Digital Exhibits

  • Bloodless Battles and Neverending Negotiations: Maine’s Nineteenth Century Boundary Dispute

    Between 1798 and 1842, Maine’s northern border was a point of hot contention between the English and the newly formed United States of America.

  • References to the Fore

    In this special, online exhibition offers a history of the printed urban maps of Portland, Maine, from the early nineteenth century to the great fire of July 4th, 1866. It is a history of how Portland was construed as a distinctive urban place, as a moral center of commerce, as a victim of perfidy, and as a site of remarkable and repeated rebirth and growth.

  • The Island of California

    Although cartographers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries knew California was not an island, they continued to depict it in this way. This exhibition explores the reasons behind this ridiculous cartographic error, which persisted for over two centuries.

  • Lemuel Moody and the Portland Observatory

    The nautical charts and notes in this collection document Lemeul Moody’s work and legacy, as he observed Portland from his tower on Munjoy Hill.

  • Philosophy, Religion, and the Center of the Universe

    The maps in this online exhibition show some of the various relationships between reason and religion as the west attempted to find the center of the universe.

  • Leo Beligcus and the War for Liberation

    Leo Belgicus, the allegorical representation of the Low Countries as a lion, was a popular image during the Eighty Years War for independence from the Spanish.

  • Traditional Japanese Cartography of the Edo Period

    Maps from this period are marked by strong social hierarchies, Buddhist narratives, and traditional Japanese landscapes; a reminder that for almost three centuries, the purity of Japanese cartography and art was well preserved.

  • How the Barbarians Became Noble Savages: The Changing Image of Native Americans in European Cartography

    Although the title of this exhibition suggests that the European image of Native Americans changed only once from barbarians to noble savages, in reality it was not so simple. The first depictions of indigenous Americans were barbaric. 

  • 2017 Mapmaking Contest

  • Life, Liberty and the Representation of Space: Maps of the American Revolution

    The Osher Map Library’s collection of maps from and of the American Revolution may be divided into five major categories, based on who made them and what they were made for.