"The joy of the Archive is getting into the heart and soul of a firm of hoarders who never seem to have thrown anything away."
Karla Baker at the National Library of Scotland, Map Collections writes a fascinating blog on the Bartholomew Archive. She investigates the massive holding of printing records, maps and management documents then brings selected items together to form enthralling examples of the work produced by the world renown Edinburgh cartographic firm (a precursor of the present-day Collins Geo).
A couple of examples of her recent posts:
Contour Layer Colouring This may look like a sheet of a lot of admittedly colourful but possibly not very interesting maps, but in truth its seeming mundanity belies a hidden significance. These are amongst the earliest examples of contour layer colouring in the Bartholomew Archive and as such probably in the world.
Getting enthusiastic over railways Bartholomew printed 10,025 copies of this poster in October 1887. By Bartholomew standards, certainly at this time, this is an enormous order. The poster is fulfilling several roles. The first is to promote the routes of the London & North Western Railway via a central map, the second is to promote its own route hotels.
Alexander Ferguson, confectioner to the Queen The more I see of the Printing Record the more I realise just how many different conceptions of maps there are. Fundamentally of course they represent a place at a specific point in time but they can also be used as political tools, to mock, to deride and to entertain. However, I am beginning to notice that they were once also used to advertise.
See her Bartholomew Archive blog and add your comments to the posts.