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Distributed for Bodleian Library Publishing

Treasures from the Map Room

A Journey through the Bodleian Collections

The Bodleian Library is home to one of the world’s largest and oldest collections of maps, with atlases, maps, and books on cartography dating back to the fourteenth century, including many that are among the most rare and historically significant.

Treasures from the Map Room publishes seventy-five extraordinary examples from this collection, housed in the Map Room at the newly renovated Weston Library. The maps reproduced in Treasures range from the fourteenth to the twenty-first century. Among them are the fourteenth-century Gough Map, the earliest road map of Great Britain that achieved a remarkable level of accuracy and detail for its time; fifteenth-century portolan charts intended for maritime navigation; the Selden Map of China, the earliest Chinese map to show shipping routes; and an important early map from the medieval Islamic Book of Curiosities. The book also includes a great many recent examples, including J. R. R. Tolkien’s map of Middle Earth and C. S. Lewis’s map of Narnia. Debbie Hall takes readers back in time to uncover the fascinating story of each treasure, from a map plotting outbreaks of cholera to a jigsaw map of India from the 1850s and silk escape maps carried by pilots flying missions over occupied Europe during World War II.

With lavish full-color photography and descriptions of each map’s provenance, purpose, and creation, Treasures from the Map Room is a beautiful and informative catalog of this remarkable collection.

224 pages | 120 color plates | 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 | © 2016

Geography: Cartography

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“The Bodleian Library holds one of the great collections of maps in the world, and Treasures from the Map Room is a superb achievement in bringing together the library’s greatest cartographic masterpieces in one beautifully illustrated and compellingly written book. Both playful and profound, this book captures the humanity of maps to tell us not just where we are, but also who we are.”

Jerry Brotton, Queen Mary University of London, and author of A History of the World in Twelve Maps

Table of Contents

Chapter 1        Travel and Exploration
Chapter 2        Knowledge and Science
Chapter 3        Pride and Ownership
Chapter 4        Maps of War
Chapter 5        The City in Maps
Chapter 6        Maps for Fun
Chapter 7        Imaginary Lands
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