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American Women: Resources from the Geography and Map Collections

Women's Contributions to Geography

Until recently, scant attention has been paid to women's contributions to the fields of geography and cartography. A group of articles by Alice C. Hudson, head of the Map Division of the New York Public Library, and Mary McMichael Ritzlin, a map dealer, has revised the erroneous perception that the fields of geography and cartography were solely the province of men.16

Mary Van Schaack. Map of the world with the most recent discoveries.. 1811. Library of Congress Geography and Map Division.

The Geography and Map Division has in its collections two maps by Mary Van Schaack (n.d.), drawn twenty-two years apart, indicating that world geography was a long-term interest of Van Schaack. The earlier work, a hand-colored manuscript map outlining the countries of the world, is pictured here.

Notes

  1. Alice Hudson, “Pre-Twentieth Century Women in Cartography-Who Are the Groundbreakers?” International Cartographic Association Conference Proceedings, August 14-21, 1999, 401-6; and “Pre-Twentieth Century Women Mapmakers,” Meridian (Chicago: American Library Association, Map and Geography Round Table, no. 1, 1989), 29-33. Mary McMichael Ritzlin, “Women's Contributions to North American Cartography: Four Profiles,” Meridian (Chicago: American Library Association, Map and Geography Round Table, no. 2, 1989), 5-16; and “The Role of Women in the Development of Cartography,” AB Bookman's Weekly, June 9, 1986,2709-13. Back to text