Mapping Hy-Brasil

Abraham Ortelius, “Septentrionalium Regionum Descrip.,” from Theatrum Orbis Terrarum Antwerp, Belgium, 1570.An exhibition both online and at the Boston Public Library’s Leventhal Map Center through 23 October, Hy-Brasil: Mapping a Mythical Island looks at the island that appeared on maps of the Atlantic Ocean over a period of five centuries. “In this online exhibition of forty maps from the collection at the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library and the Mapping Boston Foundation, visitors will see the transition of Hy-Brasil over the course of five centuries from legitimate island destination, to ‘imaginary’ place, to simply a ‘rock,’ before it finally stops appearing on maps in the late 19th century. A variety of map formats are included in the online exhibition, such as portolan charts, woodcut engravings, copperplate engravings and lithographic prints. Hy-Brasil even makes an appearance on a 1492 globe.” [WMS]

Author: Jonathan Crowe

I blog about maps at The Map Room, review books for AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, and edit a fanzine called Ecdysis.