The exhibit, Mapping European Consciousness of Africa: A Survey of the Cartography of Africa from 1535 to 1897, runs from February 1 – March 31, 2013. Dr. Lobban will speaking about the exhibit and the larger collection at Lamson Library and Learning Commons on March 5, 2013 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served. All are welcome to attend this free event.
can be explored through these maps: history, culture, technology and
exploration. Themes to look for in this exhibit include:
The evolution of the ways in which Africa is described. Africa was described from the outside looking in by Europeans who were mostly interested in maritime navigation and coastal trade. Africans met Europeans on the coast as trading partners until the rise of colonialism in the late 1800s. Notice the changes in nomenclature from the pre-colonial to the colonial period.
Improvements and standardization of mapping conventions. Today we take for granted that maps will include scale information and that longitude will be measured from Greenwich, England, but this was not always the case. The exhibit traces the changing reference points in longitude and latitude and the various ways in which scales were expressed (if at all).
Development of different printing methods. As the history of book printing evolved from Gutenberg, map making followed the same path, from woodcuts to copper plates to lithography. Most of the exhibit’s maps are made from copper engravings and include hand-painted watercolors.