The Mapping of North America

by Philip D. Burden

A list of printed maps 1511-1670

The Mapping of North America documents the printed cartographic record of the discovery of the continent to 1670. The arrival of Christopher Columbus on the American continent in 1492 follows arguably the most influential European invention of the second millennium: printing by the use of movable type. The new technology’s application to printing images soon led to a desire for maps. These began to appear in the 1470s. For students of American history this background means that one of the most important geographical discoveries of man is fully documented in print. Much has been written on the printed word in relation to America, and many works exist on the cartography of it, however, none has attempted to comprehensively detail every known printed map.

Maps are one of the most fascinating forms of media. They condense into one document an immense amount of information. Each map is discussed in detail, with a description of both its publication and background history, including those of the cartographers, printers and publishers involved. The complicated network of sources is revealed. Also, if any explorations are recorded, a description of them is incorporated. Lastly, but by no means least, each entry is accompanied by a detailed photograph.

The book details all known printed maps, many previously unrecorded, depicting any part of North America (i.e. present day Canada and the United States). Arranged chronologically, the work is complemented by a foreword by Tony Campbell, a full bibliography, and various appendices and charts including a title index and a list of first depictions in maps.

Mapping of North America Vol. I

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608 pages, 270 x 365 mm., bound in burgundy cloth with colour dustjacket. With 410 map entries, 11 colour plates and 418 black and white photographs. ISBN 0 9527733 0 9.

Prices cloth bound, $195 (UK £120). Limited editions of half leather are available for $400 (UK £225).

The Mapping of North America was a finalist in the quadrennial ILAB international Bibliography Prize awarded in 1998.

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Foreword by Tony Campbell, Map Librarian, British Library



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