Maps and Atlases

Throughout our home any visitor will easily notice that maps hold a very strong presence in both our decor, and our book collection. Enjoyable not only for their aesthetic attributes, but also for their historical significance maps and atlases have always been very appealing to James and myself.

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We have one globe that is only a few years old. It can be dated by looking at Kosovo, the Netherlands Antilles, and Sudan. One day we hope to find an antique globe from the 1950s when we have more rooms to put them in.

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When James’ father and uncle were children, his grandmother got a few prints of antique maps to decorate their rooms. We have since inherited these maps and have them displayed around our apartment.

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In James’ old apartment, he used these scans from a mid-twentieth century history book to fill up some empty space on his walls. We have them stored in a drawer now waiting until we have a house to hang them in.

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Also in storage is this map of Rome from the early 1970s that James’ grandparents got while visiting Italy.

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James’ favorite type of map projection is the Mercator projection because of how it stretches to infinity at the Arctic Archipelago. We picked up a print of a Mercator world map from the eve of the Second World War. It strangely labels the “British Isles” with no reference to the United Kingdom or Ireland.

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Among our antique books, we have Hammond’s Standard World Atlas from 1957 and the 1969 World Book Atlas.

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The 1957 book features a fractured Germany and an Africa that is still dominated by Europe.

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The 1969 atlas has a selection of historical maps, as well as a Southeast Asian map that reflects the Vietnam War.

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James was absolutely fascinated by the changing geographic situation in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall (the political aspect was a bit too complex for a kindergartener), and the 1992 World Book Atlas was his main reference for the former Soviet Republics. This page still shows a united Czechoslovakia.

Even though we have a decent variety, we certainly plan to continue expanding our collection of globes, maps, and atlases.

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