Angie’s Blog

Preservation for the private collection

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by Angie Cope

Librarians at the AGS Library are often asked about best practices for caring for private collections. A recent “conversation” at the EXLIBRIS rare and special collections discussion list generated many useful sources to help answer that question.



American Institute for Conservation (AIC) – Caring for your treasures

Northeast Document Conservatin Center (NEDCC) –  Preservation Leaflet Series

American Library Association (ALA) – Saving for your stuff (audio, film, books, data, textiles, paper, slides, photos, scrapbooks, artifacts)

Gaylord Archival – Guide to collections care

Gaylord Archival Resources

Archival 101: Dealing with Suppliers of Archival Product by Peter D. Verheyen

Bookcraft Book Repair Guide early editions are available via HaithiTrust


Photos from the AGS Library efforts of caring for our collection with some before and after photos.



Manuscript maps by Adolph N. Krug, an American missionary in Cameroon in the early 20th Century

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by Angie Cope

The AGS Library has 3 manuscript maps drawn by Adolph N. Krug, an American missionary in Cameroon in the early 20th Century.

Krug was born in 1873 in Germany and immigrated to the United States at the age of 15. He studied at Amherst College, graduating in 1903. That same year, he married Miss Evelyn E. Saul and they both left for Cameroon under the appointment of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church of the USA.

Krug traveled the country, opening schools and churches and mapping the trails. It was his mapping efforts that led to his membership as a fellow in both the the Royal Geographical Society and the American Geographical Society.

Toward the end of his career, Krug was in charge of the village school in Foulassi. In 1941 he and his wife returned to the states to address Krug’s health condition. Krug died of heart failure in 1942. Mrs. Krug returned to Cameroon where she lived until her death in 1951. Their four children became missionaries in Asia and Africa.

Two of the manuscript maps held at the AGSL depict the trails, missionary sites, rivers and locations where Krug set up schools and churches. One of these is a “photostat” made by the American Geographical Society of Krug’s manuscript map. It is unknown where the original is located – perhaps at the Royal Geographical Society.

The third manuscript map is Krug’s manuscript reproduction of Dr. Marcel Chambon’s map showing the French medical survey of Cameroon. Chambon was a colleague of Dr. Eugene Jamot and the two of them working together were instrumental in trying to combat the African sleeping sickness

In addition to his mission work, Krug was interested in the life of the indigenous peoples, especially their folklore.  The Journal of American Folklore published a number of “Bulu Tales” collected by Krug over his 39 years in Africa.


Click on any image above to open a larger view.

Map 1
Part of district of Ebolowa with outposts of Sangemalima and Ako’o Afem / drawn by A.N. Krug, M.A., cyclometer measures and compass direction. [Photostat/photocopy]
Adolph N Krug ; American Geographical Society of New York.
Foulassi, Cameroun : Adolph N. Krug New York, New York : American Geographical Society of New York ; 1911

Map 2
District subdivision, Sangmelima, Cameroun.
Adolph N Krug

Map 3
French medical survey of sleeping sickness in Sangmelima / Dr. Chambon (copied with his permission by A.N. Krug).
Marcel Chambon ; Adolph N Krug

Planisphere physique by Philippe Buache, 1756

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by Angie Cope

The AGS Library recently acquired a map of the world on a north polar projection.  The map was made by French geographer Philippe Buache (1700-1770) who was one of the first to recognize the importance of watersheds.  Buache trained under the geographer Guillaume Delisle and was married to Delisle’s daughter.

Planisphere physique, où l’on voit du pole septentrional ce que l’on connoît de terres et de mers avec les Grandges Chaines de Montagnes… vigies / dressée par Phil. Buache ; gravé par Desbruslins. 1756

This map shows mountains and how each flows via rivers to the seas. Buache correctly identified the existence of Alaska and the Bering Strait, years before they were officially discovered.

agsmap023780 crop alaska

On the map he depicts an Antarctic Sea which turned out to be inaccurate.

agsmap023780 antarctic ocean

The AGS Library copy of this map is larger than other known copies at 56 x 74 cm in size (compared to 34 x 46 cm of other maps). The AGS Library map also has “Xs” in the top right and left corners on both the front and back of the map.

agsmap023780 x

The text along the edges describes various expeditions and includes mention of Bouvet de Lozier’s 1738-1739 discovery of icebergs between 200-300 feet high and half a league to 2 or 3 leagues in circumference.

