About "Map archive"

The stories behind historical maps from Library and Archives Canada's vast collection.

Portion of Paolo Forlani's 1560 map of the world showing "Canada" for the first time

Can you see Canada? This 1560 map of the world by Italian engraver Paolo Forlani is the first known instance of the name "Canada" appearing on a printed map. (Map: Paolo Forlani, Paulus de Furlanis Veronensis opus hoc ex.mi cosmographi d[omi]ni Iacobi Gastaldi pedemontani instauravit, et dicavit ex.ti iur. vt doct[iss] et aurato aequiti d[omi]no Paulo Michaeli Vincentino, 1560, Library and Archives Canada e006581135)

Map: Paolo Forlani, courtesy Library and Archives Canada
In 1560, Italian map engraver Paolo Forlani became the first to include "Canada" on a printed map

Portions of Samuel de Champlain's first detailed map of New France, published in 1613, were created with the help of First Nations people. (Map: Samuel de Champlain, Carte geographique de la Nouvelle Franse faictte par le sieur de Champlain Saint Tongois cappitaine ordinaire pour le Roy en la Marine. Faict len 1612, 1612, Library and Archives Canada, e010764733) 

Although often unheralded in accounts of Champlain's accomplishments, Indigenous Peoples played an important role in helping the famous explorer map New France

(Map: University of Alberta Archives, 1995-166, Soper, J. Dewey Small Accessions)

University of Alberta Archives, 1995-166, Soper, J. Dewey Small Accessions
In 1929, J. Dewey Soper’s quest to find the breeding grounds of the blue goose ended, thanks in part to this marvelously detailed hand-drawn map

(Map: Paulus de Furlanis veronensis opus hoc ex. mi cosmographi d[omi]ni iacobi gastaldi pedemontani instauravit, et dicavit ex. ti iur. vt doct[iss] et aurato aequiti d[omi]no paulo michaeli vincentino, Paulo Forlani, 1560, Library and Archives Canada, E006581135)

Map: Library and Archives Canada, E006581135
Chet Van Duzer, a cartographic historian and the author of Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps analyses Paolo Forlani's 1560 world map – the first known instance of the name "Canada" appearing on a printed map
This image, depicting the sinking of the Breadalbane in 1853 near what is today known as Beechey Island, is one of several artworks dating from the mid-1800s, when Arctic exploration and public fascination with the polar region were at their peak. (Image: Edward Augustus Inglefield Collection/Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1989-399, c000227k)
Notable works capture the danger and drama of Arctic exploration

(Map: Saskatchewan. South part. Canada Land Inventory, Land Captability for Wildlife–Waterfowl, 1:1 000 000. Ottawa, Lands Directorate, 1976, Library and Archives Canada, R653, E011177875)

Before the Canada Land Inventory, farmers had to rely on instinct and chance to find the best land
Edward A. Smith, A plan of the town, and adjacent fortifications, of, Kingston, 1816, Library and Archives Canada

Edward A. Smith, A plan of the town, and adjacent fortifications, of, Kingston, 1816, Library and Archives Canada, Sir John Coape Sherbrooke fonds, e011081077. (Map courtesy Library and Archives Canada)

Map courtesy Library and Archives Canada
Kingston, Ont. had tremendous military and strategic importance during and after the War of 1812

New map showing the line of the electric cable and other short lines of communication between the continents of Europe and America, Montreal, Roberts & Reinhold, 1866. (Library and Archives Canada, NMC 6906, e011154799)

Map: Library and Archives Canada, NMC 6906, e011154799
Looking back 150 years at a watershed moment in global communication
Map

Map: Carte des variations de la boussole et des vents généraux que l'on trouve dans les mers les plus fréquentées, Jacques-Nicolas Bellin, 1765, Library and Archives Canada, NMC 27703, E0027703K

Map: Carte des variations de la boussole et des vents généraux que l'on trouve dans les mers les plus fréquentées, Jacques-Nicolas Bellin, 1765, Library and Archives Canada, NMC 27703, E0027703K
How navigators kept track of an unseen force that could affect their course
Map: Thomas Devine, Map of the Northwest Part of Canada Indian Territories & Hudson's Bay, 1857, Library and Archives Canada, NMC 48944, E011165527
An incredibly detailed map designed to inform and inspire settlers
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