Rare, antique African maps

This morning I got a mail informing me that

An unparalleled collection of 113 rare, antique maps of Africa — including one of Abyssinia published in 1530 by a pioneering mapmaker — is now available at no cost to interested scholars and individuals around the world, thanks to the efforts of staff at Northwestern University Library and Academic Technologies.

Located at http://www.library.northwestern.edu/govinfo/collections/mapsofafrica/, the Web site includes digital images of original maps of Africa from the 16th through 20th centuries. The collection includes more than 40 maps published in either the 16th or 17th centuries. Part of the Herskovits Library of African Studies — the world’s largest separate collection of Africana — the African maps constitute the most valuable map collection in Northwestern University Library.

And, what is more,

“The scanning is so good that you actually can see the threads in the linen papers on which the maps were printed,” says Beth Clausen, head of the library’s government and geographic information and data services. “These are details you wouldn’t be able to see without a magnifying glass if the maps were sitting on a table in front of you.”

And, that is not all:

Additional digital collections made freely available on the Web by Northwestern University Library can be browsed at http://digital.library.northwestern.edu.

Have fun!

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