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Vintage World Maps

Identifier: SC MS 0360

Scope and Contents

The vintage map collection is divided into three sections: United States of America, Europe and world crisis locales are: Box 1 contains 21 folders: Townsend MacCoun's series of The Island of Manhattan five related historical maps reproduced in 1909 tracing Manhattan's history from 1609 to 1783, the United States Constitution Sesquicentennial Commission's series of 14 historical maps of the original Colonies from 1775-1794, the Gettysburg National Park Commission Battle Field of Gettysburg, the Geological Society of America's Northeastern United States; Box 2 contains 30 folders: the Petermann's Geographische Mitteilung maps, Istituto Geografica Militare maps, modern road maps of the Balkens; and Box 3 contains 21 folders of more modern maps of world crisis locales - most interesting are the ones of the Middle East maps of the 1920s as well as one of some African states currently in the news: Somalia, Nigeria.


  • 1653-2004

Access Restrictions

Access Restrictions: Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.

Use Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Please inquire about copyright information.

Biographical / Historical 1

Townsend MacCoun (1845-1832) was an American cartographer, publisher and historian active in the second half of the 19th and early 20th century. He was born in Troy, New York, attended Williams College. He developed and promoted employing a universal color coding system in all maps appearing in a book series - a technique that remains in use today in many texrbooks. He was a member of the American Geographical Society and Paris Societe Academique d'Histoire Internationale. The L. L. Poates Engraving Company manufactured his maps. The U. S. Constitution Sesquicentennial Committee existed from 1935 to 1939. In conjunction with the celebration in 1937 of the 150th anniversary of ratification of the U. S. Constitution, the Commission issued a series of facsimile maps of the United States and of separate states, from originals published around 1787. When the Commission was disbanded, stocks of facsimile maps were transferred to the Library of Congress. To release badly needed storage space, the Library's Map Division sent sets (19 maps) of the Sesquicentennial series to libraries and educational institutions. The series consists of a set of facsimili maps of the United States and the 13 original colonies from the time of the ratification. Also included a reprinted map and illustration of George Washington's Inauguration in 1789 which Special Collection does not have as well as Pennsylvania. The National Archives Indentification is number 1609061. Gettysburg National Park Commission created in 1898. The map made in 1916 is the finest representation of the battlefield of Gettysburg, as it appeared at the height of the U. S. War Department's park and building effort. The map of the battlefield was made from the original surveys by the engineers of the Commission by authority of the Hon. Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War, July 1st, 1916, under the direction of the Gettysburg National Park Commission, Lt. Col. John P. Nicholson served as chairman and Lt. Col. E. B. Cope was Engineer, map drawn by S. A. Hammond, Ass't Engineer. Prominently represented on this map are the newly named War Department avenues. The Map serves as invaluable documentation of path followed by original roadways. Topographical features and terrian elecations are engraved on this drawing, as period buildings and structures. An added plus is the location of all Pennsylvania monuments located, on the field in 1904 marked in red. American Geographical Society founded in 1851 in New York City as an organization of professional geographers. It is the oldest nationwide geographical organization in the United States. It was founded by many wealthy philanthropists, historians, publishers and editors, among them John Romeyn Brodhead and Joshua Leavitt, who organized the AGS on the request of Lady Franklin to search for her husband, Sir John Franklin, lost in the Franklin Polar Expedition (left Britain in 1845 to search for the Northwest Passage). The AGS had an especial interest in the Arctic, the Antarctic and Latin America but as long as an expedition produced tangible scientific results, the AGS was interested in it. The Society assisted U.S. governmental agencies contributing ethnographic data to U.S. military intelligence.

