Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library

Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library is dedicated to the creative educational use of its cartographic holdings, which extend from the 15th century to the present.

Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library is a nonprofit organization established as a public-private partnership between the Library and philanthropist Norman Leventhal. Its mission is to use the collection of 200,000 maps and 5,000 atlases for the enjoyment and education of all through exhibitions, educational programs, and a website that includes more than 3,700 digitized maps. The map

Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library is a nonprofit organization established as a public-private partnership between the Library and philanthropist Norman Leventhal. Its mission is to use the collection of 200,000 maps and 5,000 atlases for the enjoyment and education of all through exhibitions, educational programs, and a website that includes more than 3,700 digitized maps. The map

Operating as usual

Gather your cloaks and caps, it’s time to celebrate Sherlock Holmes!  On October 14, 1892, Arthur Conan Doyle introduced...
10/14/2021

Gather your cloaks and caps, it’s time to celebrate Sherlock Holmes!

On October 14, 1892, Arthur Conan Doyle introduced The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a collection of 12 detective fiction short stories narrating the lives of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson as they solve mysteries and rewrite injustices.

This 1917 postal directory map of London magnifies the fictional address of Sherlock & Watson at 221B Baker St. Since its inclusion in the series, this location has caused some confusion. At the time of publication, the real Baker Street ended before the number 221, and to this day, controversy continues: the present-day Sherlock Holmes Museum is advertised as number 221B, despite its actual address of 239 Baker St.

[Image description: A 1917 postal directory map of London. Includes labels for streets, parks, gardens, rivers, railways, and various destination points. Parks and gardens are filled with the color green, rivers and fountains are filled with the color blue, and buildings are outlined in black. We’ve added a magnifier to circle Baker St.]

Excerpt from: “London”, (London: Kelly's Directories Limtd., 1917).

Gather your cloaks and caps, it’s time to celebrate Sherlock Holmes!

On October 14, 1892, Arthur Conan Doyle introduced The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a collection of 12 detective fiction short stories narrating the lives of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson as they solve mysteries and rewrite injustices.

This 1917 postal directory map of London magnifies the fictional address of Sherlock & Watson at 221B Baker St. Since its inclusion in the series, this location has caused some confusion. At the time of publication, the real Baker Street ended before the number 221, and to this day, controversy continues: the present-day Sherlock Holmes Museum is advertised as number 221B, despite its actual address of 239 Baker St.

[Image description: A 1917 postal directory map of London. Includes labels for streets, parks, gardens, rivers, railways, and various destination points. Parks and gardens are filled with the color green, rivers and fountains are filled with the color blue, and buildings are outlined in black. We’ve added a magnifier to circle Baker St.]

Excerpt from: “London”, (London: Kelly's Directories Limtd., 1917).

This past week we welcomed our first in-person school group to the Map Center! We were so delighted to do some #teaching...
10/13/2021

This past week we welcomed our first in-person school group to the Map Center! We were so delighted to do some #teachingwithmaps with real children from the Neighborhood School in Jamaica Plain (and not their avatars). 5th and 6th grade students tried out our new Kids Count lesson which asks them to look at data maps showing children in Boston and then create their own maps showing kids in the census tracts around their school. Want to try it out yourself? Follow the link to the lesson in our Bending Lines exhibition.

https://www.leventhalmap.org/digital-exhibitions/bending-lines/education-activities/kids-count-lesson/

[Image Description: a group of children sitting together on the floor have an array of maps, papers and markers and are sketching colors on the maps.]

#BendingLines #GeographyTeacher #SocialStudiesTeacher #EdChat

This past week we welcomed our first in-person school group to the Map Center! We were so delighted to do some #teachingwithmaps with real children from the Neighborhood School in Jamaica Plain (and not their avatars). 5th and 6th grade students tried out our new Kids Count lesson which asks them to look at data maps showing children in Boston and then create their own maps showing kids in the census tracts around their school. Want to try it out yourself? Follow the link to the lesson in our Bending Lines exhibition.

https://www.leventhalmap.org/digital-exhibitions/bending-lines/education-activities/kids-count-lesson/

[Image Description: a group of children sitting together on the floor have an array of maps, papers and markers and are sketching colors on the maps.]

