Monday, November 3, 2008

Collecting Antique Maps - A Beginner's Guide

California wasnt always attached to the west coast of the North American continent. It used to be an island. At least, thats what mapmakers, mostly European, believed for about 100 years, from around 1650 to 1750. So thats how they drew it on their maps.
The Island of California, as it is commonly called, is just one of the innumerable collecting niches that are possible in the increasingly popular field of antique map collecting.

Antique map collecting is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years, which is perhaps one reason why there is such an enormous amount of material, from the affordable to the prohibitively expensive, in circulation today. Two reasons for the popularity of antique map collecting are that antique maps appeal to a broad spectrum of people (for a variety of reasons) and they make very attractive framed pieces that can be enjoyed by many.

The wide range of antique maps available today means that a novice can easily enter the field, although hopefully armed with a little caution and common sense. The best place to begin is with some reading. Two excellent books for the beginning collector are Collecting Old Maps by Francis J. Manasek, and Collecting Antique Maps: An Introduction to the History of Cartography, by Jonathan Potter. Both are available by visiting VintageMaps.Com at

Armed with a little guidance from these excellent books, the new collector is likely to focus on a particular niche within the map collecting field. This is an important step, since it is by narrowing the focus that a beginner is able to most quickly gain the necessary expertise for successful, and enjoyable, collecting. However, the new collector should also take some time to look around before jumping into a chosen area. There are as many collecting areas as there are collectors, and a little time and effort spent exploring the field may lead to surprising and unique choices.

What can a person expect to pay for an antique map? The price range is as wide, or wider, than almost every other field of antique collecting. Perfectly acceptable antique maps can be had for as little as $50. For those with a deep pocket, rare or hard-to-find maps can easily run into five or six figures. With the relatively low cost of entry, antique map collecting is an ideal choice for many individuals, combining wide opportunity for research and learning (history, geography, art, engraving, printing, politics, to name but a few) with the opportunity to display ones prizes in an attractive way. And for those who truly catch the bug, antique map collecting can become a passion that is limited only by the imagination.

Neil Street is the owner of VintageMaps.Com, which he founded in 1997. His website, an online destination for the antique map and antique print enthusiast, is at Send email to He can also be reached at (203)762-3474.

help share your passion about letter writingtamara stevens, BA

The unwritten reality of letter writing

You may wonder why I have chosen this title of this post. Well from my experience is that it is really hard to put the feeling into words about what letter writing means to me. Letter writing is becoming a lost art on many levels. It is fading into the background of society. It is still practised by many people. It is those people that I am looking to connect with. I have been told by many people whom have read my posts that they feel the same way about letter writing as I do. I want to hear from those people what they feel; I want to hear their words.
I think that it is so important that we embrace the things that we are passionate about. In this case, I want people from all walks of life, all over the world. Put a pen to paper that is letter writing; pen pals, snail mail whatever it is you call it and tell your story about what writing and receiving actual physical mail in the mail box means to you.
For me I love the whole process from finding kwel and interesting stationary, note cards, ticklopes (they are so cute) to stickers, to colour full envelopes to tuckins to put in the envelopes. For me it is to make others happy to see a letter to them in their box.

I want to hear from you yes you the one reading this post. I know you love to get a letter addressed to you? Who doesnt? Is there some that you have kept? If so? Why? When? How? Yes I want all the 5 Ws answered. The reason is I think that it is important to have book that expresses just how important this art of letter writing is to our society. I have heard from a publisher that they are interested. Now I just have to create the masterpiece called the unwritten reality of the lost art of letterwriting.

Help me help shine the light on this amazing gift so that it doesnt disappear from the future. If you want more info please feel free to contact me. I have more to share as always. If you can think of other places to post or spread the word please do. This is dedicated to you. I would appreciate any help in getting the word out. I dont think that I could do this book justice with out having fellow letter writers sharing their experiences about the passion of this amazing hobby.

Tamara Stevens
6 Commodore Ave
Sackville, NS B4E 3B2 Canada /

I am 29 year old female from halifax, ns canada. I grew in a small coastal community on the coast of the bay of fundy.


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