Say goodbye to the empty walls in Old Falvey! Falvey Library’s Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement has newly installed a selection of maps from the John F. Smith, III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection in the study space of Old Falvey’s second floor between the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room and the CAVE. This transformation could not have been possible without the help of Villanova’s Office of Facilities Management, Falvey’s Finance & Administration staff, and especially Jennie Castillo, Curator of the University Art Collection & Gallery Director for all their help with every step of the installation.
The sixteen maps on view all show early views of the Americas printed before 1800. Perhaps even more so than providing direction, charting a course, or sharing “new discoveries” in an “Age of Exploration,” maps of the Americas by European cartographers from the 16th through the 18th centuries were about exhibiting political power and control. The acts of claiming and naming, and dividing the land is drawn up on these maps by Dutch, English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German mapmakers.
I selected and wrote accompanying interpretive labels for each of the maps. Thank you also to DCDE staff Meg Piorko, Beaudry Allen, and Michael Foight for their feedback and contributions to the labels; and to John F. Smith, III who provided the basis of the content through the online exhibit,
Projecting the World: An Audio Tour of the John F. Smith, III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection.
See the full transformation and spend some time reading the maps and the labels next time you pass through the space!
Rebecca Oviedo is Distinctive Collections Librarian/Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.