It’s time to end a confusing prescription good only for academic gate-keeping. Some years ago, I was in a meeting with a group of colleagues, most of them map historians of long standing, and all good friends (of mine and of each other). In the middle of some discussion, the one younger colleague in the room referred to our field of study as “historical cartography.” Immediately, all the rest of us shared a knowing look and re-asserted our communal superiority. None of us said anything to correct the speaker—that would have been too embarrassing. Rather, we sat secure and self-satisfied that we knew the proper term for the field: “the history of cartography.” To refer to the field as “historical cartography” meant that our young colleague was either intellectually conservative or unable to get with the line with several decades of conceptual change and debate (not the case) or a complete newb.
Read the full text here https://www.mappingasprocess.net/blog/2020/8/13/rehabilitating-historical-map.
You will find a complete inventory (on 50 pages) of the cartographic work of French engineers in the territories newly conquered by Louis XIV at the beginning of the 18th century.
These very detailed maps (scale of at least 1:30 000) provide historians with an accurate picture of the landscapes in the vicinity of Valenciennes, Mons, Maubeuge, Avesnes, etc., 300 years ago.
The article appeared in the latest issue of the bulletin of the Commission Historique du Nord which is available from the CHN secretariat (22 rue Saint Bernard, Lille or firstname.lastname@example.org, EUR 25.00 + postage).
Published Maps, 1947 - 2015, Records of the Central Intelligence Agency
This series consists of published maps (2975 items) of most countries and world regions. Included are base and briefing base maps; maps depicting terrain, sociological, transportation, political, and economic features; maps depicting administrative, military, and treaty boundaries; maps of urban areas; and maps showing ethnic distributions or narcotics trade routes. Also included are thematic maps, charts, graphs, and organization charts relating to various topics of the Cold War, including the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and the Vietnam War.
See: the catalog
How do we better explain and advocate for the essential role played by archivists and information professionals in the Knowledge Societies of the 21st century? From paper to digital, how are you Empowering Knowledge Societies with your work? Let’s challenge what people think we do! Help us tell the world what archives in the Knowledge Societies are about!
From Monday 8 to Sunday 14 June 2020, in light of the health crisis that the world is going through, the International Archives Week will adapt and respect lockdown measures!
Web site: https://www.ica.org/en/international-archives-week-8-14-june-2020
- Looks at Books
- When artists drew maps
- Cartography and Power in the 16th century. Jacques de Deventer's Atlas
- Islamic Maps
- Johann George Schreiber (1676-1750) – Copper plate engraver and atlas publisher in Leipzig Geography
- The Massif des Écrins: History of a cartography, from Antiquity till the dawn of the 20th century military atlases (17th-18th centuries)
- Mare Nostrum - Printed nautical cartography of the Mediterranean Sea by Bifolco
- History and Cartography
- A very special map of HAYNAUT by Naudin (ca 1709–1728)
- The rediscovery of some map fragments on copper plates in the Brussels Chalcography
- The Brussels Map Circle
- Activity Report 2019
- 2020 Programme
- Maps in History is now famous in Cazères
- Obituaries of Monique Pelletier & Lisete Danckaert
- In Memoriam Peter Meurer
- Maps of Malta taking shape
You will find links to the various episodes on one of our Links page.
10 April 1951 – 11 March 2020
Peter Heinrich Meurer was born on 10 April 1951 in the small village of Horst (now part of the city of Heinsberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, close to the Dutch provincial border of Limburg), the son of a shoemaker. Upon the early death of his mother, his grandfather brought him up and formed his attitude to life.
Having been educated at the classical secondary school of Heinsberg, and following his military service, he studied geography and history of architecture at the Technical College of North Rhine-Westphalia in Aachen from 1972 to 1977, with history, town planning, history of art and geodesy as secondary subjects. He obtained his M.A. with a study of the fortified settlements in the Duchy of Jülich.
In 1981, Peter Meurer enrolled in Bonn University to read history of science. His dissertation on Atlases published in Cologne, terminated in 1984, was rejected owing to some academic rivalry between professors. It finally appeared in book form in 1988, entitled Atlantes Colonienses: Die Kölner Schule der Atlaskartographie 1570-1610, one of Meurer’s most successful publications. He then launched a new project with the publisher of Atlantes Coloniensis, Dietrich Pfaehler of Bad Neustadt: the publication of Speculum Orbis, a scholarly cartographic periodical which started in 1985 but unfortunately ceased to exist in 1988.
In 1987, Peter Meurer married Heike, née Raschdorf, his friend of many years, who became the pillar of his life.
In order to enable his return to the academic world, Professor Wolfgang Scharfe of the Berlin Free University invited Peter Meurer to undertake his PhD as a post-graduate external student. It so happened that his new work, the Fontes Cartographici Orteliani, was nearly completed and it fitted well into the programme of Scharfe’s Institute. This important analysis of Ortelius’s sources for his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum was published in 1991.
Around 1988, the idea of an Imago Germaniae project was born, a study he was to pursue at the Documentation Centre for German Regional Studies at the University of Trier from 1992 to 1997. This resulted in the publication of the Corpus der älteren Germania-Karten [Collection of early maps of Germania] in 2001. When the Trier Institute was closed in favour of the Leibniz Institute for Regional Studies in Leipzig, Peter Meurer reluctantly left the town and University of Trier and moved back to his parents’ home in Heinsberg.
