Planning the Allied invasion of France.

The extracts of the two maps shown here are from a number of maps recently catalogued and added to the collection which were published by Allied Forces to help with the invasion of France, and feature coastal towns on both the North East and South West coast. Both sheets are from earlier published sets by the cartographic wing of the […]

Maps as scrap paper: an unfinished work from the 1730s

This atlas seems to have had a hard life. The printed maps, dating from the early eighteenth century, are nicely engraved and hand coloured but most are stained and tatty and have been heavily folded to fit into the binding. On closer inspection it is not a published atlas as such, but a collection of […]

Prussia pausing…

Few maps manage to combine cartography, history and sheer bonkersness with such good effect as Prussia pausing, or the accurate armistice demarcation line. In the map the neck and face of a lion are overprinted on a map of France like some animalistic Victorian ectoplasm to show the areas occupied by German forces at the end of […]

Copy, reconstruction or fake?

The Map Room was recently given what appeared to be two facsimiles of early printed maps of Paris from the sixteenth century. The smaller one bears a Latin title, “Lutetia vulgo Paris Anno 1575” – a fairly conventional way of giving both the Latin and vernacular versions of a place name in a map title. […]

Hurrah! Hurrah! for Japan

In 1877 the political satirist Frederick Rose produced the ‘Serio-comic war map for the year 1877′.  Rose used the map to compare Russia to an Octopus, the analogy being that Russian tentacles, grabbing hold or in some cases choking various countries, symbolized how Russia was attempting to gain influence over Europe. An earlier blog on cartoon […]

Chalk

We’re slowly processing a large amount of rolled and relief mapping that was donated to the      library a number of years ago.  Everything has been carefully stored in bubble wrap but a lot of the material is old, and quite a lot has been used for teaching purposes and has been varnished, that […]

Casablanca

Casablanca is one of those names which is more than a location; how many of us think of the movie before the place? The film features the best use of a map (a globe really) in an opening sequence With France under Marshal Petain agreeing a neutrality which favoured the Germans after French defeat in […]

Danger hills

The advent of motoring as a popular pastime allowed publishers to add a new angle to their map sales, the map specially designed for the Motorist. This cover from an early example (Bacon’s new half-inch maps for cyclists and motorists, circa 1908) shows a view of a new open-topped car with it’s wealthy owners out […]

Triangulation, rare maps and an annoyed King…

Once fought over by the English with claims to territory dating back to the conquest France has seen revolution and invasion as well as the courts of Kings and, for a short time, Popes, and throughout this time maps have played a key role in the development and history of this strategically important country. This […]