Atlases

Atlas and Time

3507.1 - Turning a school atlas into a history atlas: the Bos-atlas online 1877-1939

Monday, July 3
1:30 PM - 1:50 PM
Location: Maryland B

In 1877 Master Bos published a school atlas in the Netherlands which is currently in its 55th edition. Utrecht University library has had all the maps in the first 36 editions of the atlas scanned and it built a website in which these maps can be compared to each other, both syn-chronically or dia-chronically. This service is aimed at high school pupils, allowing them to study the changes on the maps of the countries or continents from one edition to the next. Used to work with a recent edition of this atlas, the students would already be familiar with this teaching aid.
A textual commentary shows them the specific aspects and bias of school atlases. It discusses the changes in the world’s geography and in the way the Dutch in general and the editors of this atlas in particular viewed the world in the past, as reflected in the maps and in the structure of the atlas.The texts make the students aware both of the changes in our knowledge of the world, and of the changes in the world itself since the 1870s. As 1877-1938 period is the heyday of colonialism, pupils are also made aware of its (hidden) trappings. Otherwise, the commentaries that can be accessed give the reasons for the changes on each specific map from one edition to the next.
The paper will describe the project, the functionality of the website and give examples of the kind of tasks or assignments that can be performed.

Ferjan Ormeling

Prof.Dr.
Utrecht University

After a career in teaching cartography, Ferjan Ormeling focuses now on research in atlas cartography, toponymy and the history of cartography. As member of the University of Amsterdam EXPLOKART research group he is currently working on the history of cartography of Indonesia and has published extensively on the history of the Bos-atlas; he chairs the editorial board of the journal on the history of cartography Caert Thresoor and is vice-chair of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names. For Leiden University and the ICA commission on the History of Cartography he participates in the organization of their September 2017 MAPPING ASIA international symposium.

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3507.1 - Turning a school atlas into a history atlas: the Bos-atlas online 1877-1939

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