#BendingLines #GeographyTeacher #SocialStudiesTeacher #EdChat

Yesterday, Americans celebrated a long weekend holiday. In 1934, Congress passed a resolution ordering a national holida...
10/12/2021

Yesterday, Americans celebrated a long weekend holiday. In 1934, Congress passed a resolution ordering a national holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus to be held in October, so that "public sentiment befitting the anniversary of the discovery of America" could be celebrated.

More recently, however, Americans have come to think more carefully about what it meant to have "discovered" the continents of the Western Hemisphere. Millions of people already lived in the Americas in 1492, when Columbus's ships arrived in the Caribbean. That arrival set off centuries worth of conflict, violence, and cultural devastation.

For that reason, many have called for the long weekend in October to be rededicated to indigenous people. Earlier this month, Acting Mayor Kim Janey announced that the City of Boston would celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day. Last Friday, President Biden issued the first federal proclamation recognizing it as well.

In the zine map "We Never Wanted Him Here," a group of cartographer-activists look at the legacy of Columbus in the American landscape, drawing on visual references to historical maps in our collections. You can read the project team's description of the map at:

https://www.leventhalmap.org/articles/we-never-wanted-him-here/

Or, visit our exhibition gallery today, where "We Never Wanted Him Here" is on display as an example of how to use maps to frame counter-hegemonic perspectives.

Yesterday, Americans celebrated a long weekend holiday. In 1934, Congress passed a resolution ordering a national holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus to be held in October, so that "public sentiment befitting the anniversary of the discovery of America" could be celebrated.

More recently, however, Americans have come to think more carefully about what it meant to have "discovered" the continents of the Western Hemisphere. Millions of people already lived in the Americas in 1492, when Columbus's ships arrived in the Caribbean. That arrival set off centuries worth of conflict, violence, and cultural devastation.

For that reason, many have called for the long weekend in October to be rededicated to indigenous people. Earlier this month, Acting Mayor Kim Janey announced that the City of Boston would celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day. Last Friday, President Biden issued the first federal proclamation recognizing it as well.

In the zine map "We Never Wanted Him Here," a group of cartographer-activists look at the legacy of Columbus in the American landscape, drawing on visual references to historical maps in our collections. You can read the project team's description of the map at:

https://www.leventhalmap.org/articles/we-never-wanted-him-here/

Or, visit our exhibition gallery today, where "We Never Wanted Him Here" is on display as an example of how to use maps to frame counter-hegemonic perspectives.

On October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire broke out near DeKoven Street on the southwest side of the city. Although the...
10/08/2021

On October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire broke out near DeKoven Street on the southwest side of the city. Although the true cause of the fire is unknown, legend suggests a cow belonging to Patrick and Catherine O’Leary ignited the flames by knocking over a lantern in the family’s barn. Regardless of the initial cause, Chicago was exceptionally vulnerable to such damage due to a lingering summer drought and high presence of wooden material in the city’s sidewalks, streets, and buildings.

This guide map––published just a few days after the fire––superimposes 2,000 acres of burned area over the pre-existing gridded street pattern. Lasting almost three days, the fire left over 100,000 people homeless and 17,000 structures in ruin. In reaction to the mass destruction, city officials and urban planners lobbied for stricter building codes and better fire-fighting services.

[Image description: An 1871 guide map of Chicago. Superimposes the burned area from the Great Chicago Fire in the color red over the gridded street pattern. Includes advertisements for railroads and hotels.]

Full map from: Clay, Cosack & Co., “Guide map of Chicago, October 11th, 1871” (1871)

On October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire broke out near DeKoven Street on the southwest side of the city. Although the true cause of the fire is unknown, legend suggests a cow belonging to Patrick and Catherine O’Leary ignited the flames by knocking over a lantern in the family’s barn. Regardless of the initial cause, Chicago was exceptionally vulnerable to such damage due to a lingering summer drought and high presence of wooden material in the city’s sidewalks, streets, and buildings.

This guide map––published just a few days after the fire––superimposes 2,000 acres of burned area over the pre-existing gridded street pattern. Lasting almost three days, the fire left over 100,000 people homeless and 17,000 structures in ruin. In reaction to the mass destruction, city officials and urban planners lobbied for stricter building codes and better fire-fighting services.

[Image description: An 1871 guide map of Chicago. Superimposes the burned area from the Great Chicago Fire in the color red over the gridded street pattern. Includes advertisements for railroads and hotels.]

