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Maps of the American West

Subject Source: Local sources
Scope Note: Maps of the American West was a 2006 online exhibit for Special Collections compiled by Mark Dolph under the aegis of Dr. James Ronda.

"The seven maps that make up this Special Collections on-line exhibit represent only a small portion of the collection awaiting students interested in the mapping of the trans-Mississippi West. These maps are artifacts of a time when much of what would become the American West was terra incognita for virtually all Euro-Americans. Through the study of these maps students can begin to understand how representations of a geographic void were incrementally transformed into reliable geographic knowledge. What was once unknown becomes, through the confluence of science and art, a visual image of “what’s out there?”

"Too often maps are judged solely on their accuracy. A good map is an accurate map because it conveys topographical truth. This kind of judgment puts a premium on correctly reconstructing the past through the outline and shape of a landscape, where all the known features are positioned precisely in space.

"But old maps should be considered as more than mirrors of a geographic reality. As J. B. Harley suggests, “maps redescribe the world - like any other document - in terms of relations of power and of cultural practices, preferences, and priorities.” Maps understood from this perspective become text. They have a graphic language waiting to be decoded. Once decoded, they can reveal the cultural values and ambitions of the societies that created them. This dual nature of maps, their “slipperiness,” allows historians an opportunity to discover new meanings and hidden agendas between their images and texts. Maps represent some of our most basic and important historical documents. The careful study of maps, such as those in McFarlin Library’s Special Collections, enables us to gain a greater understanding of the American West and its landscapes, moving us closer to the roots of our history."

Found in 7 Collections and/or Records:

A Chart of the Internal Part of Louisiana, 1810, 1895

 Item — Map-case 4, drawer: 7, map: 7.41
Identifier: 1500.
Scope and Contents

....Including all the hitherto unexplored Countries lying between the River La Platte of the Missouri on the N and the Red River on the S, the Mississippi East and the Mountains of Mexico Z.M. Pike, Capt. USI.

Dates: 1810; Publication: 1895

A map of North America, constructed according to the latest information by H.S. Tanner, 1822

Identifier: G4300 1822 .T36
Scope and Contents

Large map of North America engraved and published by H. S. Tanner as the 4th folio of Tanners New American Atlas. Colored. Relief shown by hachures. Prime meridian: Washington. Printed by Wm. Duffee. Special Collections note: Inscribed "Charles J. [ ...] from his uncle at [ ...] Paris 15 février 1924."

Inset map of the Aleutian Islands and a compative chart of elevations.

Scale [approximately 1:7,500,000] (W 125°--W 100°/N 42°--N 15°)

Dates: 1822

A Map of The Indian Territory, Northern Texas And New Mexico Showing the Great Western Prairies, 1844

Identifier: F800 .G83_1844_map
Scope and Contents

A map of Northern Texas & the Plains, from Josiah Gregg's monumental Commerce Of The Prairies, one of the classic accounts of the Transmississippi West and a cornerstone work for studies of the Santa Fe Trail.

Scale: 1:3,000,000 (60 miles to the inch.)

Dates: Publication: 1844

A New Map of Texas, Oregon and California, 1846

 Item — Map-case 4, drawer: 8, map: 8.11
Identifier: 1500.
Scope and Contents

....with the Regions Adjoining, Compiled from the most recent authorities. Map shows Texas, Oregon, Upper California, Missouri Territory and the Indian Territory covering most of Kansas and Colorado.

Color engraving with ornate borders, printed on paper. A pocket map removed from the accompnaiment to the map, bound into cloth-covered boards.

Published by Samuel Augustus Mitchell, Philadelphia, PA.

Scale is approximately 300 miles to the inch.

Dates: 1846

Atlas géographique et physique du royaume de la Nouvelle-Espagne : fondé sur des observations astronomiques, des mesures trigonométriques et de nivellemens barométriques par Al. de Humboldt, 1812

Identifier: F1211 .H9 1812 Atlas +OVRSZ
Scope and Contents

Atlas to accompany the author's Essai politique sur le royaume de la Nouvelle-Espagne, which forms part three of Voyage de Humboldt et Bonpland. Paris, 1805-34

Paris: Chez G. Dufour, 1812.

Dates: Publication: 1812

Map of Arkansa and Other Territories of the United States, 1822

 Item — Map-case 4, drawer: 7, map: 52
Identifier: 1500.
Scope and Contents

...Respectfully inscribed to the Hon. J.C. Calhoun, Secretary of War, by S.H. Long, Major T. Engineers. Atlas map includes sidebars featuring geographical, statistical, and historical information.

Published by H.C. Carey & I. Lea, Philadelphia, PA. Drawn by S.H. Long, Major US Engineers. Engraved by Young & Delleker.

Dates: 1822

The American atlas, 1776

Identifier: G1100 .J44 1776 +OVRSZ
Scope and Contents The American atlas: or, A geographical description of the whole continent of America; wherein are delineated at large, its several regions, countries, states, and islands; and chiefly the British colonies, composed from numerous surveys, several of which were made by order of government surveys; by Capt. Holland, Capt. Carver, Lewis Evans, William Scull, Henry Mouzon, Lieut Ross, J. Cook, Michael Lane, Joseph Gilbert, Gardner, Hillock, &c. &c. Engraved on forty-nine copper-plates, by...
Dates: Publication: 1776