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Pioneers in the history of cartography: the Geneva map collection of Élisée Reclus and Charles Perron

ContributorsFerretti, Federico
Published inJournal of Historical Geography, vol. 43, p. 85-95
Publication date2014
Abstract

In recent years, researchers have rediscovered the important cartographic collection of Élisée Reclus (1830-1905) and Charles Perron (1837-1909), which contains more than 10,000 maps of all kinds from the sixteenth to the twentieth century, including several reproductions of early maps from Antiquity and the Middle Ages. This paper explores the contribution of these two geographers to the history of cartography as a critical discipline, analyzing the construction of the Reclus-Perron cartographic collection. Then, it looks at some examples of its social and political utilization at the beginning of the twentieth century, namely at the Cartographic Museum of Geneva (1907-1922). These materials provide an original social interpretation of the history of cartography as a critical discipline endowed of a social utility, as well as an opportunity to explore a different way of conceiving maps and geography, one which diverged from the uncritical hagiographies of geographical discoveries and cartographic accuracy which were typical of that time.

Keywords
  • Élisée Reclus
  • Charles Perron
  • History of Cartography
  • Geographic Education
  • Maps of the World
Citation (ISO format)
FERRETTI, Federico. Pioneers in the history of cartography: the Geneva map collection of Élisée Reclus and Charles Perron. In: Journal of Historical Geography, 2014, vol. 43, p. 85–95. doi: 10.1016/j.jhg.2013.10.025
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