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Enclosed is information on additions to the Library of Congress American
Memory Historic Collections. This announcement is being sent to a number
of lists. Apologies for any duplication.

If you have questions please forward them to ndlpcoll@loc.gov. Thank you

Geography and Map Division adds a New Collection and Updates Existing
Collections on American Memory

The Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress is pleased to
announce a new collection to be added to the American Memory historical
collections. Mapping the National Parks, which can be found at the
following URL: <http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/nphtml/nphome.html>
provides users with information about the history, cultural aspects and
geological formations of the areas that
became Acadia, Great Smokey Mountain, Grand Canyon and Yellowstone
National Parks. The 200 maps that comprise this collection date from the
17th Century to the current day and provide samples of early mapping
practices as well as information on the areas that would become the
parks themselves. Each park has a Special Presentation, which provides
additional information about each park and provides examples of the
kinds of maps available for study. Of special interest are the nautical
charts that are a part of the Acadia National Park Special Presentation.
These nautical charts not only document the shore and water areas that
are a part of Acadia National Park; they also document the importance of
the water as a source of transportation and commerce for the area. Also
of interest are the maps of the Grand Canyon that can be accessed by
clicking the image on the site's home page. These maps not only provide
detailed information about the Grand Canyon but also glorious views of
various scenes from the Canyon, many of which can also be accessed from
the Evolution of the Conservation Movement collection, which is also
part of American Memory. The Rockefeller Foundation provided funding for
the Mapping the National Parks collection.

In addition to this new collection, the Geography and Map Division has
added two new special maps to its current online collections.  A special
presentation about the 1562 Map of America by Diego Gutiérrez has been
added to the Discovery and Exploration Maps collection
<http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/dsxphome.html>. Gutiérrez, a noted
cosmographer from the firm Casa de la Contratación, collaborated with
Hieronymous Cock, a noted engraver from Antwerp, to create a map of the
Americas, what was then considered the fourth part of the world. At the
time it was the largest engraved map of the Americas and presently only
two copies of this map survive, one here at the Library of Congress; the
other at the British Library. This richly illustrated map provides a
view of an America filled with images and names that had been
popularized in Europe following Columbus's 1492 voyage of discovery.
Images of parrots, monkeys, mermaids, fearsome sea creatures, Patagonian
giants, and an erupting volcano in central Mexico complement the
numerous settlements, rivers, mountains, and capes named. This map
correctly identifies the location of the Amazon River and many other
bodies of water in South America. The map also identified various land
areas in the Southwestern United States and in Central America.

The final addition to the online map collections is the 1570 Theatrum
Orbis Terrarum (Theater of the World) by Abraham Ortelius, (1527-1598),
a Dutch Scholar and geographer. This atlas has been added to the special
presentation on atlases in the General Map Collections
<http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/gnrlhome.html>. Theatrum Orbis
Terrarum is considered the first true atlas in the modern sense: a
collection of uniform map sheets and sustaining text bound to form a
book for which copper printing plates were specifically engraved. More
than an original concept, the Theatrum was also the most authoritative
and successful such work during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth
centuries. Because it was frequently revised to reflect new geographical
and historical insights, contemporary scholars in Western Europe praised
the Theatrum highly for its accuracy .The Theatrum atlas first appeared
in 1570 and continued to be published until 1612. During this period,
over seventy-three hundred copies were printed in thirty-one editions
and seven different languages-a remarkable figure for the time. Many of
his atlas's maps were based upon sources that no longer exist or are
extremely rare. In addition, Ortelius included a listed of contemporary
cartographers who served as sources in the creation of this atlas.
Without this many of these cartographers would otherwise have remained

Patrons who wish to just view the plates from the Ortelius Atlas can
click on the words "maps only" and view the beautifully colored and
designed maps that are a part of the atlas. Areas included in this atlas
include Africa, Germany, Greece, Early India and Spain.

For further information about these collections please contact the
Geography and Map Division at 202-707-MAPS.

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