Sometimes the best books are published with the least fanfare. I heard about this one from a reader. This book lists by title all maps in the Evans and Shaw & Shoemaker bibliographies of works printed in America (i.e., the United States). Included are maps in books, atlases, and separately published maps. For some reason, maps in monthlies are not included. For books, each listing gives the Evans or Shaw & Shoemaker number, the title, author, publisher, and date, followed by a listing by title of maps in the work. Detailed information on dimensions, engraver, etc. is not given. The book is immensely helpful, the wonder being why no one did it sooner. I have used it to find a few omissions in my bibliography of maps of America in periodicals, and to identify some loose maps. With regard to the latter, there is a very useful alphabetical title index of maps. Commendably, there are also indexes by date, place of publication, personal names, book titles, and geographical region. There is no such thing as too many indexes. Many bibliographies have none. My major criticism is that cross references to Wheat & Brun are not given. This would make it much faster to work back and forth between the two works. I am also puzzled at the omission of maps in monthlies such as Columbian Magazine. Still, as any dealer, collector, or bibliographer knows, maps in books are often the dickens to identify, and for those of us attempting to make such identifications, this work is a godsend. Let me stop waxing enthusiastic, lest someone think I was bribed, but suffice to say that anyone dealing with early American maps will find this work most useful.
David C. Jolly, 1990
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