Talking Maps

February 7 2020

Every map tells a story. Talking Maps is a celebration of maps and what they tell us about the places they depict and the people that make and use them.

Drawing on the Bodleian’s unparalleled collection of more than 1.5 million maps, this exhibition brings together an extraordinary selection of ancient, pre-modern and contemporary maps from a range of cultures and in a variety of formats as well as showcasing fascinating imaginary, fictional and war maps.
Talking Maps explores how maps are neither transparent objects of scientific communication, nor baleful tools of ideology, but proposals about the world that help people to understand who they are by describing where they are.
Highlights on show include the Gough Map, the earliest surviving map showing Great Britain in a recognizable form, the Selden Map, a late Ming map of the South China Sea, and fictional maps by CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. Map treasures from the Libraries’ collection will be shown alongside specially commissioned 3D installations and artworks, and exciting works on loan from artists and other institutions.

Worldmapper at Talking Maps

Last not least, Worldmapper is part of the exhibition with an interactive display of 500 cartograms, some of which were made especially for the exhibition like the Trump Tweets map to capture the essence of what it means to have maps talking to their audience. In a series of nine main categories we present some of our most intriguing cartograms and animations, reaching from a selection of our language map series via an interactive map of our entire migration maps to maps providing an understanding of humanity’s place in the natural environment.

Don’t miss the chance to see some true iconic map treasures and make sure to also not miss a visit to the Weston Library Gift Shop which has a copy of the related Talking Maps book and many other cartographic gifts for sale.
The exhibition has been running since July 2019 and is now entering its final four weeks. If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure to head to Oxford by March, 8th, 2020. The exhibition is held at ST Lee Gallery inside Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG, United Kingdom. Opening times are Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 11am-5pm. Admission is free.
More information about the exhibition related activities can be found on the Bodleian Library website.

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