Maps and views blog

Cartographic perspectives from our Map Librarians

16 April 2010

Magnificent Maps in the media

It's been a busy few months for maps in the media, as the opening of Magnificent Maps draws ever nearer.

Dovetailing very neatly with BBC4's map season, which begins this Sunday (18 April) at 21.00, the exhibition has aroused a great deal of interest - partly, I think, because of the swathes of opinion on the advances in digital mapping, but also due to a broader realisation that maps do not always speak the truth. Lots of juicy stories about propaganda, deceit and lies may be found within the borders of a map, where may also be discovered elegance and artistry.

Maps: Power, Plunder and Possesssion
episode 1 (of 3): Windows on the World

The series is hosted by the brilliant Jerry Brotton. It was great to be able to show Jerry around the British LIbrary basement areas where much of the filming for the series took place. Although he is no stranger to libraries and archives, I think he was impressed by the scale of the place, and the thousands of shelves and drawers which store the Library's 4.5 million maps.

And then on Monday night (19 April):

The Beauty of Maps
episode 1 (of 4): Mapping the Medieval Mind

of which more later.

Elsewhere, you might have seen an article 'Mad about Maps' in the Sunday Telegraph, and you may also have listened to Peter Barber speaking about maps on BBC Radio Wales. For those of you who missed it, the Guardian website has a wonderful slideshow of some of the exhibits we'll be showing in Magnificent Maps.

Prepare yourselves for a double-page image in the Radio Times of 'yours truly' and Peter standing on either side of the giant Klencke Atlas, the biggest (and possibly also the heaviest) atlas in the world. Suspend your disbelief at our incredible strength for a moment... there is somebody behind the atlas holding it up.

More about the life and hectic schedule of the world's largest atlas soon.


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