Published Date

January 1, 1898

From The Study of History in Schools (1898)

Intelligent and effective teaching of history demands at every stage a well-chosen supply of maps and atlases. Besides a set of political and physical maps of the continents, such as are now found in almost every school, there are needed maps in greater detail, both political and, physical, of the principal countries whose history is studied in the school, as well as sets of historical wall maps, indexed historical atlases, and a good modern reference atlas of the world.1 Small outline maps in the possession of each pupil may also be used to advantage.2 This committee does not feel itself called upon to give a complete annotated catalogue of the maps and atlases available for use in secondary schools; but it seems to be within its province to suggest what may be regarded as the minimum geographical equipment for treating the various periods of history which have been outlined in the body of the report. The prices are quoted from publishers’ price lists; in case of foreign works they do not include the duty, when imported by an individual.


1. Ancient History

The best wall maps for the study of ancient geography are the Wandkarten zur alten Geschichte, prepared under the direction of Heinrich Kiepert and published in Berlin by D. Reimer. The American agents are Rand, McNally & Co., Chicago. The American prices for individual maps, mounted on common rollers, run from $6 to $8; the full set in a case, with spring rollers, costs $88. In Germany single maps vary in price from 15 to 22 marks, according to map and mounting, and the cost of a set, without a case, is correspondingly less.

The full set is desirable; the maps of Greece, Italy, and the Roman Empire are indispensable. The school should also possess good physical wall maps of Greece, Italy, and the Mediterranean lands as a whole.

The best desk atlas of ancient history is, also—
Kiepert, Atlas Antiquus. Twelve Maps of the Ancient World. American edition, Boston, B. H. Sanborn & Co., 1892. $2.

Others are—
Ginn & Co.’S Classical Atlas. Boards, $1.40; cloth, $2.30
Longmans’ Classical Atlas.

At least one such atlas should always be at hand, and it may often be possible to require pupils to procure copies for themselves.
A more elaborate work is—
Spruner-Sieglin, Atlas Antiquus. Gotha, Perthes. In parts, 20 marks; separate maps, 80 pfennigs each.

For maps illustrating the early Middle Ages, see the following section. Some of the collections there mentioned also cover ancient history. The first part of MacCoun’s Historical Geography Charts of Europe is entitled “Ancient and Classical,” and is sold separately (Boston, Silver, Burdett & Co., $15).

2. Medieval and Modern History

The first essential for the teaching of mediaeval and modern history is a large map of Europe. Ordinary maps are apt to be too small to render much service in historical instruction. If the school can have but one large map it should be physical, since the detail of the modern political map obscures the fundamental geographical features and confuses the pupil with modern boundary lines.3 This should be supplemented by a series of historical wall maps, of which the most scholarly is the Historischer Wandatlas of Spruner-Bretschneider, a set of ten maps, 62 by 52 inches, covering the period from A.D. 350 to 1815. (Gotha, Perthes, 1894; in loose sheets, 56 marks; mounted in a portfolio, 90 marks.) The mediaeval and modern section of the Historical Geography Charts of Europe, prepared by Townsend MacCoun (Boston, Silver, Burdett & Co., $15), consists of nineteen loose maps on manila paper, covering the period from A. D. 526 to 1894. Modern maps of individual European countries are also helpful, and, for the recent period, maps of the other continents are necessary. For special subjects and battlefields, single sheets. of the various government surveys will be found useful, and can be had through any foreign bookseller.

The best small atlas of European history is:
F. W. Putzger, Historischer Schul-Atlas zur Alten, Mittleren und Neuen Geschichte. Twenty-second edition, Bielefeld and Leipzig, Velhagen and Klasing, 1897. 2 marks; bound, 2 marks 70 pfennigs. It contains 67 large and 71 small maps, but has no index of places.

Other small atlases are the following:
C. Colbeck, The Public Schools Historical Atlas. Fourth edition. London and New York, Longmans, 1894. $1.50. One hundred and one maps and plans, and an index of places. Begins with the fourth century A. D.; as the maps are for the most part reproduced from the Epochs of Modern History, they are not very well distributed over the period.
Kiepert And Wolf, Historischer Schul-Atlas zur Alten, Mittleren und Neueren Geschichte. Seventh edition. Berlin, D. Reimer, 1896. Bound, 3 marks 60 pfennigs. Thirty-six maps.
Robert Henlopen Labberton, Historical Atlas, 3800 B. C. to 1886 A. D. Boston, Silver, Burdett & Co., 1886. $1.25. Sixty-four pages of maps.

