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The University of Texas at Arlington is proud to offer unique resources and expertise in the field of cartography including one of the country's leading collections of historic maps and its only professorship involving the History of Cartography, the Jenkins and Virginia Garrett Chair.
The UTA Library's Special Collections division is home to one of the nation's most significant collections of historic maps, with particular emphasis on maps covering the history of Texas, Mexico and the Greater Southwest.
Our holdings comprise thousands of original print and manuscript maps, atlases, geographies, rare books with maps, globes, facsimiles, reference books, and secondary-source books about maps and the history of mapmaking. Although the precise numbers of works in these categories are difficult to assess, over 5,000 digital images of our separated flat maps are available online through The Portal to Texas History.
Most maps in our collection focus on the first five centuries of exploration in the New World, with particular emphasis on the Gulf Coast and the “Greater Southwest” – a twentieth-century definition that roughly includes northern Mexico, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. Highlights include a sixteenth-century manuscript portolan chart by Battista Agnese, a rare Hubert Jaillot map copperplate from the 1690s, eighteenth-century Spanish manuscript maps relating to Franciscan friar José de Haro and the expedition tour of Brigadier Teodoro de Croix of the Provincias Internas, a rare 1493 printed world map from Hartmann Schedel’s Nuremberg Chronicle, Dr. John Robinson’s 1819 map of Mexico and the American west, and maps relating to German colonization efforts in Texas.
More recent items include hundreds of nineteenth-century school atlases and geographies (donated by map dealer Murray Hudson) and a near-complete run of Petermanns Geographische Mittheilungen, the most important German-language geo-cartographic journal from 1855 until it ceased publication in 1990. Special Collections also contains the renowned Jenkins Garrett Collection relating to Texas, Mexico, and particularly, the U.S. War with Mexico of 1846-1848. Our twentieth-century collection focuses primarily on Texas, with an emphasis on the northern part of the state and the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. For more information, please consult Special Collections' online Map Guide.
Established in 1994, thanks to the generosity of its namesakes and support of the Sid W. Richardson Foundation, the Jenkins and Virginia Garrett Chair in Greater Southwestern Studies and the History of Cartography makes possible sustained scholarly research that draws upon collections at UTA and elsewhere while assisting graduate and undergraduate students develop knowledge and skills in historiography, historical methods, geography, and cartography.
The current Garrett Chair, Dr. Imre Demhardt, is internationally renown for his scholarship on the History of Cartography with particular focus on subjects relating to exploration and colonialism from the Era of Enlightenment until the twentieth-century. He is author/editor of more than one dozen monographs, reference works, and essay collections including the recently published sourcebook, Geographische Anthologie des 19. Jahrhunderts. Aus allen Welttheilen, Band 2: Ägypten & Libyen (Berlin and Heidelberg: Springer Spektrum).
Dr. Demhardt's contributions to the field and profession include co-editorship of the History of Cartography Encyclopedia, vol. 5: The Nineteenth Century, membership on the Board of Directors of the London-based Imago Mundi Charitable Company, and service as Chair of the International Cartographic Association's Commission on the History of Cartography.