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Grant number like: FZ-250531-17

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Susan Margaret Schulten
Colorado Seminary (Denver, CO 80210-4711)

Public Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2017 – 6/30/2018

A History of America through 100 Maps

Using one hundred maps—some well-known, some never before seen—the book illuminates American history  from 1492 to the present, explaining how the maps were made, why they mattered, and how they help us understand the past.

Over the course of five centuries, maps have permeated every aspect of American life. Whether made to navigate terrain, to promote an idea, to win a war, or to investigate a problem, maps record an effort to make sense of the world. They invest information with meaning by translating it into visual form, and in the process reflect decisions about how the world ought to be seen. Above all, maps remind us that the past is not just a chronological story, but also a spatial one. For all these reasons maps are invaluable historical sources. This book frames American history through one hundred maps, taken from all walks of life and all reaches of the continent. It illuminates large themes of history but also recovers little-known stories of the past. By asking how these maps were made—and why they mattered—this project unearths the spatial dimension of American history in an imaginative and visually engaging way.