Friday, May 27, 2011

New Materials in Ball State University Libraries: Railway Maps of the World

New Materials in Ball State University Libraries: Railway Maps of the World

The maps shown above are printed from a new book available in the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library. Railway Maps of the World by Mark Ovenden is similar to his earlier publication, Transit Maps of the World, already available from the GRMC. The book includes over a hundred illustrations of historic and modern-day rail maps of North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania and details the history of railways.

The map of Germany shows rail routes with exaggerated landmarks made for the 1960’s rail tourists. The “Uganda Railway” poster is from 1908. Ovenden notes that the Uganda Railway “never ran through Uganda, but rather British East Africa, which is modern-day Kenya.”

The map of Los Angeles is from the Library of Congress collection and shows the streetcar lines of the early city. The city was “laid out specifically for public transit,” so the closing of the lines forced thousands of suburbanites to begin using automobiles during the 1950’s and 1960’s.

The 1920’s poster of the famed Orient Express shows a view of Istanbul and a stylized map of the routes from London and Paris to Turkey. The Trans-Siberian Railway provides “the world’s longest continuous rail passenger journey, Kiev to Vladivostok (11,085 km),” and the line crosses seven time zones. The map shown is a 1916 map showing railway services in each direction.

Railway Maps of the World and Transit Maps of the World are available for research in the GRMC. The GRMC is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. during the summer.

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