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45 Years is Enough!

Source

While the world watched the events in Berlin, another Soviet ally in East-Central Europe suddenly collapsed: On November 9-10, after three-and-a-half decades in power, Bulgarian communist leader Todor Zhivkov was unceremoniously dumped. This poster - a map of the Bulgarian gulag - was circulated by the opposition Union of Democratic Forces during the spring 1990 election campaign.

[... Read More »

Close-up of the bull seal from the Indus Valley Civilization

A History of the World in 100 Objects

Review
Overall A History of the World in 100 Objects is a great resource to teach world history through visual culture in an accessible and succinct format for both school and college-level classes.

Abstention Rate in Napoleonic Plebiscites

Source

All regions of France did not support Napoleon equally. His rule aroused most enthusiasm in the east (a prerevolutionary border region crucial in the Napoleonic wars) and the center of the country, least in the west, which had long provided a home to royalist counterrevolution.

Abstension rate in Napoleonic plebiscites (shaded areas = those where the abstention rate exceeded 80 percent... Read More »

Africae tabula noua

Source

This standard map of Africa came from a popular Atlas in the late sixteenth century. In a dramatic age of exploration, new information poured in from around the world through books and travel accounts that artists and geographers, like Abraham Ortelius, used to craft beautifully detailed maps of far off lands. By compiling the host of detailed descriptions before them and perhaps even their... Read More »

Map of Africa thumbnail image

Afriterra, The Cartographic Free Library

Review
The maps can be used as important teaching tools for courses on many topics: African history; Atlantic World history; the slave trade; the era of European expansion; environmental history; and military history.

Al-Idrisi's World Map

Source

The Nuzhat al-mushtāq fī ikhtirāq al-āfāq, most commonly known in the West as the Tabula Rogeriana ("The Book of Roger" in Latin), is a manuscript created by the Arab geographer Muhammad al-Idrisi that contains a highly detailed, partial-world map and extensive descriptions of the seven climate zones represented on the map. Depicting the Eurasian continent and North Africa, Al-... Read More »

A drawing shows the continent of South American with South at the top.

America Invertida (Inverted America)

Source

We generally expect maps to convey the location of oceans and land masses accurately. But why do almost all maps and globes position North at the top and South at the bottom, when there is no up or down orientation of the universe? Furthermore, items located at the top of an image are usually understood to have more importance than those at the bottom, creating a hierarchical ordering of the... Read More »

Phelps mourning embroidery from American Centuries' collections.  It shows two people visiting a grave flanked by weeping willows.

American Centuries

Review
A section of the site called "In the Classroom" offers numerous lesson plans for elementary and middle-school teachers, some written by museum employees and some by schoolteachers themselves, using materials in the online exhibits.
Hand-drawn map, ink and colored pencil on tissue paper of Jerusalem

American Colony in Jerusalem, 1870 to 2006

Review
In a classroom setting, it might be used to study religion, as well as the history of Jerusalem more specifically.
Mercator projection

Analyzing Maps

Methods

The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. In the video historian Gerald Danzer analyzes maps of the world. In the primary sources menu below, you can examine two world maps two maps of the world. The first, a Mercator projection, probably seems familiar to you because Mercator maps are among the... Read More »

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