Another professional opportunity arose in 1998 at the Gerhard-Mercator University of Duisburg. A research project on Christian Sgrooten, jointly elaborated with Utrecht University, prompted this move. However, when this university was merged with that of Essen in 2002, Peter Meurer once more lost a promising research possibility. Nevertheless, and in spite of a lack of perspectives and regular employment, he concluded the Sgrooten project as a scientific study on his own. There followed a period of serious hardship for Peter Meurer. Three new propositions for research projects had been rejected, and in 2004 he suffered a heart attack, necessitating a bypass operation. For a while he turned to working with antiquarians and collectors to earn his living. Finally, a job creation programme of the German Research Foundation (DFG) permitted him to regain access to the scientific community. Between September 2008 and July 2011, he was responsible for a project on the Werkausgabe Caspar Vopelius [The complete works of Caspar Vopelius] which he concluded successfully. It was not, however, published as such, due to financial constraints.
These many setbacks, aggravated by deteriorating health, led Peter Meurer to abandon scientific work and in 2014 he decided to go into early retirement. In 2016 he finally returned to his long-standing favourite theme of maps of the Catholic German Order, and in particular to those produced by the missionaries of Steyl. Since purchasing original atlases had become cheaper than obtaining scans, he became a collector himself, assembling an almost complete set of these atlases. The resulting study was published in Cartographica Helvetica Vol. 58/2019, his ultimate contribution to a Journal he had served for thirty years.
Peter Meurer’s untimely death is an immense loss to all those intimately involved in the history of cartography. One cannot but admire his impressive capacity for work and his enormous creative output. Obliged to subsist under the most trying of circumstances, he persevered in following his scientific vocation, delivering major contributions to the History of Cartography that range from Ptolemy to 20th-century missionary maps. His books on the Cologne Atlases, on Ortelius, the Corpus of early Germania maps, and on Sgrooten are masterpieces that have become indispensable works of reference. It is these that will keep alive our memories of a great scholar and map historian. His complete bibliography with 200 entries will be published in Cartographica Helvetica Vol. 61/2020.
By Wulf Bodenstein
(Summary of the Obituary to be published in Imago Mundi – By permission)
Note from the Editor
Peter Meurer joined the BIMCC in June, 1999. We are grateful to him for having contributed the following articles:
- in the context of the 6th International BIMCC Conference Formatting Europe – Mapping a Continent: Europa Regina. 16th century maps of Europe in the form of a queen, in: Belgeo 2008/3-4, pp. 359-368
- with Pierre Dumolin, Two unrecorded Lafreri-type maps of Hainaut and Southern France, in: Maps in History No 47, September 2013, pp. 14-18
- The Map of the 1542 Franco-Habsburg War by Enea Vico, in: Maps in History No 53, September 2015, pp. 16-19
- The Cologne publisher Gerhard Altzenbach and Liège or: A Chapter from the Complexity of Cartobibliography, in: Maps in History No 55, May 2016, pp. 20-26.
The film then makes stops in the Galapagos, in the Kiribati islands, in Java (Franz Willem Junghuhn, the Humboldt of Java who produced a thorough scientific and topographic description of the country in 1865), Borneo, the Maldives, Kenya and Uganda, Congo (via Tervuren!), Brazzaville, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe and Brazil.
In Tervuren, it is Wulf Bodenstein who explains the story of the Congo exploration using the giant map of the Africamuseum (see Maps in History No 66, p. 16); Wulf then shows various maps in his office and in the adjacent reading room. His colleague Mathilde Leduc-Grimaldi, curator of the Stanley archives, continues with the story of the Stanley second expedition and of the take-over by Leopold II.
The documentary is certainly worth seeing, not only because of the remarkable performance of our friend Wulf! It has high historical and cartographic contents, and it also covers other interesting subjects related to the environment, local life, etc. It can be seen on www.arte.tv until 4 May 2020.
By Jean-Louis Renteux
Voyage autour de la Terre, sur le fil luxuriant de l'équateur, dans le sillage des expéditions scientifiques passées, ainsi que des hommes qui préservent et étudient cet anneau de biodiversité.
Cette ligne imaginaire de 40 000 kilomètres révèle la volonté de l'homme de contrôler le monde en le cartographiant. Elle est bordée par une bande luxuriante, les tropiques, où, en raison d'un climat stable, la nature prospère comme nulle part ailleurs. L'équateur et la région qui l'entoure ont fasciné aventuriers et scientifiques qui ont très tôt bravé les dangers réels ou supposés de cet "enfer vert" peuplé de cannibales pour l'explorer. En 1735, une expédition française, émanant de l'Académie des sciences, se rend pour la première fois dans la région équatoriale de l'Amérique du Sud. Elle vise à prendre des mesures de l'arc du méridien afin de se faire une idée plus juste de la courbure de la Terre. Les trois savants français qui y participent reviendront huit ans plus tard, leur mission accomplie, avec une cartographie plus précise de cette région du monde. Au XIXe siècle, le botaniste allemand Alexander von Humboldt prend le relais. Conscient que la nature s'épanouit davantage sous les tropiques, il recensera des centaines d'espèces animales et végétales lors de ses pérégrinations, rapportant des dizaines de milliers de spécimens en Europe.
Archives du vivant
Étudiant en théologie féru de géologie, Charles Darwin se passionnera, lui, pour la faune et la flore des Galápagos, et dévoilera le formidable laboratoire de l'évolution que constitue cet archipel. Sur les pas de ces explorateurs, ce documentaire revisite leurs découvertes, les extraordinaires archives du vivant qu'ils ont permis de constituer, ainsi que les travaux actuels des scientifiques, car la région tropicale n'a pas fini de révéler ses secrets. De Quito aux îles Kiribati, des Maldives au Kenya, ce superbe voyage autour de la Terre nous entraîne aussi au cœur de régions paradisiaques tout en montrant avec précision les ravages du changement climatique et les initiatives pour préserver ces territoires à l'exceptionnelle biodiversité.
Réalisation : Hannah Leonie Prinzler