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Every Picture Tells a Story... And So Do Maps!

The Library of Congress has more than 4.5 million maps, and many of them are available online. Zoom Into Maps, from The Learning Page, is an activity that is fun and educational for people of all ages. This presentation asks such provocative questions as What are maps and what do they do? What common characteristics do they have? What can be learned from historic maps?

Image from Geographical Fun : Being Humourous Outlines of Various Countries, with an Introduction and Descriptive lines by 'Aleph,' by William Harvey'Zoom into Maps,' a Learning Page Activity by Gail Petri

In addition to teaching geographic understanding, maps do an excellent job of illustrating change over time. They personalize history by giving evidence of familiar landmarks and of people, their beliefs, and the political policies of an era.

The Map Collections Home Page focuses on the Americana and Cartographic Treasures of the Library of Congress. These images were created from maps and atlases and are offered in seven categories: Cities and Towns, Cultural Landscapes, Conservation and Environment, Military Battles and Campaigns (including maps from the American Revolution and Civil War), Discovery and Exploration, Transportation and Communication, and General Maps.

A. Image from "Geographical Fun : Being Humourous Outlines of Various Countries, with an Introduction and Descriptive lines / by 'Aleph,'" by William Harvey. C reated 1868? Call No.: G1796.A6 H3 1868 Vault, Library of Congress Geography and Map Division. Digital ID: g5701am gct00011 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g5701am.gct00011

B. "Zoom into Maps," a Learning Page Activity by Gail Petri, Library of Congress

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The Learning Page is designed to help educators use the American Memory Collections to teach history and culture.