Research Ready: January 2019

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!Continue Reading

Research Ready: December 2018

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. The books included this month are not new to our holdings but were deemed appropriate as a celebration of the Christmas season. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!Continue Reading

Research Ready: October 2018

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!Continue Reading

Research Ready: September 2018

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!Continue Reading

Research Ready: August 2018

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!Continue Reading

Research Ready: July 2018

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!Continue Reading

Research Ready: February 2018

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!Continue Reading

Herman Moll and His Distorted Map

by Rachel DeShong, Special Event Coordinator and Map Curator 

“Recalculating” is a term that many of us are far too familiar with. We hear it when the GPS navigation system on our phone is telling us how to get from Point A to Point B, but we somehow managed to miss the turn. It is hard to imagine a time when maps were unable to give accurate directions in real time. Modern maps are expected to be flawless and up-to-date. So, what happens when maps are wrong?

A New Map of the North Parts of America Claimed by France Under Ye Names of Louisiana, Mississippi, Canada, and New France with Ye Adjoyning Territories of England and Spain. 1720. Drawer 1 Folder 3, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

Maps drawn centuries ago often contain inaccuracies that seem painfully obvious to viewers in the present day. For example, let us consider A New Map of the North Parts of America Claimed by France Under Ye Names of Louisiana, Mississippi, Canada, and New France with Ye Adjoyning Territories of England and Spain. (What a mouthful!) Produced in 1720 by Herman Moll, this map was a direct response to an earlier French map entitled Carte de la Louisiane du Cours du Mississippi that claimed French ownership over portions of the Southwest and the Carolinas. Moll’s map, by contrast, attempted to assert British ownership over the Carolinas. However, Moll’s map contains numerous mistakes:

  • California is portrayed as an island
  • Florida is much too small
  • the Great Lakes are far too large
  • all the rivers in Texas flow north and south
  • non-existent mountain ranges are depicted in western Texas

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