Knowledge, Spaces, and Media Centre for Transcultural Studies Gotha Research Centre Gotha Research Library

KarAfAs – Cartographies of Africa and Asia

The subject of this indexing are the maps of Africa and Asia published until 1945 - a total of 35,349 map sheets - as a central core holdings of the Perthes Collection preserved by the Gotha Research Library of the University of Erfurt. The online presentation and permanent storage of the digital copies will take place in the Digital Historical Library Erfurt/Gotha, which is maintained and hosted by the Thuringian University and State Library Jena (ThULB). In this way, the maps will be made accessible to scholars from all over the world and, in addition, presented to a broad interested public both analogue in the form of events and digitally in the form of a scholarly blog.

02/2021 - 01/2023

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) :
370 000 Euro

Project management

Director (Centre for Transcultural Studies / Perthes Collection)
Dr. Petra Weigel
Dr. Petra Weigel
Curator of the Perthes Collection (Gotha Research Library)

The Perthes Collection comprises the holdings of the publishing houses Justus Perthes Gotha, Justus Perthes Darmstadt and the VEB Hermann Haack Gotha. It is one of the most significant archives of a map publishing house on the European continent. A remarkable part of the holdings is the map collection, which consists of around 200 000 sheets of cartographic material. Since it contains maps in all stages of their development that were produced in Gotha, from draft maps to the finalized printed product, as well as maps the publishers purchased internationally since the beginning of the 19th century, the map collection presents a mesmerizing opportunity for researchers of historical cartography. Thanks to the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s (BMBF) financial support, a significant part of the map collection will now be made available online: Within two years, more than 35 000 of the collection’s maps of Africa and Asia from 1800 to 1945 will be catalogued, digitized and made available to the scientific community. All digitized items will be published at the Digital Historical Library Erfurt/Gotha (DHB), hosted by the Thuringian University and State Library (ThULB) Jena. A selection of the project’s first finds and findings are presented at our blog Mapping Africa and Asia. Moreover, the diverging research fields to which the collection contributes, as well as the overall research potential of the collection will be further presented and discussed during events, conferences and workshops.  

More team members:

Karl Franz Hutter, M.A., Yvonne Gräser, Martina Schröder, Andreas Pügner

Student Assistants:
Marko Mališ, Julia Toni

Gotha Research Library

Please find further information on the

project webpage

Cooperation partner

Profile field