The AGSL copy of this map is available at the UWM Digital Map Collection. Click here to view it in more detail including zoom, pan, etc.

Library of Congress copy can be viewed in more detail here. 



Hubbard Park was once an outdoor beer garden and amusement park

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” … Ravenna Park was a private amusement emporium and was the last in a series of predecessors to Hubbard Park, a retreat on the east bank of the Milwaukee River in Shorewood. It started when F.A. Lueddemann opened his farm to the public in 1872. Otto Zwietusch, a soda-water maker and inventor, bought Lueddemann’s-on-the-River the next year fir $9,000 and turned it into his Mineral Springs Park. In 1900 it was sold again, to become Coney Island, an amusement park complete with a roller coaster. But Coney Island lasted only three years. It was revived in 1905 as Wonderland, and its owners added a Ferris wheel and a tower covered with electric lights. In 1909, R.W. Hopkins changed Wonderland into Ravenna, adding movies, a miniature railroad and a “laughing gallery.” Milwaukeeans reached the amusement park via the suburban railroad and later on streetcars. In 1916 it was divided into three parts: today’s Hubbard Park, a residential neighborhood adjacent to it and Electric Co. streetcar yards off Edgewood and Oakland Aves., which now is the site of an apartment complex for the elderly.” – Milwaukee Public Library Digital Collections –



To view this Sanborn map in more detail at the UWM Libraries Digital Collections.


Here are some postcards from the UWM Archives Digital Collections that depict the amusement park as it was …


Bump the bumps, 'Wonderland,' Milwaukee
Bump the bumps, ‘Wonderland,’ Milwaukee


Panoramic view, 'Wonderland on the River, Milwaukee'
Panoramic view, ‘Wonderland on the River, Milwaukee’


Wonderland, Free Vaudeville Act, Milwaukee, Wis.
Wonderland, Free Vaudeville Act, Milwaukee, Wis.



Native American Mapping of the Belcher Islands

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This map is the central object in the story of how geographical knowledge was passed from an Inuk man named Wetalltok to a non-native explorer. In an article in the Geographical Review in 1918, Robert J. Flaherty (1884–1951) recounted the story of how, while he was searching for iron ore deposits on the east coast of Hudson Bay, Canada, Wetallok explained the intricacies of the bay’s island system and shared with him this remarkably accurate Eskimo map, which Flaherty reproduced in the article.


Flaherty later became a director and producer whose first film, Nanook of the North (1922), was one of the best known documentaries of the silent-era. Flaherty also told the story of his encounter with Wetallok in his 1924 book, My Eskimo Friends: “Nanook of the North.” Recent historians of cartography, notably G. Malcolm Lewis in Cartographic Encounters: Perspectives on Native American Mapmaking and Map Use, and Lewis and David Woodward in History of Cartography, also have used the map as an example of indigenous cartography.

The map is drawn with pencil on the back of a missionary lithograph. Notations are in English and Inuktitut syllabics. Flaherty’s annotations include “Little Whale River” [with arrow], “Whale River” [with arrow], and “3 days = dogs = app. 70 miles.”

Missionary lithograph that Wetallok’s map was drawn on.


Click here to view the map in the AGS Library Digital Map Collection

Creating a school wall map in 1913

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This print shows three building views of Justus Perthes’ Geographische Anstalt in Gotha, Germany. The illustrations show the process used in the creation and printing of Justus Perthes school wall maps in 1913.

