Talking Maps

About the exhibition

Every map tells a story. Talking Maps is a celebration of maps and what they tell us about the places they depict and the people that make and use them.

Drawing on the Bodleian's unparalleled collection of more than 1.3 million maps, this exhibition brings together an extraordinary selection of ancient, pre-modern and contemporary maps from a range of cultures and in a variety of formats
as well as showcasing fascinating imaginary, fictional and war maps.

Talking Maps explores how maps are neither transparent objects of scientific communication, nor baleful tools of ideology, but proposals about the world that help people to understand who they are by describing where they
are.

Highlights on show include the Gough Map, the earliest surviving map showing Great Britain in a recognizable form, the Selden Map, a late Ming map of the South China Sea, and fictional maps by CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. Map treasures
from the Libraries' collection will be shown alongside specially commissioned 3D installations and artworks, and exciting works on loan from artists and other institutions.

 Location

ST Lee Gallery, Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG

 Wheelchair access

The Weston Library is wheelchair accessible.

 Admission

Admission free.

 Opening times

Monday to Saturday - 10am-5pm

Sunday - 11am-5pm

 

 The curators

  • Nick Millea, Bodleian Map Librarian
  • Jerry Brotton, Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary University of London

Every map tells a story. The exhibition shows how maps are creative objects that establish conversations between the people who made them and the individuals and communities that use them.

- Jerry Brotton, co-curator of Talking Maps -

Related exhibitions and events

640x400 maps

Secret Soviet maps of Britain and the World

  21 November 2019

Soviet presidents were responsible for a cartographic project of staggering scope and ambition – the detailed mapping of the entire world. Not only strategically vital ports and industrial centres, but cities, small towns and rural areas alike, were plotted and recorded in a consistent, comprehensive format on topographic maps and large-scale plans. 

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'To beautify his hall': Ralph Sheldon's tapestry maps in the Bodleian Library

  5 December 2019

Ralph Sheldon’s four tapestry maps were an unusual decorative choice for the 1590s. Rescued by the antiquary Richard Gough, damaged even then, three, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, now belong to the Library; the fourth hangs in the county it shows, Warwickshire.  

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From Weston House to the Weston Library: the Sheldon Tapestry Maps at the Bodleian

  22 October 2019

The Weston Library is hosting a one-day symposium to celebrate these stunning cartographic masterpieces, exploring their historical context in terms of mapmaking and their place in society; marvelling at conservation work; and bringing the tapestries up to date with the latest research on both their content and creation.

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Talking Maps: lunchtime talks 

  Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Join a curator or researcher in our Talking Maps exhibition as they reveal the secrets of their favourite exhibits.

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640x400 sheldon compressor

Sheldon Tapestry Maps talks 

 Every weekday

As part of our Talking Maps exhibition, join a member of the Bodleian Library's Map Room as they talk about the background of the Sheldon Tapestry Map of Gloucestershire and answer questions. The map is on display in Blackwell Hall in the Weston Library.

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Gifts & books

flourish horizontal

£35

Talking Maps

£12.00

Fifty Maps and the Stories they Tell

£12.00

Panorama of London Mug

£12.00

Oxford Map Glasses Case and Lens Cloth

 

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Contact us


Information desk
+44 (0)1865 277094

visit.bodleian.ox.ac.uk//exhibition/talking-maps?SQ_CALENDAR_DATE=2019-08-15
19/10/2019 06:42:52
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