September 02, 2007

Far-away Places

atlasesTravel to far-away places? The 900s and 910s are geography so this is the best (not so far away) place to look if you want a nonfiction book. Just wander about.
You can also use the catalog, putting in the name of a place as the subject or keyword. This should work for either fiction or non-fiction, and on a quest you can chose either, but you have to know where you want to go.

As a general rule, try to use the name of a country or large city. Using the name of a whole continent is usually (but not always) just too big, people aren't very likely to write a book about a whole continent. This is tricky. You want to be as specific as possible without being too specific. It takes practice.
Looking just at fiction:

subject tracing ... Europe - Fiction 16 books
subject tracing ... Ireland - Fiction 67 books
subject tracing ... Dublin (Ireland) - Fiction 24 books
subject tracing ... Galway (Ireland) - Fiction 4 books
subject tracing ... Asia - Fiction nothing
subject tracing ... China - Fiction 48 books
subject tracing ... Shanghai (China) - Fiction 7 books
Want to make a bar graph of that?

Now let's go to 911. This is where we have beautiful atlases, some of them new, some of enormous size. Most are located in the atlas case in the reference room.


Do you remember how much fun real, printed atlases can be? Heft, gilt, color. You can put them on the floor, page through them slowly, and lose yourself in strange and amazing lands. We have some beautiful new ones as well as beloved old ones - just take a look through our atlas case and on the shelves.

In the atlas case:
Atlas of the world (National Geographic, new edition)
Oxford atlas of the world (new edition)
World atlas of the ocean and The Times atlas and encyclopaedia of the sea
Firefly atlas of North America : United States, Canada & Mexico
Atlas of world art
The Hammond-Harwood House atlas of historical maps of Maryland, 1608-1908
People and places of the past: the National Geographic illustrated atlas of the ancient world
The month-by-month atlas of World War II
Murray's small classical atlas
... and several others

On the shelves
Historical atlas of the Middle East (911.56 FREEMAN)
The atlas of American migration (R 304.8 FLANDER) social groups Dewey
World atlas of the past 4 volumes (J-R 911 HAYWOOD)
The atlas of literature (R 809 ATLAS) literature Dewey
Atlas of the evolving earth (R 551.7 MOODY) science Dewey
Historical atlas of religion in America (R 209.73 G274) religion Dewey
and the Cultural atlas of .... series (China, Japan, Africa, etc.)

Do you know what a gazetteer is? It's a sort of dictionary of place names. The best one is:
The Columbia gazetteer of the world 3 large volumes (910.3 COLUMBI) Each entry has the name of the place, the location, the population, and usually a bit of interesting information. Just turn to any page ....

Online? Look at the Fuzzy Gazetteer
Getty Thesaurus of Geographical names
Falling Rain Gobal Gazetteer (no general search, you have to know the current country name)
The US 1990 Census gazetteer has a note about zip code vs place name. That can create problems in this town. A lot of people think they live in Takoma Park but don't.

Online Map Sites

Just to get from A to B: mapquest | ask | google maps | yahoo maps

To explore:
Perry-Castaņeda Library map collection
Historical maps from the University of Minnesota
Unusual maps from the American Memory collection
Topographic maps for part of the U.S.
Map projections
Odden's bookmarks (search for a map)
David Rumsey collection
and thousands more. Go to the the Librarians Index to the Internet to find selected map sites.

Posted by library at September 2, 2007 06:46 PM
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