Volume 5: Cartography in the Nineteenth Century

The University of Chicago Press History of Cartography Project is well known amongst map historians.  This publication, of which 4 volumes (in 6 books) have already appeared, is the brain-child of David Woodward and Brian Harley (both deceased), and will eventually cover the history of early maps from antiquity to the 21st century. The current Editor of the HoC Project, Prof Matthew Edney, was Chair of the ICA Commission of the History of Cartography from 2005-2009.  The Chicago HoC Project is of special interest to the ICA Commission as many members have contributed to Volume 6 which deals with the 20th century.  Volume 5, which deals with the 19th century, is currently in the planning stage.

At the International Cartographic Conference (ICHC) which took place in Copenhagen in Denmark from 12-17 July 2009, the ICA Commission on the History of Cartography was given the opportunity to discuss with the Project leaders some aspects of the planning and design of Volume 5. At these discussions, the volume editor, Prof Roger Kain (University of Exeter, UK), issued a Questionnaire asking interested ICA Commission members for their views on what should be included in Volume 5. After the Copenhagen meeting, this questionnaire was forwarded to all ICA Commission members.

A discussion of the possible contents and structure of Volume 5 will also feature at the ICA Symposium at the University of Texas (Arlington) in October 2010. To facilitate this process, the Volume 5 Questionnaire has also been placed on this website. ICA Commission members interested in the Cartography of the 19th Century are requested to please complete the questionnaire irrespective of whether they will attend the Symposium in Texas (Arlington). Completed questionnaires will be automatically forwarded to the History of Cartography Project, Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin.

When completing the Questionnaire, please consider the following background information which was provided in Copenhagen in 2009:  

Work on defining the structure and content of Volume 5 is under way, following the appointment of Prof Roger Kain (University of Exeter, UK)  as volume editor. The only ‘given’ is that the volume will adopt an encyclopaedic format (as volumes 4 and 6). The content is entirely open at present other than for the obvious point that Volume 5 sits in time between Volume 4 (eighteenth century) and Volume 6 (twentieth century). The content of both of these volumes is already determined, so there is a need for Volume 5 to bridge across topics which have beginnings, or ends, or both, in the other volumes in addition to identifying those topics that are unique to the nineteenth century. It might be argued that a distinguishing characteristic of the nineteenth century is the institutionalization of map making and map use and that the institutions and practices of this formalized cartography became increasingly international, intersecting across Europe, the Pacific, the Atlantic and into traditional Asian societies. The volume editor and the Project director would like to get a sense of the wider community’s understanding of the ‘big issues’ of nineteenth-century cartography. They are also interested in hearing about those maps and surveys that exemplify the character and processes of nineteenth-century cartography. Volume 5 cannot discuss every ‘important’ map made in the 1800s; the question is: which ones can be used to illustrate key themes?



Concepts and Challenges for Cartography in the Nineteenth Century, Volume Five of The History of Cartography, edited by Roger J. P. Kain.


Please identify subjects you think Volume Five should include, and give a brief reason why. Subject categories are:

Q1: an overarching map-related theme or socio-cultural aspect.

Q2: a key individual (truly innovative, institutionally significant, highly productivepublisher, who can be cited as an example of a category of makers of 'small' maps, ie. the kind of map often dismissed as not worth noticing or keeping).

Q3: a specific technology, practice, or type of instrument that was widely used or that was in some way especially significant in nineteenth-century map making.

Q4: a key map (truly influential or exemplary of a family of maps).

Q5: a key survey (truly influential, institutionally significant, or exemplary of a type of survey activity).