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Images of the World: The Atlas through History
     

Images of the World: The Atlas through History

by Ronald E. Grim (Editor), John A. Wolter (Editor)
 
When we think of atlases,we regard them as utilitarian-reference books in which to find a map,look up a state capital,or check the height of a famous mountain. However,as this scholarly chronicle reveals,atlases are also alive with beauty and human history. By looking at them from pre-Gutenberg days onward,we see them not as cartographic objects but rather as social

Overview

When we think of atlases,we regard them as utilitarian-reference books in which to find a map,look up a state capital,or check the height of a famous mountain. However,as this scholarly chronicle reveals,atlases are also alive with beauty and human history. By looking at them from pre-Gutenberg days onward,we see them not as cartographic objects but rather as social and economic influences that have shaped the history of the world. Lavishly illustrated with 196 rare and historical maps-some from the Library of Congress' noted collection and 46 in full color-this volume is unique. It is the first to put atlases in perspective from their glory days of centuries ago,when they were treasured showpieces commissioned by kings,to their future in the Internet age. Throughout,it recounts fascinating takes of influential atlas makers,both world-renowned and obscure.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Conceived by Wolter, former chief of the Library of Congress's geography and map division, from an international symposium held at the Library of Congress in October 1984, this work majestically explores the rich heritage of the atlas through essays and sumptuous illustrations. The 15 contributions by international scholars are divided into four parts: "Early Manuscripts and Printed Atlases," "Atlases of the Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries," "Atlases of the Late Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries," and "Atlases of the Late Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: The Future of Atlases." There are 196 illustrations, many in color, including rare, historical maps, mostly from the collection of the Library of Congress. This handsome volume complements Leo Bagrow's History of Cartography, revised and enlarged by R.A. Skelton (1964), and is recommended for public, academic, and special libraries.-Edward K. Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. System, Ft. Pierce, Fla.
Kirkus Reviews
Scholarly probings into the evolution of atlases as embodiments of science, philosophy, and artistry.

A decade back, the Library of Congress, holder of the largest cartographic collection in the world, held a symposium on the past and future of the atlas as a means of recording and disseminating spatial information of all kinds, a graphic representation of the human occupancy of the earth. Participants were asked to consider the story of the atlas as a book, revealing the slow changes in printing, format, and color, identifying how these reflected the period of their production, and speculating on the fate of the printed atlas in the age of the database. The 15 essays in this heavily illustrated volume (first presented at the symposium) span the entire history of atlas-making around the world. Particularly good are contributions from Mei-Ling Hsu on the unusual concepts and celestial fixations of early Chinese atlases; Gunter Schilder on the evolution of pilot books from octavo booklets to the great folios of the nautical atlases; Walter W. Ristow on the publishers of early American atlases; and Barbara B. Petchenik on the future of printed maps (she suggests that they may soon be no more than a method of providing children with an understanding of spatial meaning, while the rest of us will be turning to software to answer cartographic questions). An adequate number of the maps are reproduced in color, though more might be wished for, and the editors, curators of the Library of Congress's map collection, could have enlivened the prose a tad, for some of the essays are dry to the point of aridity.

Map lovers will be gratified to see their tax dollars put to such thoughtful, elegant, and tangible use.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780070715783
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill Companies, The
Publication date:
08/01/1996
Pages:
433
Product dimensions:
8.88(w) x 11.39(h) x 1.16(d)

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