The Spatial Turn of 1932: Revisiting the Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States

Saturday, January 3, 2015: 2:30 PM
Beekman Parlor (New York Hilton)
Scott Nesbit, University of Richmond
In 1932, the Carnegie Institute of Washington and the American Geographic Society published the award-winning Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, a work conceived and planned by John Franklin Jameson as an essential tool for historical research, authored by the historian Charles O. Paullin, and edited by the humanistic geographer John K. Wright. The atlas reflected the spatial preoccupation of contemporary historians ranging from Frederick Jackson Turner to Charles and Mary Beard. The atlas has aged well: original maps from the work continue to find republication in historical monographs today. This paper will revisit this historical atlas, its assumptions, and its implicit arguments while introducing a newly digitized and enhanced edition of the atlas to be released by the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab.
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