultimate impact was in delaying the Union march and allowing Confederate forces to firm up defenses of Richmond. In early May, the Battle of Eltham’s Landing proved inconclusive and the Union Navy was outright repelled at Drewry’s Bluff, where a naval assault on Fort Darling along the James River was attempted. The stereograph, below, of a Columbiad gun in Fort Darling was taken at some point during the war and published in the 1880s as part of The War for the Union, Photographic War History, 1861-1865, a photography collection. Titled “One Reason why we did not go to Richmond,” the stereograph offers a telling account of the difficult fighting of the Peninsula Campaign from the Union perspective. On the back of the stereograph is the following description, which includes references to Confederate generals:

There were many reasons why we did not go to Richmond as soon as we expected to. This is one of the reasons; there were lots of just reasons as this all along up the James River. This is one of the many guns which the Rebels had in Fort Darling, which commanded the river approaches for a long distance. The Rebels used to shout across to our pickets, that before we could get to Richmond we had a LONGSTREET to travel, a big HILL to climb, and a STONEWALL to get over; but we “got there just the same.”

Stereograph of cannon facing James River

“One reason why we did not go to Richmond,” published by the War Photograph & Exhibition Co. in The war for the union, 1861-1865 photographic history c1880s. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

By late May, Union forces were gradually approaching Richmond on the peninsula, but in failing to take full advantage of Confederate retreats, the campaign would soon turn in the Rebels’ favor. The events of the second half of the Peninsula Campaign, covered in our next post in this series, would have significant impacts on the course and duration of the war.


Wed, 02 May 2018 17:05:34 +0000
Places in Civil War History: Maps of the Peninsula Campaign, Part 1
This is part of a series of posts from Ed Redmond, Cartographic Specialist in the Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division, documenting the cartographic history of maps related to the American Civil War, 1861-1865. The posts will appear on a regular basis. One of the grand Union strategies of the Civil War came to […]

The Library of Congress staff is excited to launch Story Maps, interactive and immersive web applications that tell the incredible stories of the Library’s collections!

Story Maps, created within a Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based software platform created by Esri, combine text, images, multimedia, and interactive maps to create engaging online narrative experiences. Under a program spearheaded by the Geography and Map Division, collection specialists from across the Library have produced Story Maps with content from the hidden and not-so-hidden collections of the library. We are pleased to showcase the first three published Story Maps from this program, with many more to come!

You can find all Library of Congress Story Maps at loc.gov/storymaps.

Surveying the South
Kristi Finefield, Prints & Photographs Division

Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952) is often considered the first American woman to achieve national prominence in diverse areas of photography, from portraiture and photojournalism to documentary work. Beginning in the late 1920s, Johnston embarked upon what would later be known as the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South, an ambitious photography tour of the American South, taking more than 7,000 photographs of buildings and gardens in both urban and rural settings.

Quote from Frances Benjamin Johnston over photo of crumbling building.

Screenshot of excerpt from “Surveying the South” Story Map by Kristi Finefield, Prints and Photographs Division, 2018. Photo is “Belle Grove, rear, White Castle vic., Iberville Parish, Louisiana” by Frances Benjamin Johnston, 1938. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Kristi Finefield, reference librarian in the Prints & Photographs Division, tells Johnston’s story, beginning with the roots of the Carnegie Survey in Johnston’s photographs of the majestic Chatham estate outside of Fredericksburg, Virginia (along with the hand-painted glass lantern slides of her photos there). Johnston’s vibrant photos take center stage, with dozens of examples of her work on display, documenting different building types, from farmhouses to churches, as well as specific interior and exterior features such as balconies, brickwork, and fireplaces, with an interactive map showing the locations of the more than 7,000 photographs in the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South, allowing users to explore this incredible collection geographically.

Screenshot of web map of photo locations in Mid-Atlantic with Richmond selected and pop-up window visible.

Screenshot of interactive map from “Surveying the South” Story Map by Kristi Finefield, Prints and Photographs Division, 2018.

INCUNABULA
Stephanie Stillo, Rare Books & Special Collections Division

It is difficult to overstate the impact of Johannes Gutenberg’s world-changing 1455 invention: the printing press. This new technology of “artificial writing” spread across Europe and generated a massive boom in printing productivity, with 10 million books produced in the second half of the 15th century. Calling attention to this early moment in the history of the printed codex, historians refer to books printed between 1455 and 1501 as “incunabula,” Latin for “in the cradle.” From biblical texts and fables to natural histories and illustrated epics, the publications of this time period, besides being visually stunning, reached a wide audience, covering topics of religion, science, culture, commerce, and more.

