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Publication: Torn in Two: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War (exhibit)



2011
ISBN 978-0-615-47402-1 (soft cover)
152 pp., 115 color illus.
$35.00
Online Catalog

Related Links:
Civil War

Torn in Two: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. An exhibition organized by the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center from the Special Collections of the Boston Public Library, May 15-December 31, 2011.

By: Ronald E. Grim and Debra Block.

Torn in Two: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, the fourth gallery exhibition of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, commemorates one of the major events in America's history.

In many ways, the Civil War represents a watershed in the history of the United States. As a result of the conflict, the Federal government solidified its dominance over the states. The North won and it was its version of America that would prevail. Industrial production in factories using a free labor force would grow rapidly in the nation’s cities. Despite an expanding diversity in these bursting urban areas, increasingly dominated by the seemingly endless streams of immigrants from Asia and Europe, the rise of mass media created common reference points that masked these differences.

Yet what transpired was not a departure from what came before but an acceleration of trends in transportation, communication, and manufacturing. These factors led to the creation of and eventual predominance of an urban middle class lifestyle. These changes were neither pervasive nor monolithic yet the veneer persisted that our national motto, E Pluribus Unum, One out of Many, had come to pass. And it would be this middle class that would set the standard for a public culture.

The cities of the republic also had a growing working class that demanded its own leisure pursuits. All of these forces combined to create strong demand for and the ability to supply a wide variety of printed materials. By mid-19th century photographs, lithographs and other visual media were quickly and easily produced and transmitted to a growing and eager audience.

The war greatly increased the desire for these images. Maps in particular became crucial to tell the story of the conflict. Those on the home front were desperate for news of military campaigns, both to locate loved ones and to learn about hitherto unknown battle sites. Crucial to the successful execution of military campaigns, the absence of reliable cartographic information led to high casualties. The institution of after battle mapping by the Federal government was both a form of historical documentation as well as the assertion of a central authority that increasingly insisted on uniform standards.

The essays that accompany this exhibition catalog enhance our ability to tell the story of an important chapter in our nation’s history. All emphasize maps as a lens with which to understand the past. Two articles focus on the antebellum period. Susan Schulten explores the political landscape that led to disunion in Mapping the Sectional Crisis as she notes the problems related to extending slavery into newly acquired territories during the 19th century. Debra Newman Ham traces the quest for emancipation along the eastern seaboard in “Thenceforward and Forever Free”: The Quest for Emancipation in the United States.

During the war, David Bosse identifies the role that maps played in the media in bringing the story to the home front in The Parlor War: Civil War Maps in the Popular Media. Richard Miller details the importance of maps to a single battle and questions the results had better cartographic information been available to Northern troops in The Battle of Balls Bluff: Would Terrain Maps Have Made a Difference?

Finally, Ronald Grim presents the creation of after battle maps of Gettysburg in Remember the War through Maps: Creating the Gettysburg Post-Battle Maps, and explores the role these maps played in the ways in which the war has been memorialized. Together these essays reveal that this was a war that was documented unlike any previous war, and that the issues that dominated the headlines then continue to engage us today.

HOW TO ORDER

To order, please make your check payable to:
Norman B. Leventhal
Map Center, Inc.


Send to:
Norman B. Leventhal
Map Center at the
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116

Publication: Boston and Beyond (exhibit)



February 2008
ISBN 0-89073-132-2
168 pp., 132 color illus. $35.00
(paper)

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Boston and Beyond

Boston and Beyond: A Bird's Eye View of New England. An exhibit from the collections of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, January 2008-June 2008.

By: Ronald E. Grim, Roni Pick, and Eileen Warburton.

Boston and Beyond, the third gallery exhibit of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, marks the public debut of one of the world's pre-eminent collections of urban bird's eye views and celebrates its preservation through a Save America's Treasures award.

Unlike conventional flat maps, bird's eye views are a fascinating kind of specialty map that present an urban area as if it was being viewed from an elevation of 2,000 to 3,000 feet. The town "below" appears in a kind of imaginative snapshot at a moment in history, revealing the factories, homes, parks, cemeteries, churches, and even the details of vernacular architecture.

The story of the exhibit, so vividly dramatized through these fascinating maps, is of the growing economic vitality and urbanization of Boston and the New England region during the last half of the 19th century, when industrialization and immigration were the primary engines of urban growth. These maps are also arresting works of popular art, all devised by the Boston craftsmen who were the leaders in the field. The public is reintroduced to these talented, forgotten artists and to a genre of graphic fine art not often seen today. To illuminate the process and intentions of the mapmakers for creating these unusual perspectives, the exhibit includes examples of their diaries, field sketch notes, and manuscript drawings.

