Avartuva maailma. Kartta-aarteita A. E. Nordenskiöldin kokoelmasta [The expanding world. Treasures of the A.E. Nordenskiöld Map Collection]

27 February 2014 | Mini reviews, Reviews

avartuvamaailmaAvartuva maailma. Kartta-aarteita A. E. Nordenskiöldin kokoelmasta
[The expanding world. Treasures of the A.E. Nordenskiöld Map Collection]
Tapio Markkanen, Leena Miekkavaara , Anna-Maija Pietilä-Ventelä
Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2013. 175 pp., ill .
ISBN 978-952-222-431-6
€47, paperback

In the late 19th century the Finnish-born scientist and explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld (1832–1901) assembled an extensive collection of historical maps which gained international recognition. The collection is housed in the Finnish National Library and in 1997 was included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World register. In 2013 an exhibition featuring part of the collection was held in Helsinki. Avartuva maailma is a beautifully illustrated book, with large pages containing plenty of text (in Swedish and English). Professor Tapio Markkanen examines the changing picture of the world from antiquity to modern times, as well as the development of maps and cartography. In some ancient maps the continents were portrayed in the likeness of people or animals, or with the south being placed at the top. An essay by map historian Leena Miekkavaara traces Nordenskiöld’s biography, showing how he acquired world fame after making the first complete crossing of the Northeast Passage in 1878. The Collection is presented and introduced by the researcher Anna-Maija Pietilä-Ventelä, with illustrations that also cover the history of cartography.

Translated by David McDuff

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