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Current Exhibit

Maps of the United States

Every school child is familiar with the appearance of a map of the United States. It is difficult to imagine that the shapes and locations of the states could have been much different. This is particularly true for the Midwestern states. Imagine for example that Indiana was once where West Virginia is now! Or that Vermont is part of Canada! Or that the state of Georgia reached all the way to the Mississippi River!!
Some differences in locations can be best illustrated by looking at just one area, say, Northeastern Minnesota. In the past this area was called by many different names; at one time it was Canada, it was the Northwest Territory, it was the Chippeway Territory, it was part of Huron, it was part of Wisconsin, it was part of Michigan, it was even part of Indiana!
Then, there is the State of Franklin. That one Congress did not approve, but there are older maps that do include such a state.
There are even maps where Louisiana is where South Dakota is today and Mississippi is completely on the west side of the Mississippi River - where Utah reaches all the way from California to Kansas - where Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska are all large border states to Canada.
And, of course, the largest state in the United States - NO, NO, not Texas. In 1863, Idaho held that distinction!
This exhibit will certainly be exciting for the young student up to the most sophisticated adult.

A Future Exhibit: Early Maps of the World
The First Printed World Map of the New World.

Shown here is the 2nd edition issued in 1924.
The first edition of the map, originally issued in 1506, was unknown until 1922 when the only known surviving copy was discovered and purchased by the British Library. On it's discovery, the British Library quickly, in 1924, published a booklet containing a copy of the map (shown here).
This map, designed by Gio. Matteo Contarini and engraved by Francisco Roselli preceded the Map of Joannes Ruysch of 1508. The Ruysch Map was published in the Ptolemy's Atlas and the first map of the New World to be readily available when issued, although still relatively rare today.