History of Cartography

Course Information

Instructor: Ian Fowler
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Mode: In-person
Dates: July 24 – July 28, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00


This course is designed to provide a general overview of the history of mapping in the western world as well as the use of cartographic resources in modern day teaching and research. Topics will include an introduction to maps (projections, scale, visualization of information), the history of map printing; the evolution of European mapping; the role of maps as cultural and social objects; the wide variety and type of maps produced (nautical charts, city views and plans, topographic, land ownership, globes, celestial charts, etc.); conservation issues; reference materials and cartobibliographies, and the role of museums and libraries as stewards of the content. The class will also explore how antiquarian maps are used by present day researchers, teachers, and students. Course participants will interact with physical examples from archives and special collections, as well as examine maps in the larger historical context though an exhibition visit. This class will also explore and critically examine digital cartographic repositories from around the world and the role they can play in education and research.



2013 and 2015 (diff instructor, under the name of History of Cartography/Maps), 2017 (diff instructor, under the name History of Maps), 2023


Completion of this course helps to meet requirements for one of the following certificate requirements:

  • 1 of 3 elective credit courses for Certificate in Rare Books and Manuscripts, or
  • 1 of 2 elective credit courses for Certificate in Librarianship, Activism, and Justice