The College of Letters & Science is home to an interdisciplinary project that is publishing a chronicle of the history of maps and mapping.
Known as The History of Cartography Project, the multi-volume project is also proving that maps aren’t just for books.
All four books of Volumes One and Two of The History of Cartography are now available online at no cost through the University of Chicago Press.
The Press converted all parts of each book – not only the chapters but also the prefaces, indexes, illustrations, captions, and cumulative bibliographies – into PDF files that can be read online or downloaded. A search function also allows users to search individual files or across all files at once for specified keywords.
Volumes One and Two cover cartography in the ancient and classical world and medieval Europe (Vol. 1, ed. Harley and Woodward, 1987); the traditional Asian and Islamic societies (Vol. 2.1 and Vol. 2.2, ed. Harley and Woodward, 1992 and 1994); and indigenous societies across the rest of the world (Vol. 2.3, ed. Woodward and Lewis, 1998).
While many thousands of copies of these groundbreaking books have been sold, they are still not readily available to all map historians because of their cost. Online publication now makes this scholarship available to a wider audience.
The books brought sustained attention to societies and cultures other than those on which map historians had generally focused. They demonstrated the validity of a socio-cultural approach to map history and encouraged much new scholarship.
For information about current Project activities, read their most recently-published newsletter at archive of Project newsletters.
The Department of Geography’s History of Cartography Project is a research, editorial, and publishing venture drawing international attention to the history of maps and mapping. The Project’s major work is the multi-volume History of Cartography series. Its inter-disciplinary approach brings together scholars in the arts, sciences, and humanities. By considering previously ignored aspects of cartographic history, the Project encourages a broader view of maps that has significantly influenced other fields of study.