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Mapping: In the footsteps of Giraldus Cambrensis

Mapping Image

Jean Blaeu
Hibernia Amsterdamus, 1654 (detail)
18 1/2 x 27", Burns Library
G 1864B5

The mapping of Ireland permitted both outsiders and Irish colonists to define and control the island's territory. From medieval topographical treatises to the nineteenth-century Ordnance Survey, which imposed English place names on a bilingual country, maps of Ireland have had profound social and political effects. This section of the exhibition explores changing images of Ireland's topography, beginning with the earliest illustrated manuscript of Gerald of Wales' Topography of Ireland (c. 1210) from the British Library, shown in its North American debut. This section also examines the finest decorated maps and manuscripts from the British Library and Boston College's Irish Collection in the University's Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections.


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