Most of us are aware that an atlas is “a bound collection of maps often including illustrations, informative tables, or textual matter,” as Merriam-Webster defines it. You’ve probably consulted an atlas before, those showing political boundaries, topographic features, and major towns and cities. But there is quite an array of atlases that illuminate specific and specialized data, much of which you may not have considered. As you can see, many are also entertaining (if not actually bizarre)!

  • Via the HathiTrust, we can view, search, and download an atlas that’s not your granddad’s nickel-and-dime reference book.
  • The Tobacco Atlas illustrates how tobacco is not just a health issue, but involves economics, big business, politics, trade, litigation, deceit, and smuggling.
  • The Vikings encountered North America long before Columbus, but forgot to make a holiday commemorating their discovery.
  • The weird and wonderful are celebrated in this curious atlas, which encompasses “just about everything” in its scope.
  • Our connection to the known universe is lost when we travel through these pages, which takes us from the real to the imagined…

Too far from the familiar for comfort? We can travel back via these roads (not an atlas, but a beautiful drive) to reconnect with home base, and the comforts of familiar surroundings!

To peruse our atlas collections at the Sheridan Libraries, visit A Level, GIS and Data Services, and see the many informative and entertaining selections.


One thought on “A Sense of Places

  1. Thanks for mentioning “Stange Maps, an atlas of cartographic curiosities”. It is a great book, worth perusing.

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