Quote on block book market over image from The Apocalypse of St. John

Excerpt from “Incunabula” Story Map by Stephanie Stillo, Rare Books and Special Collections Division, 2018. Image of “Apocalypsis Sancti Johannis,” c.1470, pg. 16. Rare Books and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress.

Stephanie Stillo, Curator of the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection in the Rare Books & Special Collections Division, explores the Library of Congress’ collection of incunabula in her Story Map, beginning with an interactive map of major incunabula publishing cities across Europe. In covering early printing methods in China and Europe, as well as pre-1450 European manuscripts, Stillo sets the stage for the publishing boom kicked off by Gutenberg and his printed Bible. Stillo dives into xylographic printing, coloring and binding, with a particular focus on Apocalypsis Sancti Johannis, one of the most popular block books of the era. The Story Map also showcases beautiful incunabula published in, what is today, Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and England.

Map of incunabula publishing sites in Europe denoted by red circles proportionally sized by number of incunabula published.

Screenshot of interactive map from “Incunabula” Story Map by Stephanie Stillo, Rare Books and Special Collections Division, 2018.

Behind Barbed Wire
Heather Thomas and Chris Ehrman, Serial & Government Publications Division

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and until the end of World War II, nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans were uprooted from their homes and forcibly relocated to assembly centers and internment camps, mostly across the American West. Triggered by Executive Order 9066, which claimed this forced relocation was in the interest of national security during wartime, this massive relocation brought Japanese American families to desolate camp sites, from Manzanar at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Granada on the eastern Colorado plains and Rowher in rural Arkansas. Living under harsh conditions and largely isolated from the outside world, interned Japanese Americans documented their experiences of life in the internment camps through newspapers. The Library of Congress’ collection of internment camp newspapers includes 4,600 English and Japanese language issues published in 13 camps.

Quote about sports in Japanese-American interment camps with photograph of baseball game.

Excerpt from “Behind Barbed Wire” Story Map by Heather Thomas and Chris Ehrman, Serials and Government Publications Division. Photo is “Baseball game, Manzanar Relocation Center, Calif” by Ansel Adams, 1943. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Heather Thomas and Chris Ehrman, reference librarian and digital conversion specialist, respectively, in the Serial & Government Publications Division, explore these Japanese-American camp newspapers that serve to “chronicle the stories and experiences of their community in a time of crisis.” Four interactive maps convey the vast scale of the Japanese American internment and provide a point of entry for exploring the newspaper collection. As described in the Story Map, the newspapers covered camp sporting events, advertised religious and school events, recorded vital statistics (like births and deaths in the camps), and even featured comic strips and editorial cartoons. High-resolution scans of the newspapers themselves are accompanied by dozens of photographs by renowned American photographer Ansel Adams, who documented scenes of daily life inside the Manzanar War Relocation Center in 1943. Altogether, the newspapers showcase the resiliency of the interned Japanese American community during World War II, trying to carry on some semblance of “normal” life in the midst of difficult, unjust circumstances.

Screenshot of web map showing newspaper publication sites with pop-up window open for Manzanar Free Press.

Screenshot of interactive map from “Behind Barbed Wire” Story Map by Heather Thomas and Chris Ehrman, Prints and Photographs Division, 2018.

Stay tuned for more Library of Congress Story Maps to come!


Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:55:17 +0000
Introducing Library of Congress Story Maps!
The Library of Congress staff is excited to launch Story Maps, interactive and immersive web applications that tell the incredible stories of the Library’s collections! Story Maps, created within a Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based software platform created by Esri, combine text, images, multimedia, and interactive maps to create engaging online narrative experiences. Under a program […]

The following post is by Mike Klein, a reference specialist in the Geography and Map Division.

Called the “father of temperature mapping,” the renowned German naturalist and climatologist, Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) devised the concept of the isotherm, which he described in 1816 as a “curve drawn through points on a globe which receive an equal quantity of heat.” Humboldt’s initial diagram map of average temperatures appeared in 1817 in an abstract of a much longer paper on isothermal lines published earlier that year. He was the first to recognize that isothermal lines cut through latitudes at different angles, thus disputing the prevailing scientific notion that climate depended solely on latitude.