Full map from: Clay, Cosack & Co., “Guide map of Chicago, October 11th, 1871” (1871)

On October 7, 1849, Edgar Allan Poe–– a Boston-born poet, short story author, and literary critic ––passed away at the a...
10/07/2021

On October 7, 1849, Edgar Allan Poe–– a Boston-born poet, short story author, and literary critic ––passed away at the age of 40 in Baltimore’s Washington College Hospital. To this day, the circumstances of his death remain suspicious, but his legacy lives on in famous works like “The Raven” and “Annabel Lee.”

Poe was born in 1809 at 62 Carver St. (later renamed Charles St. South), circled in red on this excerpt from an 1868 map of Boston. Although the house no longer stands, a photo was captured in 1931 before demolition during Boston’s urban renewal projects in the 1950s and 60s.

At the bicentennial of his birth in 2009, the corner of Boylston and Charles St. was officially named Edgar Allan Poe Square––adorned with a commemorative statue, birth plaque, and small alley named Edgar Allan Poe Way just down the road from the map center!

[Image description: Three slides. First slide shows an 1868 atlas map overlaid onto a modern street map of Carver St., Boston. Buildings are shaded in a soft red and Poe’s first home (62 Carver St.) is circled in red. Second slide shows a black and white image of the home from 1931. The third slide shows a present-day map of the corner of Boylston and Charles St., labelled as Edgar Allan Poe to reference Edgar Allan Poe Square.]

Slides in order of appearance: “Insurance Map of Boston”, (New York : [D.A. Sanborn], 1868).; “Birthplace of Edgar Allan Poe, Carver St.”, (Boston Pictorial Archive, February 1931–February 1932).; Map Tiler, “Modern Streets”.

After 4 years and 21 pairs of shoes, Dave Kunst completed a 14,500-mile trek around the globe on October 5, 1974. Beginn...
10/05/2021

After 4 years and 21 pairs of shoes, Dave Kunst completed a 14,500-mile trek around the globe on October 5, 1974. Beginning in his hometown of Waseca, Minnesota––circled in red on this 1904 advertisement map––Kunst walked to New York and caught a flight to Portugal. From Portugal, he walked across Spain, France, Italy, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. He then flew to Australia, walked across the continent, flew back to the west coast of the U.S. and returned to Waseca on foot. All in an easy [1568] days' work!

[Image description: 1904 advertisement map of Minnesota. Counties are outline in black and filled in using the colors red, orange, yellow, green, or purple. Lakes and rivers are labelled.]

Excerpt from: Red Wing Advertising Company, “Map of Minnesota : a state of great opportunities”, (Red Wing, Minn : Red Wing Adv. Co., 1904).

After 4 years and 21 pairs of shoes, Dave Kunst completed a 14,500-mile trek around the globe on October 5, 1974. Beginning in his hometown of Waseca, Minnesota––circled in red on this 1904 advertisement map––Kunst walked to New York and caught a flight to Portugal. From Portugal, he walked across Spain, France, Italy, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. He then flew to Australia, walked across the continent, flew back to the west coast of the U.S. and returned to Waseca on foot. All in an easy [1568] days' work!

[Image description: 1904 advertisement map of Minnesota. Counties are outline in black and filled in using the colors red, orange, yellow, green, or purple. Lakes and rivers are labelled.]

Excerpt from: Red Wing Advertising Company, “Map of Minnesota : a state of great opportunities”, (Red Wing, Minn : Red Wing Adv. Co., 1904).

On October 2, 1967, Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first Black Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Before...
10/02/2021

On October 2, 1967, Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first Black Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Before his time as an Associate Justice, Marshall acted as Chief Counsel of the NAACP––most famously known for his arguments in contribution to the final ruling of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in 1954.

In 1951, a resident named Oliver Brown filed against the Topeka Board of Education on behalf of his daughter after she was turned away from Topeka’s all-white elementary school. First considered before the U.S. District Court in Kansas, Brown's lawsuit was later combined with four other cases to be heard before the Supreme Court. In the 1954 decision, the Court overturned the prior ‘separate but equal’ doctrine on the grounds that segregated schools are, in fact, not equal.

This 1930 pictorial map of Kansas displays the city of Topeka just a few decades prior. Although labelled like any other state capital, Topeka would soon become a landmark of the Civil Rights Movement.

[Image description: A 1930 pictorial map of Kansas. Includes illustrations on the map itself and illustrations, portraits, and text on the map border.]

