Exhibition Overview

In celebration of Dr. Seymour I. Schwartz’s pledged bequest of his collection of American maps, the University of Virginia Library presents On the Map, which features highlights from the more than 200 rare, historic items in the collection.

Maps of North America printed during the three centuries after European contact illustrate not only the great strides in scientific, technological, and geographical knowledge during this period, but also express the aesthetic tastes, political agendas, and economic ambitions of those who made and used maps as they shaped the modern world. As a consequence, these rare and treasured documents offer insights into past human experience and attract people with diverse historical interests, who continue to find new ways to read old maps.