Biographical / Historical Note - 2

Augustus Heinrich Petermann (1822-1878) is best known for developing scientific geography and cartography in Germany in the Nineteenth century. He studied at the Geographische Kunstschule and met one of its founders Alexander von Humboldt and was librarian for Heinrich Berghaus (1839-1848) the other founder. His publication Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen founded in 1855 and lasted until 2004 was a journal that set the standard for history of great expeditions and discoveries in European colonial matters through the publishing house of Justus Perthes located in Gotha, Germany. Petermann gained insight in the cartography business in Edinburgh and London (1845-1854). His stay in Britain made him familiar with the best in British and German geography. Several physical features especially in the Arctic, Antarctic and Australia are named for him: Petermann's Ranges, Petermann's Peak, Petermann Glacier, Petermann Peninsula. The Petermann maps at Lehigh University appear to have been removed from the bound publication that continued into the Twentieth century. Istituto Geografico Militare (Italy) Military Geographical Institute is an Italian public organization, dependent on the Italian Army general staff. It is the national mapping agency for Italy. Founded in 1861 by King Victor Emmanuel. A.L. Holt (1896-1971) British military officer and explorer. In the 1920's when a member of the Royal Engineers, Holt led a number of motorized expeditions through the deserts of Arabia, the first time such long journeys had been undertaken with a large number of vehicles (he favored Ford cars which he found suitable to the purpose). In 1921 he was involved in creating the track across the Syrian desert from Baghdad to the eastern edge of the basalt desert in Jordan which was to act as a guide for pilots of the Cairo-Baghdad air route. In 1923 he proposed a suitable route for a transarabian railway which he personally surveryed in 1922. The railway was never built. Molengraaff, Gustaaf Adolf Frederik (1860-1942) was Dutch geologist, biologist, and explorer born in The Netherlands. Studied at Leiden and Utrecht universities and later professor at Delft University. He was an authority on geology of South Africa and Dutch East Indies. In 1897 he became state geologist for the Transvaal Republic and one of his assignments was to describe the newly discovered Cullinan diamond for the Central Bank of South Africa. During the Boer War his idea to give each soldier a tin ID badge became practiced in armies around the world. As a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences he led in 1910-11 a geological expedition to Timor. Arthur (Robert) Sherman official of the Liberian government and Liberian businessman, graduated from Montana School of Mines. Born in Liberia and returned to Liberia to make his career as a mining engineer during the 1940s for the nation's Treasury Department. Later he helped establish the Liberian Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy and was instrumental in developing Liberian mineral resources, including iron ore deposits and worked on construction of Monrovia. Sherman came to the nited States in 1980 and lived in New Jersey and Virginia. Howard Lecky Sikes (1881-1943) born in Ireland to Richard Cherry Sikes and Susanna Lecky Jacob, married Elsie Robson and they had two sons. He was the Director of Public Works of the Kenya Colony. He published works on geological aspects of Kenya and a member of the Royal Geographical Society. Eric Teichman (1884-1944) born Erik Teichmann in Norfolk, England was a spy, explorer, diplomat for England educated at Gonville and Caius Colleg, Cambridge University. He travelled widely in Central Asia in 1920s and 1930s on journeys across China following the Silk Road across the Tarim Basin by truck to Kashgar, and by pony and foot over the Pamir and Karakoram mountain ranges to Gilgit on to New Delhi. In 1943 he was in the British Embassy at Chongking. He died at his home in Norfolk, England.


1.5 Linear Feet (3 boxes)


A collection of old and new maps from historical events in the United States, Europe and several politically conflicted countries in Africa, Middle East and Asia.


The collection is by format [United States of America Box 1: 21 folders; Europe Box 2: 30 folders; rest of the World Box 3: 21 folders].

Acquisition Information

These maps were acquired mainly from the Government Printing Office, since Lehigh Library is a Federal and State Depository Library. In 2018, they were transferred to Special Collections.

Countries and Regions Mentioned

Afghanistan -- Arabia -- Balkan Peninsula -- Bari, Italy -- Burma (Myanmar) -- Connecticut -- Croatia -- Delaware -- East Asia -- East Indian Archipelago -- Georgia -- Germany -- Gettysburg, Pennsylvania -- Gold Coast (Ghana) -- Gonja (Ghana) -- Hudson River Valley -- Iraq -- Kam, Tibet -- Kenya -- Kosovo -- Liberia -- Maryland -- Manhattan, New York City, New York -- Massachusetts -- Memel, Germany -- Middle East -- Nairobi, Kenya -- New Amsterdam, New Netherlands -- New Hampshire -- New Jersey -- New York -- Nigeria -- North Arabian Desert -- North Carolina -- Onitsha Province, Nigeria -- Palestine -- Rhode Island -- Rift Valley, Kenya -- Roper River, Northern Territory, Australia -- Rossano, Italy -- Rwanda -- Schleswig, Germany -- Slovenia -- Somalia -- South Asia -- Southeast Asia -- South Carolina -- Soviet Union -- Steigerwald, Germany -- Syria -- Taranto, Italy -- Tibet -- Transjordan -- Virginia -- Wanganui, North Island, New Zealand -- Yugoslavia

Publisher and Society Names Mentioned

American Geographic Society -- Geological Society of America -- United States Constitution Sesquicentennial Commission -- Gettysburg National Military Park Commission -- Istituto Geografico Militare (Italy) -- Petermanns Georgraphische Mitteilungen -- Royal Geographic Society -- Gold Coast Survey

Personal Names Mentioned

MacCoun, Townsend (1845-1932) -- Petermann, Augustus Heinrich (1822-1878) -- Blaskowitz, Charles -- Carleton, Osgood -- Churchman, John -- Franklin, Benjamin -- Fry, Joshua -- Gallatin, Albert -- Griffith, Dennis -- Holt, A. L. -- Jay, John -- Jefferson, Peter -- Jefferson, Thomas -- Langhans, Paul -- Maas, Walter -- Molengraaff, Gustaaf A. F. (1860-1942) -- Monzon, Henry -- Ratzer, Bernard -- Romans, Bernard -- Santhier, Claude Joseph -- Sherman, Arthur Robert -- Sikes, Howard Lecky (1881-1943) -- Stuart, John -- Teichman, Eric (1884-1944) -- Tryon, William -- Webster, Daniel

Vintage World MapsSC MS 0360
Eleanor Nothelfer and Berto Sicard
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Lehigh University Library and Technology Services.

Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository

Lehigh University
Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA
610-758-6091 (Fax)