Historic maps of Africa collection, EEPA 1991-001
Portions of this collection are digitized

Summary
Collection ID:
EEPA.1991-001
Dates:
circa 1631-1973
Languages:
Multiple languages
.
Physical Description:
78 Maps
Repository:
The Historic Maps of Africa collection includes 78 maps and dates from circa 1631 to 1973. Geographic content of individual maps varies from topographical information, boundaries of colonial territories, and ethnic groups, among other topics. While several depict the continent of Africa in its entirety, many focus on specific countries and geographic regions. There are a particularly large number of maps depicting the West African Coast.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Historic Maps of Africa collection consists of 78 maps, dating from circa 1631 to 1973, with the bulk created in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The maps vary in size, ranging from the smallest at 7 x 7 (7/8) inches to the largest at 40 x 30 (5/8) inches.
Geographic content of individual maps varies from topographical information, boundaries of colonial territories, and ethnic groups, among other topics. While several depict the continent of Africa in its entirety, many focus on specific countries and geographic regions. There are a particularly large number of maps depicting the West African Coast.
The majority of the maps in the collection feature color illustrations. Titles and descriptions of the maps are in several languages (Dutch, English, French, German, and others), representing the different colonial powers in control at the time. Particular maps of interest include an 1830 colored map in English titled "Africa from the Best Authorities," which illustrates the entire African continent, various ethnic groups, and the inroads made by European colonial powers; and a 1656 topographic map in French depicting the west-central coast of Africa, specifically the mountains and rivers of the region.
Digital copies of the maps are available.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged in chronological order.

Administration
Author
Gabriella Bellegarde and Eden Orelove
Custodial History
The maps were transferred from both the Robbins Center and the Warren M. Robbins Library, National Museum of African Art.
Processing Information
The collection was rehoused and photographed in 2010. Map dimensions are measured height x width.
Processed by Gabriella Bellegarde and Eden Orelove, December 2016

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Historic maps of Africa collection, EEPA 1991-001, Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original records requires an appointment. Contact Archives staff for more details.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to reproduce images from the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives must be obtained in advance. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.

More Information

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Africa -- Discovery and exploration Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Angola Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ghana Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Egypt Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cameroon Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sierra Leone Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Africa -- Maps Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Senegal Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gambia Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Guinea Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Africa -- Colonization Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Africa Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Africa -- Civilization Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Africa, Southern Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kalabar (Nigeria) Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Volta River (Ghana) Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Africa, North Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Africa, East -- views Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Africa, West -- views Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art
National Museum of African Art
P.O. Box 37012
MRC 708
Washington, DC 20013-7012
elisofonarchives@si.edu
https://africa.si.edu/collection/eliot-elisofon-photographic-archives/