The exhibit catalog features full-page color illustrations of the bird's eye views displayed in the exhibit, as well as extended captions discussing the history and economy of the individual communities. The views, which generally are not oriented with north at the top of the page, are paired with late 19th-century topographic maps that identify the artist's vantage point in composing the drawing. In addition, essays by Alex Krieger and Debra Block provide cartographical and historical background for appreciating this fascinating collection of urban views.

HOW TO ORDER

To order, please make your check payable to:
Norman B. Leventhal
Map Center, Inc.


Send to:
Norman B. Leventhal
Map Center at the
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116

Publication: Boston and Beyond (essays)



April 2008
37 pp., color illus.

Related Links:
Boston and Beyond

Boston and Beyond: A Bird's Eye View of New England

By: Debra Block, Ronald E. Grim, and Alex Krieger.

Essays. In the essays written to accompany the gallery exhibit, three scholars enrich our understanding of these unique bird's eye view maps and the 19th century historical milieu that produced them.

Ronald E. Grim, Ph.D., Curator of Maps at the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, explores the unusual motives and perspectives for this kind of map-making in "Which Way North?"

In "As Though in Flight," Alex Krieger, FAIA, Professor in Practice, GSD, Harvard University, places the bird's eye views of this exhibit in a fascinating historical context stretching from centuries of imagined aerial views to the realities of today's Google Earth.

Debra Block, Ph.D., Director of Education at the Map Center, examines the implications of the signs of rapid urbanization and industrialization in the American 19th century landscape depicted in these bird's eye views in "Time Shifts: A Changing America, 1850 - 1900."

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Publication: Journeys of the Imagination



April 2006
ISBN 0-89073-129-2.115
pp., 78 color illus. $35.00
(paper)

Related Links:
Faces and Places

Journeys of the Imagination: An Exhibition of World Maps and Atlases from the Collections of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, April 2006 through August 2006

By: Ronald E. Grim and Roni Pick

Journeys of the Imagination is an exhibition designed to explore the various ways that mapmakers from the 15th century until today have created and translated their real and imagined world views. They recorded these diverse and ever changing images on various media including paper, globes, and computer screens.

Their efforts allow us an opportunity to understand how cartographers were able to integrate the information that was well known, unknown, and still imbedded in their own imaginations.

The maps in this exhibition catalog depict the excitement of discovery and scientific investigation, the artwork, and the social, historical
and cultural influences that informed the creation of these documents. These maps are examined, not just as geographic records of the world at a particular time, but as documents that have stories to tell, both about how and why the maps were created, and what they have to say about a particular cultures world view.

By skillfully integrating the four basic map elements of projection, orientation, scale, and symbols, mapmakers have been able to convey a variety of cartographic information to the public. This exhibition catalog explores the biases that inform cartographers preferences as they express their world views. This captivating selection of fifty maps judiciously samples the fascinating record of civilization in the context of its history, geography, politics, and religion.

The exhibition catalog provides full-page color illustrations of the maps displayed in the exhibition, as well as extended captions discussing the significance of the respective images. In addition, three scholarly essays, by Ronald E. Grim, Wesley A. Brown, and Susan Schulten highlight various aspects of the exhibition.

HOW TO ORDER

To order, please make your check payable to:
Norman B. Leventhal
Map Center, Inc.


Send to:
Norman B. Leventhal
Map Center at the
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116

Publication: Mapping Boston



September 1999
ISBN 0-262-11244-2
272 pp., 270 illus., 160 color
$70.00 (cloth)

Mapping Boston

Edited by: Alex Krieger and David Cobb with Amy Turner
Forward by: Norman B. Leventhal

To the attentive user even the simplest map can reveal not only where things are but how people perceive and imagine the spaces they occupy. Mapping Boston is an exemplar of such creative attentiveness--bringing the history of one of America's oldest and most beautiful cities alive through the maps that have depicted it over the centuries.

The book includes both historical maps of the city and maps showing the gradual emergence of the New England region from the imaginations of explorers to a form that we would recognize today. Each map is accompanied by a full description and by a short essay offering an insight into its context. The topics of these essays by Anne Mackin include people both familiar and unknown, landmarks, and events that were significant in shaping the landscape or life of the city. A highlight of the book is a series of new maps detailing Boston's growth.

The book also contains seven essays that explore the intertwining of maps and history. Urban historian Sam Bass Warner, Jr., starts with a capsule history of Boston. Barbara McCorkle, David Bosse, and David Cobb discuss the making and trading of maps from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Historian Nancy S. Seasholes reviews the city's remarkable topographic history as reflected in maps, and planner Alex Krieger explores the relation between maps and the physical reality of the city as experienced by residents and visitors. In an epilogue, novelist James Carroll ponders the place of Boston in contemporary culture and the interior maps we carry of a city.

HOW TO ORDER

Mapping Boston can be purchased at the MIT Press web site.

Norman B. Leventhal Map Center (http://maps.bpl.org)