September 20th, 2011
In recent months I have had the good fortune to visit the physical David Rumsey Collection. It really doesn’t take much to be in complete awe when you are surrounded by atlases, travel narratives, maps, globes and other rare cartographic artifacts that are hundreds of years old. When I there last week, I happened upon the Sonnenschein & Allen’s Royal Relief Atlas of All Parts of the World . Here are a couple of pictures from the Atlas shot from my iPhone:
Western United States and Canada
Deccan Plateau, India
This Atlas was published in London in the year 1880 and contains 32 pages of maps. What’s so special about these maps you say? Most of the maps are, what the atlas calls embossed, or put another way, raised-relief, where you can see the indentations of the valleys and paper raised upwards, to the height of the mountains. The modern day equivalents are usually in plastic–check these out at the Branner Library. These days, it is relatively easy to purchase a raised relief map that can be hung on a wall, especially of popular maps such as one of the United States.
For high quality scans of this Atlas, watch the David Rumsey site in the coming months. David Rumsey is bound to announce it on Twitter.