Foundations of  Western European Cartography in Texas Collections

   A  Special  Collections Exhibition 


Medieval foundations
The influence of Ptolemy
City plans
The composite atlases
Uniformly-composed collections of maps, charts and plans
Military mapping
Regional European Mapping
Mapping the new world
Nautical maps and charts
List of Images

           A virtual exhibit, using material from the Harry Ransom Humanities Research  Center, The University of Texas at Austin, supplemented by maps from the Virginia Garrett Collection in  Special Collections at the University of Texas at Arlington, and from the collections  of members of the Texas Map Society.


      For this meeting, we wanted to put on show not only original maps, showing mainly the cartography of Texas, but also a virtual exhibit, drawing together material, now in Texas, that sets out the origins of these maps, as a sort of brief compendium of the history of Western European cartography.


     The largest amount of material comes from the Kraus Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in Austin. This collection, acquired in 1969 or so, contains an extraordinary range of material among its 70 items, and we have supplemented it with maps both from Special Collections at UTA and from the collections of members of the Texas Map Society.

     Some of the material (numbers 2, 7, 12, 16 and 19) comes from facsimiles, for these have become an indispensable part of any library, particularly for manuscript material. Some of the material has been copied under optimum conditions, using excellent lighting and advanced equipment. But some of our images were made with a digital camera under ambient light, and we include them in order to show how this technology has become an essential imaging tool for study purposes.

      Many people have helped with the preparation of this catalog. At the Harry Ransom Center, Richard Oram provided high quality images with a minimum of delay, as did Kit Goodwin in Special Collections at UTA. Members of the Texas Map Society, who wish to remain anonymous, allowed me to make images of their material, and Alistair Maeer, my graduate assistant, incorporated these images into a digital collection that was then brought together with the text by Kit Goodwin.

         At each stage, I have enjoyed the help of the members of the board of the Texas Map Society, including particularly the late Bill Benson, John Crain, Mark David,  Richard Francaviglia and Gerald Saxon. The existence of the Texas Map Society, and the growth of a group of people interested in maps at UTA, is largely the result of the sustained interest of Jenkins and Virginia Garrett, of Fort Worth.

         I hope that all these people will find that this little collection of images is interesting, and that students will see that it is perfectly possible to undertake advanced studies in the history of cartography, using sources available to us in Texas.

 David Buisseret

          Note: Further Reproduction of the images without written permission is prohibited.

Special Collections Division
The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries
For further information: Exhibits Curator
Last modified: Wednesday, February 12, 2003