Library of Congress


The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > Map Collections

[Detail] Mediolanensis dvcatvs from the atlas [1570].

7) General Maps

General maps portray geographic areas larger than cities or towns. A wide variety of historic and current regional, state, country, and world maps is included. These maps show change within a region throughout time as well as the development of the map-making process.

Students can look carefully at historical atlases in the collection and compare them with an atlas of today. Search on atlas or explore the Special Presentation on "Atlases" to find maps drawn and hand colored in the sixteenth century. Students might then discuss questions such as:

  • Are there recognizable countries in these atlases? How do they differ from those in the current atlas?
  • Are there any countries missing?
  • What features are in the historical atlases that you do not see in the current images?