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Editing Early and Historical Atlases

Editing Early and Historical Atlases

  • Book Info
    Editing Early and Historical Atlases
    Book Description:

    The atlas, one of the oldest types of geographic encyclopedias and reference works, has often been thought of as simply a group of maps bound together. Yet every atlas is conceived and shaped, put into meaningful order and made uniform in some way by its author, editor, or publisher. Editing Early and Historical Atlases was the title and focus of the twenty-ninth annual Conference on Editorial Problems, organized in honour of the completion of the final volume of the Historical Atlas of Canada.

    The essays in this collection focus on two areas of inquiry: original editing problems associated with various atlases, from the earliest to the most recent, including the products of early author-publisher partnerships as well as modern multidisciplinary editorial and cartographic teams; and the analysis of a variety of different atlases, to give a diverse picture of an important reference work as it has evolved through the ages. The papers throw light on the nature and history of the evolution of the atlas as a book, and also on the atlas as a 'text' of contemporary times.

    As James Akerman says in the introduction to his paper on the origins of the concept of the atlas, 'an atlas is a map of maps, and its editor a meta-cartographer. The editor's primary role in the creation of an atlas is not to draw maps but to make sense of them through the logic or structure of the entire book.'

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7426-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Tables and Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. xi-2)

    The twenty-ninth annual Conference on Editorial Problems, which took place at the University of Toronto on 5 and 6 November 1993, was organized in honour of the imminent completion of the final volume of theHistorical Atlas of Canada, one of the finest modern thematic atlases. To acknowledge this event a group of international scholars was assembled to give papers on a wide variety of aspects of atlas making from the beginning to the present.

    The kinds of editing questions atlases pose are different from those that arise in the editing and transcription of a text and the preparation of...

  6. 1 From Books with Maps to Books as Maps: The Editor in the Creation of the Atlas Idea
    (pp. 3-48)

    Putting a binding around a bundle of unsorted and disorganized maps does not make it an atlas; all atlases worthy of the name are structured according to some geographical scheme or purpose. That is to say, an atlas is distinguished from a mere collection of maps by an editor’s guiding hand; an atlas is a map of maps, and its editor a meta-cartographer. The editor’s primary role in the creation of an atlas is not to draw maps but to make sense of them through the logic orstructure¹ of the entire book. This paper examines the origin of the...

  7. 2 Breaking the Ortelian Pattern: Historical Atlases with a New Program, 1747–1830
    (pp. 49-82)

    Maps designed to clarify or narrate historical events and periods are the stepchildren of cartography. In the old library catalogue of Göttingen University, some historical atlases are listed under the countries they concern, others among aids to historical study such as time charts and genealogical tables, and a few under geography. Most libraries have a more compact system than Göttingen, but its example illustrates the ambiguity and embarassment involved in projecting history onto maps.¹ Accounts of the progress of cartography in Italy, France, or another country mention historical atlases as an afterthought if at all. Few such collections merit the...

  8. 3 ‘Commode, complet, uniforme, et suivi’: Problems in Atlas Editing in Enlightenment France
    (pp. 83-108)

    To understand aspects of atlas editing in eighteenth-century France, we should first consider matters of language, of economics, and of the demands of science. By doing so, we will discover that the infrastructure of the book business, the print trade, and the map tradepreventedthe development of an atlas type which could be described, following James Akerman’s paper, as having graphic exposition, standardization and uniformity, unity of effort and thought. Within this context, we will view with some surprise the publication of what might have superficially seemed ‘just another atlas,’ for it will be seen to have challenge eighteenth-century...

  9. 4 Jomard: The Geographic Imagination and the First Great Facsimile Atlases
    (pp. 109-136)

    Although he is today largely forgotten, Edme François Jomard was one of the most important geographers and indeed an important personality of early nineteenth century France. He lived a total of 85 years and his experience spanned the Ancien regime, the Revolution and its regimes, the First Empire, the Consulat, the Restoration, both soft and hard versions, the July Monarchy, the Second Republic, and the Second Empire. The early nineteenth century was not only a period of political and social experimentation in France, it was also home to major developments in the life sciences, mathematics, physics, astronomy and the then...

  10. 5 Atlas Structures and Their Influence on Editorial Decisions: Two Recent Case Histories
    (pp. 137-162)

    The technological and intellectual evolution of atlas making over the past four and one-half centuries has been traced by a number of historians of cartography.¹ In general one aspect of this evolution has not been sufficiently explored: the concept of atlas structure. This concept is discussed here using some examples from the past and, in particular, two recent atlases, theEconomic Atlas of Ontarioand theHistorical Atlas of Canada, noting the major impacts on editorial decisions that resulted.²

    Elsewhere I have published reflections on the nature of atlas structures: here I wish to amplify and refine those reflections slightly.³...

  11. 6 Maps as a Morality Play: Volume I of the Historical Atlas of Canada
    (pp. 163-180)

    Volume I of theHistorical Atlas of Canada¹ was conceived in the early 1970s, planned in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and constructed in six or seven increasingly taxing years before publication in the fall of 1987. This now seems a long time ago. When the Atlas began ‘facts’ were still perilously close to being facts, not power-knowledge effects of particular discourses, and maps were scarcely texts for deconstruction. We had not thought very hard about power, least of all about our own implication in implicit systems of power embedded in language and convention. Nor had we thought much...

  12. 7 The Politics of Editing a National Historical Atlas: A Commentary
    (pp. 181-196)

    This essay begins as a commentary on two papers, one that is Bill Dean’s reflections on atlas structure from his perspective as Editor of theEconomic Atlas of Ontarioand as Director of the three-volumeHistorical Atlas of Canadaproject, and the other by Cole Harris on some of the subtexts of the making of Volume I of theHistorical Atlas of Canada. As a participant in the latter endeavour, and as a reader of the influential Ontario Atlas, these comments cannot be neutral nor objective. Indeed, as pre-conference scribbled drafts gave way to verbal presentation and elaboration at the...

    (pp. 197-200)
    (pp. 201-201)