Changing World Views:
Maps in The Mariners' Museum Collection
The Mariners' Museum and Park's Library and Archives has more than three million items in its Collection, including an impressive map collection. The world maps, in particular, are spectacular representations of the cartographic items. As Europeans explored between the 15th and 20th centuries, world maps became more accurate. Many of these maps focus on specific topics such as trade routes, colonial territories, and natural resources. In addition to their use for navigation, many of these maps are embellished with beautiful imagery.
These maps are just a few of many that The Mariners' Museum Library and Archives has in their collection. We invite you to view the various maps within this site, and consider how maps reflect and shape our perspective of the world - past, present, and future.
You may view more information about any of the maps presented on this site by visiting catalogs.marinersmuseum.org and enter in the catalog number listed in the map description.
Points of View
When we imagine what a world map looks like, chances are we think of the Mercator Projection.
Mapmakers during the 17th and 18th centuries often included new scientific theories and other ideas in maps.
Early maps maps reflected the ongoing efforts of explorers and navigators to chart the world.
Maps became increasingly widespread throughout the nineteenth century, thanks in part to the invention of lithography in 1796
Information and Power
While maps have always provided users with information beyond geographic boundaries, thematic maps became especially popular in the 19th century.