Drawing Colonial Lines: Between Armchair Cartography and On-Site Observation || Mapping Africa and Asia

On May 16, 1893, the cartographer Paul Langhans (1867–1952) wrote to German explorer Joachim Graf von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth (1857–1924), a former farmer in the Orange Free State and colonial politician: “Highly esteemed Count! […] The crossing of Neu-Mecklenburg in 1:200,000 is now in autography, […]. I request a short text for the map, according to which also the lettering...

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

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...

Reflecting on “Epistemologies of Digitisation”. A Workshop of Research and Collection Holding Institutions in Gotha || Mapping Africa and Asia

On January 18th, 2022, the team of the digitisation project Cartographies of Africa and Asia (KarAfAs) hosted a panel under the title “Epistemologien der Digitalisierung. Digitale Repositorien und ihre Folgen für Wissenschaft und Forschung” to discuss ...

Pics Or It Didn’t Happen – Part III || Mapping Africa and Asia

Digitizing Maps: Availability vs. Authenticity? by Claudia Berger (Erfurt/Gotha) In the third and final part of our editorial, we will engage with the opportunities and challenges of the digitization of historical maps. Since we decided to publish the maps of Africa and Asia of the Perthes Collection online, this short article ends with our reasoning of their benefits, and how the presentation of the digitized material and the outline of the project contribute to them. The digitization of collections is a global trend. It … Continue reading "Pics Or It Didn’t Happen – Part III"

Pics or It Didn’t Happen! – Part II || Mapping Africa and Asia

About the Perthes Collection, Its History and Artefacts by Claudia Berger (Erfurt/Gotha) While last week we pondered about the implications of research on maps, their unique value and specific histories, this week’s entry will concentrate on the archive, at which our project is located, specifically: The Perthes Collection. This collection is relatively unknown among historians in general but enjoys a solid reputation among a small circle of ‘mapheads’ and enthusiasts of historical cartography. It is part of the Gotha research library and located in … Continue reading "Pics or It Didn’t Happen! – Part II"

Pics or It Didn’t Happen! – Part I || Mapping Africa and Asia

Why digitize historic maps of Africa and Asia? “Pics or it didn’t happen!” has become a proverb of internet culture in cases when someone demands visual—specifically, photographic—proof of seemingly unrealistic claims. Even in the face of innovations like “deep fakes,” visual images still have the power to convince. It might even be said that when it comes to maps, which, although constructed and designed, still enjoy a reputation of being grounded and legitimated through scientific data and processes. This scientific reputation was created over … Continue reading "Pics or It Didn’t Happen! – Part I"