The school library should also possess one of the following excellent historical atlases, each of which covers ancient as well as mediaeval and modern history:
Gustav Droysen, Allgemeiner Historischer Handatlas. Bielefeld and Leipzig, Velhagen and Klasing, 1886. 20 marks; bound, 25 marks. Eighty-eight pages of maps, with descriptive text.
Franz Schrader, Atlas de Geographie Historique. Paris, Hachette, 1896. Bound, 35 francs. Fifty-five double-page plates and a large number of sketch maps, with descriptive text and an index of places.

Unfortunately, the only English atlas of the type of Schrader and Droysen, the Historical Atlas of Modern Europe, now appearing at the Clarendon Press under the editorship of Reginald Lane Poole (to be completed in thirty parts, at 3s. 6d. each), is much more expensive, and covers only the mediaeval and modern periods. Freeman’s Historical Geography of Europe (one volume of text and one of maps, London and New York, Longmans, 1881) is now out of print.

Still greater detail will be found in—
Spruner-Menice, Handatlas Zur Geschichte Des Mittelalters Und Der Neuern Zeit. Gotha, Perthes, 1880. In parts, 85 marks 60 pfennigs. Any map may be had separately at 1 mark 20 pfennigs.

3. English History

The study of English history requires, in the first place, large wall maps, political and physical, of the British Isles, and also—
Samuel Rawson Gardiner, School Atlas of English History (London and New York, Longmans, 1891, $1.50).

For the proper comprehension of the continental and imperial aspects of English history there is also needed much of the equipment necessary for the study of general mediaeval and modern history. This is the case particularly as regards wall maps; smaller maps of Europe and the colonies are largely represented in Gardiner’s admirable Atlas.

4. American History

Information concerning the most serviceable maps for use in connection with classes in American history will be found in Channing and Hart’s Guide to American History, section 21, and in the List of the Publications of the United States Geological Survey, which will be furnished on application to the Director of that Survey, Washington, D.C. Schools should always possess a good general map of North America, and a large map of the United States, such as that published by the United States Land Office (price, unmounted, $1.25). Also useful is Albert Bushnell Hart’s Epoch Maps Illustrating American History (New York, Longmans, 1891, 50 cents; reprinted from the Epochs of American History). The United States Geological Survey publishes for its own use a three-sheet, and a reduced one-sheet, physical map of the United States, giving only rivers, lakes, and contours, without political boundaries or names. This map may sometimes be obtained by special arrangement with the Survey, and it is almost indispensable, since the modern map with its State boundaries gives a wrong historical impression. These maps may best be supplemented by the various physiographic maps issued by the United States Geological Survey, and especially by the detailed topographic maps of small areas, sold in sheets at 5 cents each (and in lots of a hundred or more copies, whether of the same sheet or different sheets, at 2 cents each, a list may be obtained on application), and by sets of historical maps which the teacher may prepare on outlines, such as those mentioned in the note on page 560. Townsend MacCoun also has a series of Historical Charts of the United States (Boston, Silver, Burdett & Co., $15).

  1. Maps on lantern slides are much cheaper than wall maps, and may easily he ,prepared or modified to illustrate any desired subject. A collection of map slides sufficient for all the needs of secondary instruction in history may be obtained for $15 or $20, or even less. []
  2. Such are the Outline Maps and Progressive Outline Maps published by D. C. Heath & Co., Boston; the suggestive Relief Practice Maps of William Beverly Harrison, New York; the Outline Maps of Rand, McNally & Co., Chicago; and the detailed sheets issued by the United States Geological Survey. []
  3. Physical features are conveniently brought out in exaggerated form by the relief maps prepared by Giuseppe Roggero, and published by G. B. Paravia & Co., Turin, Rome, and Florence. The set includes maps of Italy, Spain, France, Scandinavia, Germany, the British Isles, and the Balkan Peninsula, varying in size from 8 X 10 to 10 X 12 inches; the price of each map is 2 lire, or, including packing and postage (but not the duty, when imported by an individual) about 50 cents. []