The Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection

E.G. Arnold, Topographical Map of the Original District of Columbia and Environs, 1862. Map, 74 × 81 cm. Library of Congress.
E.G. Arnold, Topographical Map of the Original District of Columbia and Environs, 1862. Map, 74 × 81 cm. Library of Congress.

The Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection at the George Washington University Museum collects historical documents and other items relating to the history of Washington, DC. The Washington Post has a profile of its patron, Albert H. Small, who donated the collection to the university in 2011, and the collection itself. Of interest to us is the collection’s maps of the capital city, including the Arnold Map of 1862 (above):

Published during the Civil War, the map’s detailed, topographical view of Washington included all 53 forts that guarded the city. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton ordered all the maps confiscated lest they fall into Confederate hands. Small has one. There’s a 1671 map of Maryland, too, the second map of the colony ever published, and a 1904 map of the St. Elizabeths Hospital grounds.

“It’s probably the best map collection outside the Library of Congress,” Goode said.

The Small Collection isn’t online (its web page has very little to it); to see its holdings, you’ll have to visit the Museum. [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.