Baron Alexander von Humboldt, the great naturalist. Engraving by D.J. Pound from a painting by C. Begas, ca. 1850-1900. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Baron Alexander von Humboldt, the great naturalist. Engraving by D.J. Pound from a painting by C. Begas, ca. 1850-1900. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Humboldt withheld publishing his idea in the form of a generalized world map while he waited for data from weather stations around the world. Thus, the isotherm concept remained virtually unknown outside of the broader scientific community until 1838, when it was given wider recognition on the map below. Titled Alexander von Humboldt’s System Der Isotherm-Kurven in Merkator’s Projection, it was published in Germany by Heinrich Berghaus in his Physikalischer Atlas, the first comprehensive physical world atlas.

System Der Isotherm-Kurven in Physikalischer Atlas. Heinrich Berghaus, 1845. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

System Der Isotherm-Kurven in Physikalischer Atlas. Heinrich Berghaus, 1845. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Berghaus, a pioneer in scientific thematic cartography, authored numerous titles on humanistic and physical geography, as well as cartography. The 1845 edition of his Physikalischer Atlas included hundreds of beautifully engraved maps and illustrations pertaining to the earth and natural sciences, such as the one below, Die Isothermkurven Der Nordlichen Halbkugel, which illustrates climate over the northern hemisphere, and includes diagrams in the bottom corners depicting temperature and snow fall lines in relation to cross sections of mountain ranges in the Americas and Eurasia.

Die Isoterhmkurven Der Nordlichen Halbkugel in Physikalischer Atlas. Heinrich Berghaus, 1845. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Die Isoterhmkurven Der Nordlichen Halbkugel in Physikalischer Atlas. Heinrich Berghaus, 1845. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

In spite of Berghaus’ achievement at disseminating one of Humboldt’s major theories, he was not the first to publish it on a world map. That role was assumed by a relatively unknown schoolteacher and geographic educator from Hartford, Connecticut, named William Channing Woodbridge (1794-1854), who in 1823 produced the item below, essentially the first world isothermal chart. The son of a minister and educator, Woodbridge was imbued with his father’s spirituality and passion for promoting the education of young women. Throughout his life he advocated for American educational reform, especially in the area of geography, co-authoring geography texts with fellow educational reformer, Emma Willard. His work with the deaf and disabled led him discover maps as an ideal vehicle for delivering information visually. Harboring an abiding interest in geography and natural history, Woodbridge was keen to introduce the latest geographical information into his maps.

Woodbridge also traveled to Europe to teach, as well as gather geographical ideas for his textbooks and atlases. While in Paris he met Humboldt, who introduced him to his concept of isotherms and demonstrated the ability to illustrate them diagrammatically. In somewhat of an innovation, Woodbridge expanded on Humboldt’s findings to publish his own world isothermal chart, in which he depicted the relationship between mean annual temperature and place, and illustrated climactic regions in color to indicate their suitability for agricultural commodities, while further indicating their potential ranges between latitudes. The chart, titled Isothermal Chart, or View of Climates & Production, Drawn from the Accounts of Humboldt & Others, was entered for copyright on January 15, 1823, in the state of Connecticut, probably with the local district court. The edition displayed here was included in Woodbridge’s School Atlas to Accompany Woodbridge’s Rudiments of Geography: Atlas on a New Plan . . ., published in 1830 in Hartford, Connecticut, to be used as an instructional device for school children.

Isothermal Chart, or View of Climates & Production in Woodbridge’s School Atlas to Accompany Woodbridge’s Rudiments of Geography: Atlas on a New Plan . . . William C. Woodbridge, January 13, 1823. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Isothermal Chart, or View of Climates & Production in Woodbridge’s School Atlas to Accompany Woodbridge’s Rudiments of Geography: Atlas on a New Plan . . . William C. Woodbridge, 1830. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Woodbridge’s chart, while intended only for use by a small audience, was something of a progenitor of the more complex and elaborate climate charts we see today. It may not be likely that Heinrich Berghaus was familiar with this initial attempt by a modest educator from Connecticut to depict global climate on a map, but it is obvious that after 1838, other publishers began taking advantage of Humboldt’s innovative theory and Woodbridge’s accessible chart to issue regional, national, and global climate charts on a more-or-less regular basis.



The First Isothermic World Maps
The following post is by Mike Klein, a reference specialist in the Geography and Map Division. Called the “father of temperature mapping,” the renowned German naturalist and climatologist, Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) devised the concept of the isotherm, which he described in 1816 as a “curve drawn through points on a globe which receive an […]
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