The W. K. Morrison Special Collection

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Jacques Nicolas Bellin, “Carte de l’Accadie et Païs Voisins Pour servir a l’Histoire Generale des Voyages,” 1757. Map, 21 × 33 cm. NSCC W. K. Morrison Special Collection.

Nova Scotia Community College’s Centre of Geographic Sciences has begun digitizing the maps from the W. K. Morrison Special Collection. Morrison, once a cartographer at the Centre, left them his collection of more than 2,500 maps when he died in 2011.

It is a mixed media print collection of historical maps, atlases, periodicals and books that is unique in the Province in terms of its focus on the early mapping of Nova Scotia and specifically the 18th Century nautical charts of J.F.W. DesBarres’ Atlantic Neptune. The collection also contains a complete run of the Gentleman’s Magazine from 1731-1802, and other early European periodicals containing maps not present in other collections. In addition to the maps that cover the advances in geographic knowledge over five centuries, there are a number of important atlases dating from the 18th and 19th Centuries as well as an interesting collection of Nova Scotiana from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

So far about 270 maps have been digitized; they’re available hereMedia release (from last December), Chronicle Herald. [WMS]

The Great Lines Project

With the Great Lines Project, Karen Rann explores the history and origins of the contour line. In addition to her rather heavily illustrated blog, there’s a related exhibition, the Great Lines Exhibition (naturally enough), which opens today at the Lit & Phil (Literary and Philosophical Society) in Newcastle. Free admission. Details here and here. [WMS]

Update, 9 June: More from CityLab.

Traffic from Social Media

A funny quirk of social media is that despite having more followers on Twitter than Facebook (4,100 vs. 2,400 at the moment), and even with Facebook algorithms that seem to reduce page views for any post with commercial intent (e.g. product links) so you can pay to boost it, The Map Room consistently gets twice as much traffic from Facebook as it does from Twitter. Go figure. (Google+ traffic is 10 percent Facebook’s; Tumblr’s is a rounding error.)

A-Z Adventure Atlas Series

az-adventure-atlasLondon Hiker reviews the A-Z Adventure Atlas series of maps. “They contain 1:25,000 scale Ordnance Survey maps, but in a book format, like the A-Z street map books you’re probably used to. […] Many of the new A-Z style map books are extremely convenient and are fast becoming a favourite with me, depending on the circumstances.”

More: A-Z Maps blog post from 2013Amazon UK.

Map Auction News: Early American History

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Elihu Barker, “A Map of Kentucky from Actual Survey,” 1793. Map, 44 × 99 cm. Library of Congress.
  1. The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky: “A rare 18th-century wall map depicting frontier Kentucky that was put up for auction Thursday in New York has sold for $37,500—more than twice its high estimated value.” (See the Library of Congress’s copy of the map above.) [WMS]
  2. “Two large maps and six sketches of military defenses hand drawn by French military engineers in 1781 and used during the American War of Independence, the last such documents in private hands, will be auctioned off at a chateau in France next month,” Bloomberg reports. “Salvaged in 2007, the maps—that only barely escaped becoming mouse food—show British defenses along the East Coast, including fortifications near New York. They are being sold by the eighth-generation descendants of Marshall de Rochambeau, the commander of the French expeditionary force sent by King Louis XVI to aid the American rebels.” [WMS]

Map Books Update

More books have been added to the Map Books of 2016 page: have a look. Some are available right now; others you’ll have to preorder. As usual, buying via this website helps support The Map Room.

I thought about doing a similar page listing map colouring books for adults, but it seems redundant when you can just refer to the colouring books tag (or the coloring books tag, if you’re going to be insistently American).

What’s Going to Happen to the Boston Globe’s Marble Map of New England?

The problem with big maps—the Electric Map of Gettysburg, the B.C. Challenger Map—is that they’re exceedingly difficult to move when the time comes. Betsy Mason at All Over the Map reports that this is now the situation at the Boston Globe: since 1978 their headquarters has been the home of an 18-by-12-foot, four-ton marble map of New England that had originally been commissioned for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in 1953. But now the cash-strapped Globe is moving to smaller digs, and there isn’t room for the map. Boston’s a relative hotbed of map activity, so I’m hopeful it can find a home.

See my earlier (pre-2011) posts about big maps.

Maps of the Netherlands Antilles

nederlandse-antillenIf you can read Dutch, there’s a new book about the old maps of the Netherlands Antilles: Wim Renkema’s Kaarten van de Nederlandse Antillen: Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius en Sint Maarten tot 1900 (Brill, May 2016). Includes an English summary if you can’t; I presume it’s heavily illustrated. More from the Daily Herald of St. Maarten. Buy at Amazon. [WMS]