Excerpt from: Herschel C. Logan, “Pictorial map of Kansas”, (Salina, Kansas: American Ass'n of University Women, Salina, Kansas Branch, 1930).

On October 2, 1967, Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first Black Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Before his time as an Associate Justice, Marshall acted as Chief Counsel of the NAACP––most famously known for his arguments in contribution to the final ruling of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in 1954.

In 1951, a resident named Oliver Brown filed against the Topeka Board of Education on behalf of his daughter after she was turned away from Topeka’s all-white elementary school. First considered before the U.S. District Court in Kansas, Brown's lawsuit was later combined with four other cases to be heard before the Supreme Court. In the 1954 decision, the Court overturned the prior ‘separate but equal’ doctrine on the grounds that segregated schools are, in fact, not equal.

This 1930 pictorial map of Kansas displays the city of Topeka just a few decades prior. Although labelled like any other state capital, Topeka would soon become a landmark of the Civil Rights Movement.

[Image description: A 1930 pictorial map of Kansas. Includes illustrations on the map itself and illustrations, portraits, and text on the map border.]

Excerpt from: Herschel C. Logan, “Pictorial map of Kansas”, (Salina, Kansas: American Ass'n of University Women, Salina, Kansas Branch, 1930).

On this day in 1890, Congress created Yosemite National Park in California, the third park to join America’s National Pa...
10/01/2021

On this day in 1890, Congress created Yosemite National Park in California, the third park to join America’s National Park System. This map in our collections is an early map of the Yosemite Valley from the 1870s, after it had been declared a public trust of the state of California by President Lincoln, but before it would become an official National Park on October 1, 1890.

Yosemite today is famous for it’s stunning views, ancient sequoia trees, massive waterfalls, and granite cliffs of El Cap and Half Dome known to hikers and rock climbers across the world. Its history is also rich with culture and conflict. On the anniversary of its founding, and as we approach Indigenous People’s Day, it’s important to think about the history of this place, and of its future: which indigenous groups once lived there and stewarded the land, who now controls it, and how it will be protected as we move forward into an uncertain world affected by climate change. To learn more, read the latest article on our website.

https://www.leventhalmap.org/articles/a-refuge-from-the-roar-yosemite-national-park/

Map: Britton & Rey, "Yosemite Valley" (1870s).

[Image Description: A sepia-toned map shows Yosemite valley cutting across the page horizontally, surrounded by images of mountains. Landmarks, rivers, and mountains are marked in black text.]

On this day in 1890, Congress created Yosemite National Park in California, the third park to join America’s National Park System. This map in our collections is an early map of the Yosemite Valley from the 1870s, after it had been declared a public trust of the state of California by President Lincoln, but before it would become an official National Park on October 1, 1890.

Yosemite today is famous for it’s stunning views, ancient sequoia trees, massive waterfalls, and granite cliffs of El Cap and Half Dome known to hikers and rock climbers across the world. Its history is also rich with culture and conflict. On the anniversary of its founding, and as we approach Indigenous People’s Day, it’s important to think about the history of this place, and of its future: which indigenous groups once lived there and stewarded the land, who now controls it, and how it will be protected as we move forward into an uncertain world affected by climate change. To learn more, read the latest article on our website.

https://www.leventhalmap.org/articles/a-refuge-from-the-roar-yosemite-national-park/

Map: Britton & Rey, "Yosemite Valley" (1870s).

[Image Description: A sepia-toned map shows Yosemite valley cutting across the page horizontally, surrounded by images of mountains. Landmarks, rivers, and mountains are marked in black text.]

Address

700 Boylston St
Boston, MA
02116

General information

The Leventhal Map Center has a particular interest in developing innovative uses of maps and geographic materials to engage young people’s curiosity about the world, thereby enhancing their understanding of geography, history, world cultures, and citizenship.

Opening Hours

Monday 11am - 5pm
Tuesday 11am - 5pm
Wednesday 1pm - 7pm
Thursday 11am - 5pm
Friday 11am - 5pm
Saturday 11am - 5pm

Telephone

(617) 859-2387

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library:

Videos

Category


Comments

Hello from New Jersey
Center is closed now.
Really enjoying Bending Lines. Is there any chance it will become a physical book? Be very useful for educators
All you map lovers out there.....if you have not visited this site you are missing out. Pretty amazing. Pick your town/city and zoom in.....enjoy!