Category Archives: maps

Heart of a map

“Now when I was a little chap I had a passion for maps. I would look for hours at South America, or Africa, or Australia, and lose myself in all the glories of exploration. At that time there were many blank spaces on the earth, and when I saw one that looked particularly inviting on a map (but they all look that) I would put my finger on it and say, ‘When I grow up I will go there.’ The North Pole was one of these laces, I remember. Well, I haven’t been there yet, and shall not try now. The glamour’s off. Other places were scattered about the hemispheres. I have been in some of them, and . . . well, we won’t talk about that. But there was one yet — the biggest, the most blank, so to speak — that I had a hankering after.

“True, by this time it was not a blank space any more. It had got filled since my boyhood with rivers and lakes and names. It had ceased to be a blank space of delightful mystery — a white patch for a boy to dream gloriously over. It had become a place of darkness.

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. 1899.

Primitive and civilized maps

“In contemplating maps, whether already made or about to be made, the imagination is a vital activity. And it leads to practical action. A map-musing Marlow must eventually do something to fill in those blank spaces.  Thus maps breed more maps. For no map is ever quite complete, and instead of trying to be the map to end all other maps, an honest one that is performing its certain service well deliberately leaves need for further maps to use…

The idea of such a thing as a map is at once one of the most primitive and the most civilized of human feats. It is both a yen and a conception, like such other old  but ever new ideas as music and dance, myth and fiction, image and depiction, thought and symbol.”

Greenhood, David. Mapping. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964. p. x.

Maps emanate too : divine and earthly maps

From a cataloguer’s viewpoint:

“Consider a work to have emanated from a corporate body if it is issued by that body or has been caused to be issued by that body or if it originated with that body.”– AACR2, Rule 21.1B2 footnote

From the OED:

“Emanation: a.  The process of flowing forth, issuing, or proceeding from anything as a source. lit. and fig. Often applied to the origination of created beings from God; chiefly with reference to the theories that regard either the universe as a whole, or the spiritual part of it, as deriving its existence from the essence of God, and not from an act of creation out of nothing. Also, in Theology, used to denote the ‘generation’ of the Son, and the ‘procession’ of the Holy Ghost, as distinguished from the origination of merely created beings.”

Geologically speaking:

“1830    C. Lyell Princ. Geol. (1875) II.  ii. xxx. 146  Fissures..from which mephitic vapours emanated.”