Announcing our new catalog!

I am delighted to announce the release of our new catalog, From Riot to Revolution. The catalog includes a spectacular group of maps, prints, broadsides and manuscripts from the American Revolutionary era, issued in anticipation of the 250th anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord in April 2025. I invite you to view the […]

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Announcing our 20th-anniversary catalog!

On the occasion of Boston Rare Maps’ 20th anniversary, I am pleased to announce the release of our new catalog, Mapping the American Century. The catalog is a celebration of American mapmaking from 1900 to 2000 and beyond. Here you will find E. Simms Campbell’s iconic “Night-Club Map of Harlem”, a 50-foot map of the […]

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The 1507 Universalis Cosmographia by Martin Waldseemuller

Getting Started in Map Collecting

I’ve been a map dealer for almost 20 years, and was a collector for almost 10 years before that. Based on that experience, I can say with confidence that map collecting is a great hobby… appealing to the eye, intellectually stimulating (and occasionally mind-blowing), and offering endless opportunities for travel, exploration and friendship. For all […]

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“How do I know an antique map or print is real?”

Among those unfamiliar with old maps, perhaps the most commonly asked question is, “How do I know if this is really an old map?”  That is, “How do I know it was really printed a long time ago, say, in 1548, and is not some kind of modern reproduction or fake?” (If you have a map […]

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Why the Map Trade Still Matters in the Age of the Internet

  Good afternoon, and thank you for coming today.  I would also like to thank Sammy Berk for organizing this wonderful Map Fair and the leadership and staff of the Newberry Library for hosting this event. This talk has its origins in a roundtable I participated in last year, at a conference on the occasion […]

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Join Us for a Special Exhibit: National Emergencies & Documents that Shaped America

I am pleased to announce that Boston Rare Maps will exhibit March 16–17 at the 39th annual Ephemera Fair in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Fair is a highlight of the Ephemera Society’s Annual Conference, which this year examines the theme Coming to America: The Immigrant Experience. In collaboration with Seth Kaller, Inc. and University Archives, we will be hosting “National […]

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Giacomo Gastaldi, Tierra Nueva. Venice: 1548.

Mapping Massachusetts, Part I (1600-1720)

This article is the first in a series describing some key themes and important milestones in the early mapping of Massachusetts. Though most of the information may be found in other sources, to our knowledge this is the first time such a synthesis has been attempted.   Before “Massachusetts” In 1548 Giacomo Gastaldi issued Tierra […]

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Orlando Darling Fort Scott Kansas 1857

Antique Maps and evaluating condition

Antique maps may sustain many forms of damage over the years, some of which can be easily overlooked in the excitement surrounding a purchase. So it is important for collectors to understand issues related to map condition and exercise care with each acquisition.  Types of condition problem Condition flaws may be categorized somewhat arbitrarily as […]

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Osgood Carleton, Accurate Map of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Boston, 1797. Image courtesy of Norman B. Leventhal Map Center.

Mapping Massachusetts: A century of innovation in cartography

From 1794 to 1890, an ever-shifting coalition of state legislators, town select board members, surveyors, scientists, entrepreneurs and even ultimately the Federal government placed Massachusetts at the head of American mapmaking.  There is no one explanation for Massachusetts’ cartographic leadership, but there are some underlying factors:  A robust scientific community, an activist state government, the New England […]

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A Cold Warrior’s desk calendars catch fire on the internet

This week’s recent acquisitions captured the attention and imagination of many as it included a collection unlike any we’ve hosted before: a series of Cold War-era desk calendars, massively extra-illustrated by a disgruntled Cold Warrior. Atlas Obscura says: “They’re an unusual window into one person’s life and the world as he saw it—a unique history […]

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