Treasures: 1482 to the Digital Age
February 10 - March 12, 2012
The Leventhal Map Center’s cartographic collections, with 200,000 maps and 5,000 atlases, date from the 1480s to the present. They provide worldwide geographic coverage and illustrate many historical themes. The collection’s strengths focus on four key topics – the history and settlement of Boston and New England, the American Revolutionary War, maritime trade and nautical charts, and the growth and mapping of urban communities.
The exhibition is enriched by many individual treasures including the 1482 atlas, Geographia by Ptolemy, which is displayed next to a monitor that shows every digitized page of the book. World maps, atlases, and globes from the 15th – 17th centuries, as well as a wide range of historic maps of Boston and New England are on view. While a “treasure” is often defined by the beholder, some of these items are exhibited because of their rarity, while others were selected for their beauty, unique format or historic importance.