About

The Osher Map Library & Smith Center for Cartographic Education

Early maps are complex and richly textured documents that constitute a crucial element of our modern cultural heritage. We can use them to trace humanity’s spatial histories, from engagements with nature to modern globalization. By studying their production, we can comprehend how art, technology, faith, and science intertwine in the human experience. By exploring how they have variously been used, we can develop a social history of culture. The study of maps thus encompasses and integrates the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Their study offers such compelling insights that anyone can enjoy and learn from them.


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