Maps with a message: missionary cartography ca. 1850-1950

'The Protestant missionary map of the world' door Edward Gover (Seeley, Burnside and Seeley : Londen 1846)

Missionary maps have great exhortative power. At a single glance, they do not just offer an attractive image or geographical information: they are a call to arms, appealing to the observer to support the propagation of the gospel. This makes missionary cartography a fascinating topic: maps contain a message. Old missionary maps carry with them the heavy load of the history of mission, the mixed heritage of imperialism, suppression and racism as well as education, development and medical care. Therefore, their historical significance is not limited to the expansion of Christianity, but also connects to the development of global relations and imperialism more general. The maps in this exhibition are a lens on Western attitudes with regard to the non-Western world.

The digital exhibition of missionary cartography is thematically arranged and has the following sections respectively:

Colonial maps

Exploration maps

Atlas maps

Educational maps