Above: Eurasia's New Silk Roads by Parag Khanna

The history of cartography has its own history which is centuries old. Savants, collectors, and enthusiasts have always been interested in the provenance of maps, their makers, their circulation. In the twentieth century, the history of cartography became a scholarly discipline with a focus on bibliography and the history of national mapmaking traditions. In the past three decades, historians have expanded their focus considerably to include the political biases inherent to maps, their gendered nature, and their varied cultural meanings. The state of cartographic research is robust and diverse, as this exhibit shows.

The exhibition has been curated by the speakers at the first Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference on Cartography. Their foci range from the administrative mapping of the Qing Dynasty to the development of disease mapping in Oxford; from the tenth century to the twenty-first. Together, they represent the current plethora of interests that make up some of the leading research in the history of cartography.

This exhibition was on display at the David Rumsey Map Center from October 19, 2017 to April 6, 2018. For biographical information about the conference speakers, click here.

The Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conferences on Cartography, hosted at Stanford's David Rumsey Map Center, are made possible by the generous support of Barry Lawrence Ruderman. Ruderman is a map and atlas dealer based in La Jolla, California, and one of the Founding Friends of the David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford. His website, raremaps.com, is one of the oldest and largest for the sale of antique maps and atlases. Since 2009, Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc. has contributed thousands of digital map images to be placed in the Stanford Digital Repository. We currently have 23,733 maps which can be searched, viewed and downloaded through Stanford's catalog as part of the Barry Lawrence Ruderman Collection; the collection was unveiled at the start of the 2017 conference. Barry supports the conferences' unique take on rare maps and atlases as objects of scholarly study and spatial thinking within the larger context of interdisciplinary work done at Stanford and elsewhere. As always, we remain grateful to David Rumsey and Abby Smith Rumsey for their continued support of the Center and its programs.