Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Literary Maps

Learn more about this map and others like it here.
The Clark Library is excited to announce a new exhibit that’s been published on the MLibrary’s online exhibit space! Lisa Lorenzo and Corinne Vieracker have spent this fall exploring the world of literary maps after some research involving a previous blog post on the resource Placing Literature. Even though the Clark Library has several literary maps from around the world, the decision was made to focus on maps of the United States for this exhibit. The first two sections of the collection include a series of printed maps of the United States as a whole or by regions like Michigan. The next two sections include maps with a focus on American authors like Ernest Hemingway and modern online literary maps. Together, all of these maps represent a variety of different authors, novels, and genres. Some include classic titles and authors like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, while others include plot titles that were popular at the time of their publication but are presently less well-known, like The Riverman by Stewart Edward White.
Literary mapmaking was particularly popular during the mid-twentieth century, especially for use in classrooms. Many of the Clark Library’s literary maps are from this era, though some date back earlier to the 1920s and 30s. Interestingly though, there has been somewhat of a resurgence of literary mapmaking using online tools and social media to create interactive literary maps. The handful that have been included in the exhibit have been put together by public libraries, newspapers, or educational institutions but also allow for submissions from the public. They all also make use of an interactive interface that allows for a dynamic interaction with the map that wouldn’t be possible with a traditional printed map.