The Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas has an extensive collection of digitized maps of the world, continents, nations, major cities, and US states (with a sub-collection of Texas maps), ranging from contemporary to historical, thematic to topographic.
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For today’s post, I’ve selected some of the more unusual maps. Use the titles to find the image pages for downloading or zooming in on details.
The first two are from “Illustrations of Japan consisting of private memoirs and anecdotes of the reigning dynasty of the Djogouns, or sovereigns of Japan…” by Isaac Titsingh, London: R. Ackermann, 1822, and are in the Asia Historical Maps category.
Japan – “Earthquake and Eruption of the Mountain of Asama-yama, in the province of Sinano.”
Japan – “The Chinese Factory in the Street of Teng-chan at Nagasaki, founded in 1688.” [Note: During the period of Japanese seclusion, the Chinese, like the Dutch, were allowed to reside and trade in a restricted area in Nagasaki.]
Also in Asia Historical Maps is this one from “Cho-Khang, The Grand Temple of Buddha at Lhasa” from Journey to Lhasa and Central Tibet by Sarat Chandra Das, 1902.
[Tibet] Grand Temple at Lhasa 1902
The next two are from Middle East Historical Maps, and although both are of Babylon, they hardly seem to be maps of the same places. The first appeared in Travels in Chaldaea, including a journey from Bussorah to Bagdad, Hillah, and Babylon, performed on foot in 1827, published by Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, London, 1829. I like the descriptive bits, like, “The whole ground exhibits irregular hillocks and mounds.”
From Iraq and the Persian Gulf, Great Britain. Naval Intelligence Division, 1944.
Any map that mentions Terra incognita gets my attention, and there are several that do in the section Historical Maps of Polar Regions and Oceans, among them, Wytfliet’s Map of the Southern Continent, 1597.
From The Scottish Geographical Magazine Vol. XVI, No. 1, 1900.
The next one is from Historical Maps of the United States. I wonder how a map of the distribution of wealth based on 2010 census data would compare.
From The Statistics of the Population of the United States, Compiled from the Original Returns of the Ninth Census, 1872.
Finally, The Notable High Buildings of the World 1896, in the category Historical World Maps featured in Rand, McNally & Co.’s Universal Atlas of The World. Edition 1896.