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Map History / History of Cartography: THE Gateway to the Subject

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Map History


College and university level courses
in the history of cartography

(created by Tony Campbell and Mark Cohagen)


This page attempts two things: to document what is currently being offered around the world; and, perhaps, to help create a 'virtual community' for teachers of this subject. It can thus serve as a shopping list for those seeking a course to join, while, simultaneously, helping those who are keeping the flame alive to maintain their awareness of teaching trends.

The other pages on this 'Map History' site testify to the breadth and vigour of the history of cartography as an academic and recreational subject. Yet the lack of opportunities for formal academic apprenticeship, i.e. university courses, is, if anything, getting worse.

A note on the qualifications for inclusion in this listing. Numerous Cartography and GIS courses start with a single lecture on mapping history. In other courses, maps serve a secondary, illustrative function. We hope that those concerned will understand why we have insisted here on a prominent role for non-current maps, though we are delighted to include courses given in any academic discipline.

The International Cartographic Association - Commission on Education and Training (CET) maintains a listing of Undergraduate cartography courses. This is arranged geographically and is potentially relevant, given that many history of cartography courses take place in cartography departments. However no history courses were noted. The GradSchools.com online listing was also consulted, without success. For those considering an MA, helpful guidance is provided on the Guide to Affordable Online Masters Programs site. From the same source you can consult Guide to Online History Degrees.


The future updating of this page depends on information supplied by the instructors themselves. It is not feasible to carry out a systematic revision.

Please therefore send any new or corrected information to Tony Campbell:  


This page was 'published' on 1 December 2003 (with occasional updates subsequently)

The course listing was moved into archive on 11 January 2018 because it had become very out of date (it was created in 2003). It can be seen Here. The initial, literature, sections remain here and will continue to be updated as appropriate]
see also:
Teachers and Parents: Web Resources Relating to Early Maps

Reading Suggestions (including 'Books to get you into the subject'. See also Matthew Edney's 'Recent Trends in the History of Cartography: A Selective, Annotated Bibliography to the English-Language Literature')



Course organisation and methodology:

ICA Seminars
Seminars of the International Cartographic Association (Commission on History of Cartography, and Commission on Education and Training), Teaching the History of Cartography. These were held as part of the biennial International Conferences on the History of Cartography. The proceedings of the five seminars were published (in four volumes) by the Faculty of Geographical Sciences, Utrecht University (1991-2000):

Other Publications


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Teaching with historical maps:

NB. The Newberry Library website is currently undergoing development and some of the links below may not work [June 2005]


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Individual Course Notes:

NB. While the links below can be openly accessed (e.g. via Google) some are undoubtedly no longer current. This certainly applies to those from the Newberry Library (whose site is undergoing development, June 2005). The reading lists, for example, would need updating (on which see 'Reading Suggestions'). Their authors should be consulted before any use is made of the notes.

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see also Teachers and Parents: Web Resources Relating to Early Maps

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