Historical Maps

Historical Maps


maps that reflect historical phenomena and events and that illustrate the interdependence of social developments of the past and geographic factors.

Historical maps show the distribution of ancient cultures and states, indicate social movements and trade routes, and so on. They are subdivided into archaeological, ethnographic, his-toricoeconomic, historicopolitical, historicorevolutionary, military-historical, and historicocultural. Within these branches, historical maps may be general, delineating processes as a whole, or specialized, showing individual aspects of phenomena, events, or facts. Maps may be important in and of themselves (for example, reference and instructional maps and atlases) or have illustrative purposes (maps in works of history).

Historical maps were first included in an atlas by A. Ortelius, in his Atlas of the Geography of the Ancient World (1579). This was followed by the appearance of historical sections in the atlases of the Sansons and in the Duval atlas (latter half of the 17th century); the 18th century saw publication of the maps of J. B. d’Anville.

In the 19th and 20th centuries in a number of capitalist countries, national historical atlases were brought out containing maps of population distribution and administrative divisions; in some countries (Great Britain, the United States, France, and Finland) maps were also produced on the history of the economy and culture. Historical atlases likewise made their appearance in Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria.

Russian historical maps began appearing in the first quarter of the 18th century, with the publication in 1713 of the Book of Martial or Military Deeds by Troops of His Majesty the Tsar of the Russians …, a collection of plans, maps, and diagrams accompanied by explanatory texts of dispatches and war diaries on the battles fought by Russian troops in the Northern War of 1700–21. Appended to each dispatch was an engraved plan of battle as well as engravings of fortresses. Next to make their appearance were a considerable number of manuscript maps in the area of military history, picturing major victories on land and sea. The publication of the first Historical Map of the Russian Empire dates back to 1793.

In the 19th century and the early 20th century, atlases and individual maps were published in political, military, and economic areas; these included the Historical, Chronological, and Geographic Atlas of the Russian State, Compiled by I. Akhmatov on the Basis of Karamzin’s History (parts 1 and 2, 1829–31), N. I. Pavlishchev’s Historical Atlas of Russia (1845), the Instructional Atlas of Russian History of E. E. Zamyslovskii (1865 and 1887), and the Instructional Atlas of Russian History for Secondary and Elementary Educational Institutions of A. Il’in (1868).

Maps and atlases treating economic problems were published by the resettlement office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, by the Ministry of Trade, and by other government bodies. P. I. Keppen (1851) and A. F. Rittikh (1875) published ethnographic maps. The historical military maps brought out had an ancillary function, either accompanying descriptions of the wars of 1799, 1805–15, 1828–29, 1853–56, 1877–78, and 1904–05 or delineating state boundaries and the most likely theaters of military actions.

Soviet historical maps not only reflect historical phenomena, events, and facts but also show their cause-and-effect connections. Speaking specifically of the preparation of Soviet geographic atlases, V. I. Lenin offered guidelines that have had a great effect on the general development of historical cartography. Lenin noted the prime importance of the historical approach in the interpretation of social phenomena and processes, and he underscored the special importance of historicoeconomic maps (see Leninskii sbornik, vol. 20, 1932, pp. 317–23; vol. 23, 1933, pp. 206–08; vol. 34, 1942, pp. 344–45). Soviet historians have produced a number of atlases; among these are the Russian Historical Atlas (1928) of K. V. Kudriashov and the Atlas of the History of the USSR by K. V. Bazilevich, I. A. Golubtsov, and M. A. Zinov’ev (parts 1–3, 1948–50). Atlases of the Union republics, containing historical sections, have been published since the Great Patriotic War (1941–45). The events of military history are reflected in the Atlas of Maps and Diagrams on Russian Military History (1946) of L. G. Beskrovnyi, The Officer’s Atlas (1947), and Naval Atlas (vol. 3, 1958). Very important are the sets of historical maps included in the multivolumed Outlines of the History of the USSR (1953–56), History of the USSR From Earliest Times to Our Day (1966–71), and World History (195569) and in encyclopedias and individual historical studies. A large number of instructional maps and atlases have been issued for secondary and higher schools.

Of substantial interest are thematic atlases: Lenin: Historico-biographical Atlas (1970), Atlas of the History of Geographical Discoveries and Explorations (1959), and the ethnographic atlas Map of the Peoples of the USSR (1966).

As maps become obsolete, they take on the function of historical source material, to which the principles of historical source analysis are applicable. This type of source calls for the use of special research methods and a knowledge not only of history but also of historical and general geography. The scientific discipline that studies historical maps and the methods of producing them is called historical cartography.


Preobrazhenskii, A. I. Sostavlenie i redaktirovanie spetsiaVnykh kart. Moscow, 1961.
Iatsunskii, V. K. Istoricheskaia geografiia. Moscow, 1955.
Gol’denberg, L. A. “Istoricheskaia geografiia.” In Sovetskaia istoricheskaia entsiklopediia, vol. 6. Moscow, 1965. Pages 517–23.


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Visitors can spread over it one of the available historical maps.
Black and white historical maps and engravings provided.
The reports section leads off with another Illawarra-based analysis: Bess Moylan's discussion of how historical maps produced by European surveyors and explorers often recorded Aboriginal cultural landscape information via the physical features they included, as well as via placenames and descriptive texts.
Exhibitors include Chris Makepeace Historical Maps, Friends of Tolson and Ravensknowle Museum, Calderdale Family History Society, Family and Community Historical Research Society, Kirklees Local Studies Library, Huddersfield Local History Society, Holme Valley Civic Society - Local History Group, Huddersfield and District Archaeological Society, Alzheimer's Research Support Group (Huddersfield), West Yorkshire Archive Service (Kirklees), Honley Civic Society and Colne Valley Museum.
A portrait of the national hero Hristo Botev and historical maps of Bulgaria still hang in the building of the former school, NOVA writes.
The library's current collection, which has grown through gifts and loans, includes a 15th century illuminated copy of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, as well as a 15th century manuscript of Wycliffe's Bible, a printed 16th century book of hours, the 1641 Orders of Charles I signed by the king, bundles of historical maps and the St Chad Gospels, dating back to the eighth century.
When he and his wife Audrey researched the interesting find in historical maps, they stumbled on the medieval origins of their village and called in experts.
intuitive tools to compare historical maps with maps of the present.
Generally speaking, there's nothing overly surprising about historical maps of the known world.
Digimap for Schools allows full access to OS mapping of all scales, including large-scale maps, as well as historical maps from 1890s and 1950s.
Over the next few years he attempted various other buildings, such as the old market and cathedral and he has now been able to place all the buildings accurately using historical maps.
The entire digital collection includes more than simply photographs; it also includes historical maps, botanical illustrations, ancient religious texts, menus and pamplets, along with manuscripts and papers from Charles Dickens, Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the correspondences of Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.

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