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Rare Historical Maps Exhibition at Manitoba Archives: A Journey Through Time

This Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13, the Manitoba Archives are offering a new exhibition at 200 Vaughan Street.

From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., visitors will be able to travel through time and the history of Manitoba thanks to around thirty historical maps.

On the occasion of the visit of Freedom, Julianna Trivers, chief archivist at the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, had displayed some of the maps that make up the exhibit. One of them almost completely covers the table on which it was placed. By its size, 157 cm by 165 cm, you would swear it was a large tablecloth. “This map dates from 1836. Georges Taylor made this map to list the parcels of land located along the Red River. This is how the Hudson’s Bay Company kept a record of land and its owners. »

So here we are in 1836, in front of a map of the Red River and the Assiniboine River before the first bricks that would become Winnipeg were laid. “The map is said to have been actively used until the deed of surrender was signed in 1870.”

A map, a story

Another, much smaller card also attracts attention. It appears to have been drawn in pencil. No colors, therefore, and it is difficult to realize that the author is depicting the Rockies. The history of this piece of map, protected with plastic film, is particularly fascinating. The original map was drawn on the ground by a Siksika chief named Ac Ko Mok Ki. “It was then copied by the Hudson’s Bay Company surveyor, Peter Fidler,” explains Julianna Trivers.

The copy was then sent to England where a company used the knowledge gained to map the continent. » The map made in England which will result from this will be used by Lewis and Clark during their expedition to the West and will harm them. “What we see here represents the Rocky Mountains. All the different rivers that flowed from it. But it was misinterpreted. The indigenous method of mapping was based on what you could see while walking. » Unlike the European method where we depict a view from above of the reliefs. “This map was therefore incorrectly implemented. What they took for the position of the Rockies was actually a view of the mountains taken while walking. » Like a table of sums.

A rare opportunity

The collection of maps, which will be exhibited, extends from 1709 to 1979. And if behind each of them there is a story worth listening to, all together they become a sort of historical fresco of the history of the country. “We wanted to show some of the first maps that were created of this region and of North America. With the Hudson’s Bay Company archives, what we have is colonization records and one thing that stands out in our maps is how Europeans relied on indigenous knowledge to map the lands. »

So these are important pieces, and these open houses are a rare opportunity to see and even interact with these pieces of history, which are not often out and about. “They need to be kept at constant humidity and a cooler temperature, so the winter in Manitoba is particularly harsh and very dry. It’s not a big deal for paper, but we also have vellum cards (1), very sensitive to dry weather, which cannot be taken out of the safe for most of the year. Usually the humidity is high enough only from May to September, so we’re a little early this year. »

However, Julianna Trivers indicates that the maps are available on request and that digital versions exist.

Local journalism initiative – Réseau.Press – FREEDOM

2024-04-13 04:11:59
#Follow #maps #history

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