In 2019, the Royal Scientific Society of Zeeland (KZGW) offered a fellowship to map historian Bram Vannieuwenhuyze from the University of Amsterdam in order to teach a 100-level LAS course at UCR. This course, entitled Activating Old Maps, took place in Spring 2020 and focused on the intersection of history, cartography, cultural heritage and digital humanities. It built on Vannieuwenhuyze’s ongoing research on narratives and motion in old maps, combined with an exploration of digital mapping tools and a participatory, public exhibition project. The ultimate goal of the course was to ‘break through’ the lifeless and static character of old paper maps and to reflect upon their agility and dynamics, both as objects and as support/media for content and meaning.
During the first weeks, the students who enrolled for the course became acquainted with the most important aspects of the history of cartography. Each week, they also visited the reading room of the Zeeuws Archief in Middelburg in order to discover and discuss a selection of old maps from the rich KZGW map collection. In the second part of the course, the focus shifted to two particular maps from that collection: the Middelburg map made by Cornelis Goliath about 1657 and printed in 1696, and the large wall map entitled Zelandiae comitatus novissima tabula, also known as the ‘Roman-Visscher map of Zeeland’ from about 1655. The students were divided into three groups and reflected upon the possibilities to activate and revitalise these seventeenth-century paper maps, especially by developing an interactive digital application. After a lot of hard work and a series of brainstorming sessions with the instructors and some external experts, the three applications are now ready to be released to the wider public.
Read more about the projects and visit the applications created by UCR students below.
Student-led podcast exploring different aspects of the so called Goliath map of Middelburg, made in 1657 by Cornelis Goliath. The mini-series, based off of Instagram, will touch upon topics such as mapmaking in the Dutch Golden Age, the life of Cornelis Goliath, and comparisons between old and modern-day Middelburg.
Release: Monday, May 4th
Made by UCR students: Roemer Faber, Alice Fournier, Lieke van Rooij and Simone Stals
Mapping Daily Life in the 17th Century
An interactive look into daily life in the 17th century using two maps of the time, the Goliath map of Middelburg and the Roman-Visscher map of Middelburg. A Prezi that can be clicked through with ease and to the interest of the viewer, as well a video walkthrough for those who wish a simpler view.
Release: Saturday, May 9th
Made by UCR students: Michelle Natalie Cecil, Clarissa Frascadore, Arian Gonzalez Höflich and Jan Jaap van Klompenburg
The Goliath Community Map
The Goliath Community Map is meant to connect Cornelis Goliath’s 1657 map of Middelburg with Middelburg as it is experienced by its (former) residents in the 21st century, in order to show the continuity of a sense of community in the city, despite the many changes to the physical space itself. This project, in the form of a Prezi, provides an online space displaying a collection of stories from the 17th and 21st centuries, connected to historical places seen on the map, around this theme of community. Especially now, during the Covid-19 pandemic, we namely found it important to create a project that is centered around the connections between people (and how they remain through time), when those connections for quite some months now will have to be maintained in particularly strange ways.
Release: Wednesday May 6th, 13.00
Made by UCR students: Julia Cottrell and Laura Houwaart