Tagged: 20th century

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Mapping an Entangled Past: An Interconnected Historical Map of Kafa (South-West Ethiopia) by Friedrich Julius Bieber (1905)

The development of the European cartography of north-east Africa was strongly associated with the 18th-, 19th‑ and early 20th-century missionaries and explorers. These travellers’ insights were informed by the local knowledge of indigenous people. Prior to the mid-19th century, European geographic knowledge about the diverse kingdoms in the south and south-west of Ethiopia was sparse compared to the more northern...

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Unveiling Map Making: A Cartographer’s Account

On Friday, May 4, 1906, Bruno Domann left his desk at the Perthes publishing house in Gotha carrying travel accounts, maps and instruments. However, he did not take the materials home in order to finish maps for the new printing run of the Stieler’s Hand-Atlas or Petermann’s Geographische Mittheilungen. Domann was on his way to the inn Zum Schützen, where...

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Disease Maps and Policy: The Case of the ‘Manchurian Plague’

In the autumn of 1910, the first reports appeared in the local press in Manchuria, a region in the Northeast of China, that there had been cases of a deadly pneumonic plague in the city of Harbin. The fight against this disease, which would become known as the “Manchurian plague,” became in many ways a precedent for the Chinese government,...

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CFP: ‘Mapping Asia: Cartography and the Construction of Territoriality’. Conference hosted by the Centre for Transcultural Studies and the Gotha Perthes Collection, Erfurt University.

Location: Centre for Transcultural Studies, Gotha Research Campus Dates: 24th–25th November 2022. This conference will explore cartography and the construction and contestation of territoriality in Asia from the late eighteenth to the twentieth century. In particular we seek to answer the question of how ideas of territoriality were cartographically produced, circulated and interpreted within Asia and between Europe and Asia....

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Cartographies of Violence

An Exploration Route Map of Southeast Asia In the autumn of 1908 Dr Robert Brunhuber, a journalist and academic from Cologne, and his companion Karl Schmitz, set out from Rangoon. Their aim was to explore the remote upper reaches of the Salween River. Their ill-fated attempt resulted in remarkable cartographic texts, which reveal how European travellers’ input was elevated by...

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Pinning it Down: A Colonial Linguistic Map of Cameroon

Within the vast library of maps within the Perthes Collection are a number of curiosities and objects of fascination. One such map has always intrigued me since I first came across it, not because of the aesthetic value or the craftsmanship of its design, but because of what I perceived as a strikingly disorienting depiction of different languages, layered on...

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