There is a new digital exhibit in Special Collections: Places in the World: Treasures from the Venable Collection, curated by John Henry Adams. As the title suggests, the exhibit showcases the recently acquired Gary E. and Janet J. Venable Antiquarian Atlas & Map Collection, a collection of 163 single-sheet maps and 79 bound atlases from the 16th through the 20th centuries. Digital Services is currently digitizing maps from the collection and uploading them to the MU Digital Library so that you can enjoy them even if you can’t manage a trip to Special Collections.
The exhibit focuses on how we all use maps to understand places in the world. Maps organize our worldview and let us develop an idea of how different locations relate to one another, whether we have been there physically or only mentally. The twenty maps in the exhibit are mainly from the 1600s with a few highlights from the 1500s, 1700s, and 1800s. They include maps of Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the World, each of which is accompanied by a discussion of its context and a few points of interest, whether they be errors or artistic flourishes. We hope that the exhibit piques your interest and makes you look at maps, whether they be in your glove compartment, on your phone, or in Special Collections in a different light!