Charting a Path
Sixty maps and other prints of South Asia and the surrounding region have recently arrived at the Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin in honor of former professor Susan G. Hadden. Generously donated by her husband, James Hadden, Jr., the newly acquired Susan G. Hadden Collection of Early Maps of India contains maps dating from 1540 to around 1880, and together they track developments in cartography and the rise of European trade, colonization, and ultimately empire in the region.
The Hadden collection’s earliest map is a two-page woodcut that was printed as part of Sebastian Münster’s Geographia (Basel, 1540), a Latin version of Ptolemy’s widely printed and adapted Geography. It is the first printed map dedicated to illustrating the Asian continent as a whole. In it, only four cities within India have been identified, all on the western coast, all sites of early Portuguese settlement and/or trade.
[Read more…] about A childhood gift inspires a lifelong passion for India and map-collecting