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Print Collection 12: The Maps

In the last decade of the nineteenth century, photographic printing processes were rapidly advancing. Historian Mark Monmonier has argued that it was these developments that enabled news media to begin printing up-to-date maps alongside news stories. Whereas earlier printing technology required up to several days of wood engraving to create a plate for a map, new photoengraving techniques allowed for the production of a similar plate within an hour. Consequently, while the London Times was able to publish weekly woodcut maps detailing the Franco-Prussian War during the 1870s, its map use had increased to several photoengraved maps per day by the start of the First World War. Printing maps in each of its issues, The Times was able to give readers a sense of day-to-day knowledge of distant battles and movements. Many other daily publications in Europe and the United States reached a similar map-printing average during the war.

In addition to maps that appeared alongside text, full-size maps and atlases were also printed and included as supplements in the wartime issues of certain periodicals (such as the National Review). These larger maps imparted a more general knowledge of the war, familiarizing readers with the landscape of larger sections of the front. While informative, these maps also had an implicit commemorative value, as did the wartime issues of the publications in which they appeared.

Call number Title Publisher/Printer Date Size (cm) Notes
M-055 The Russian Front in Europe Stanford's Geographical Establishment, London/The National Review June 1916 39.6 x 57.2 Supplement in the London monthly magazine The National Review
M-111 The Italian Front London Geographical Institute/George Philip & Son. Ltd. Jan. 1918 50.3 x 38 Supplement in the London monthly magazine The National Review
M-112 The French Front from Soissons to Verdun London Geographical Institute/George Philip & Son. Ltd. June 1917 50.3 x 35.9 Supplement in the London monthly magazine The National Review
XL-069 Carte No. 4 Dantzig S.G.A. May 2, 1919 92 x 71 Area around Danzig. In German and French.
XL-070 Allemagne Ouest n.d. 124 x 95 Western Germany and surrounding area. In French and in English.
XL-071 Carte No. 3 Slesvig S.G.A. June 23, 1919 76.5 x 61.7 Area around Slesvig. In German and French.
XL-072 Territoire du Bassin de la Sarre S.G.A. May 3, 1919 81.8 x 67 Saar Basin Territory. In French and English.

See more about the maps in the Collection

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