View this item in the AGS Library Digital Map Collection


Points identified in red are indexed in: Wie eine Schulwandkarte entsteht : eine Führung durch die lithographischen Werkstätten von Justus Perthes’ Geographischer Anstalt / von Hermann Haack, 1913 (viewable here: )

Fordlandia, Brazil

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by Angie Cope

I’ve worked at the AGS Library for over a decade and I am still amazed to find materials on nearly every topic.  A couple years ago I caught the last 15 minutes of the PBS television special on Henry Ford (available online). Among Ford’s successes and failures was mention of his Utopian community built in the Amazon rainforest. Returning to work, I checked the map drawers to see if I could find any maps of Fordlandia.

Sure enough, I discovered three annotated, blueline print maps dontated to the AGS in 1939 from Dr. Lewis Hanke. Hanke was a preeminent Latin American historian who corresponded with the AGS while researching his Handbook of Latin American studies.

The Fordlandia story generally goes like this …

In 1927 Henry Ford purchased 2,471,000 acres of land in the Amazon rainforest from the State of Para, Brazil. Ford ambitiously hoped to free his company’s dependence on foreign rubber by starting a rubber plantation. This first concession of land was in the north of Brazil at Boa Vista.


brazil map


Clearing of the land began in 1929 and production problems ensued almost immediately. Ford had relocated employees from the U.S. to run the plantation and hired local workers as labor. Personnel issues ranged from illness and homesickness to rebellion. The city was modeled after Dearborn, Michigan and had a power plant, library, golf course, barber, hospital, and housing for employees. Ford expected residents would enjoy leading a wholesome American lifestyle, eating hamburgers and living in homes similar to those in Dearborn. Quickly, local workers protested working conditions. Among their grievances was working 8 hours during the heat of the day when they were accustomed to working early-morning and late-evening shifts. Conditions became so bad that workers rioted.


One of three maps held at the AGS Library: Map of Ford Concession on Plateau of Santarem, 1938. Shows lots planted by year, location of clone nurseries and research departments for Belterra concession. (click on image for larger view


In addition to personnel issues, Ford’s engineers lacked knowledge of growing rubber trees. Seeds were planted too closely together making them easy prey for tree disease and pests. Before long, most of the trees died.

By 1934, the State of Para exchanged 695,586 of the original acres for an equal-sized waterfront area 30 miles south of Santarem. The original area, named Boa Vista, was never used as a plantation again but was used as a research station and laboratory for many years.

One of three maps held at the AGS Library: Fordlandia estatemap, 1936. Shows plantation houses, barracks, railroads, roads, condemned areas, creeks, jungle or second growth areas, etc. Includes statistics table showing camps, houses and families by place. (click on image for larger view)

The new site of Belterra, with flatter topography, offered better conditions for producing rubber and allowed the use of machinery. However, a drop in demand for rubber and high costs of production made Belterra economically unfeasable for Ford. Eventually the plantation was sold to the Brazilian government.

One of three maps held at the AGS Library: Map of Ford concessions and exploration trails plotted from government maps, 1934. Shows conession boundaries, land traded for Belterra, trails, places, etc. (click on image for a larger view)


Returning to my observation that the AGS Library has items on nearly every topic, I also enjoy how any map in the collection can distract the user in a dozen different directions. Whether writing about Lewis Hanke, the donor of the 3 Fordlandia maps, or simply researching the annotations – there is so much of interest to consider. Who annotated the maps? Who gave them to Hanke and why? What was Hanke’s relationship to the AGS of NY? Who is the O.G. cited as the draftsman of the maps?

There are many other great internet sites and books if you’d like to find out more about Fordlandia.

Historic images from the Benson Ford Research Center can be seen here.

Workers clearing the jungle at Fordlandia, June 18, 1934.

The Ruins of Fordlandia (from “Damn Interesting” blog) by Alan Bellows is quite good

Fordlandia : the rise and fall of Henry Ford’s forgotten jungle city (2009) by Greg Grandin is a great read. (Description and review:


July 28, 2016 Update

Susan Dykes, the AGSL Metadata Specialist, recently discovered 43 photographs held at the AGS Library from Robert S. Platt in Fordlandia.

You may view them here:

Click here for information on the Robert S. Platt collection