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Map Collecting

The following sources are recommended by a professor emeritus whose research specialty is map collecting.


Six Superlative Sources

· Washington Map Society. One of the many local map societies, the Washington Map Society publishes an excellent periodical, The Portolan. It is worthwhile for the serious map collector to connect with a local group, of which many exist. The Washington Map Society's web site has a wealth of information for the beginning or advanced collector.

· Libraries! There are many distinguished map collections in libraries, with varying degrees of accessibility. Many university and city libraries have map collections and, in general, serious collectors can gain access; it is best to make arrangements in advance of any visit. For example, the Newberry Library, located in Chicago, is one of the great map resources in the USA. And don't forget the vast map collection in the Library of Congress. When traveling abroad, it is often possible to look at maps in foreign libraries. Libraries are still relevant, and nothing substitutes for the original artifact. and

· Brown, Lloyd. The Story of Maps. Dover, 1980.

· Wilford, John Noble. The Mapmakers. Knopf, 2000. An excellent, highly readable, general overview of maps.

· Moreland, Carl. Antique Maps. Phaidon Press, 1994. A survey of the major mapmakers who made the maps that are both germinal and widely collected.

· Manasek, F.J. Collecting Old Maps. University Press of New England, 1998. Highly informative, well illustrated, covers entire field of map collecting. Includes an extensive bibliography.

Other Excellent Sources

· Harley, J.B. and David Woodward (eds). The History of Cartography. University of Chicago Press, 1987-present. Four volumes published to date (Volume 1; Volume 2, Books 1, 2, and 3). This is a scholarly work that will, when the project is completed, encompass cartography from prehistoric to modern times. The currently available volumes cover Prehistoric through Medieval; Traditional Islamic and South Asian; Traditional East and Southeast Asian; Traditional African, Arctic, American, Australian, Pacific.

· Bricker, Charles. Landmarks of Mapmaking. Elsevier, 1968.

· Campbell, Tony. The Earliest Printed Maps. The British Library, 1987.

· Karrow, Robert. Mapmakers of the Sixteenth Century and Their Maps. Newberry Library, 1993.

· Burden, Philip D. The Mapping of North America: A List of Printed Maps, 1511-1670. Raleigh Publications, 1996. A large and expensive book that is the definitive work about pre-1700 maps of America, this is therefore an essential source for collectors and scholars of very early America maps.

· Kovarsky, Joel. An Annotated List of Reference Books for the Antiquarian Map Collector.

· Wheat, Carl. Mapping the Trans-Mississippi West. Martino Publishing, 1995. A monumental work of interest to every serious collector of North America maps. The original costs thousands; the Martino set is a less-expensive reprint.

· Shirley, Rodney W. The Mapping of the World. Early World Press, 2001. A large book that is the definitive work on pre-1700 maps of the world.

· Pool, Jeremy (compiler). Antique Map Price Record. CD available in both Mac and PC formats. This is the useful price guide that is often referred to as the "Jolly" (David Jolly began the work some decades ago).

· IMCoS Journal. Journal of the International Map Collector's Society. An excellent point of entry; many well-established dealers advertise here.

· Map Forum. A relatively new but authoritative periodical devoted to old maps and atlases. It began as an online magazine and is now available as a most attractive print publication.

· Imago Mundi. A scholarly journal issued twice each year. Of interest to scholars and very advanced collectors.

· Map History / History of Cartography.

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