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Spring 2015

Posts for Spring 2015

Mapmaker mystery

Of all the names that were mentioned in the [previous issue] article (those that I studied under in geology), I know Dr. Campbell would have had your answer. I was a graduate student in geology in the early ’70s and I knew Dr. Rosenberg (my advisor), Dr. Webster, and Dr. Campbell. These people were phenomenal teachers and mentors. But when important questions come up, like historical geology questions, Dr. Campbell was your man. He would have known. I remember his research, his retirement, and his death later. Another person who would have known was Al Butler in physics (also my advisor) because … » More …

Mapmaker Mystery photoillustration
Winter 2014

Mapmaker Mystery

The Palouse, in its way, is a perfect place. A land of soft, rolling hills framed by rivers, mountains, forests, and desert, this agricultural hinterland feels all four seasons fully, and in all likelihood grows enough food to feed its inhabitants and visitors with ease. It’s home to scholars and farmers, and its story begins in the ice ages and continues today with an unrelenting flow of research from two major universities.

Despite such beauty and bounty, the Palouse has not received the artistic consideration that has Yosemite or Hudson Valley. I’ve never seen anything like that, at least until a day last winter when … » More …

Road trip illustration
Spring 2014

Washington state road trips

Winthrop to Marblemount–North Cascades Highway—87.4 miles

cascade map

I was running late, headed for Marblemount over Washington Pass. As it grew darker, I drove through thick, swirling clouds. The clouds would part, revealing a jagged peak, then close quickly, then reveal another. It was dizzying and magical, the road before me disappearing and reappearing. It was only in 1972 that State Route 20 made the 87-mile drive from Winthrop to Marblemount possible. The highway passes through extraordinary landscape and ecological transitions, from the sagebrush of the Methow Valley to … » More …

1710 Senex map
Winter 2012

The 1710 Senex map of North America

There were still plenty of blank spots on maps when cartographer and engraver John Senex (circa 1678-1740) created this 1710 map of North America. It is one of 33 early eighteenth-century maps from a Senex atlas in Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, acquired by the WSU Libraries in the mid-1950s. The atlas lacks a title page, but it is almost certainly Senex’s Universal Geographer, published circa 1725. It includes the bookplate of Sir Archibald Grant of Monymoske, Baronet (1696-1778), and was formerly part of his library.

Courtesy WSU Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections

1710 Senex map of ... <a href=» More …