The Imperiia Project: a spatial history of the Russian Empire


An engraved map - a mass-produced map, in fact - with hand-colored boundaries. E-Sib is a sheet in the first volume of a two-volume series published by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (affectionately known as the SDUK). As you can see from the Table of Contents for the SDUK publication, Kamchatka (map 92) is separated from European Russia by pages and pages of maps of Turkey (meaning the Ottoman Empire), Greece, and the Persian Empire.

But once you flip through those many pages and land on the E-Sib map, you notice immediately that the placenames are all in English. This is not only because the map was made by men who spoke English themselves, but also because the SDUK was an organization devoted to producing "inexpensive maps to encourage broad use in education" - the education of subjects of one of the biggest empires the world has ever known. In other words, this map was produced by one of the most prominent 19th century influencers in the realm of geographical knowledge.

What else might you notice? 

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