Thursday, July 05, 2012

Map found at the University of Munich Library

Photo by University of Munich Library
Only five copies of a map by German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller were thought to have survived; the map in which the name "America" was first used. Waldseemüller named the continent on his map America (now known as South America) in honor of Amerigo Vespucci. He believed Vespucci discovered the continent. This map was distinctive in the way the globe is depicted in 12 segements that taper off at each end. The map was found recently at the University of Munich library, sandwiched between two 16th century geometry books. According to curator Sven Kuttner, "the paper's watermark indicates that it may have been printed after the first edition of 1507." For the 4th of July, the university has made a digitized version available here.

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