Space, Representation and Use

Searching by geographical localization Tools  
  Space, Representation and Use
  Maison méditerranéenne des sciences de l'homme – Aix-en-Provence



Searching for maps

By geographical localization CartoMundi

Two main entries enable the search for maps

  1. By geographical localization, to have access, country by country, to the graphic index of various map series, then to the institutions where the maps are kept.

      Step by step:

  1. From the map or the list, choose a country;
  2. From the map of the country, choose a map series or a town,
  3. From the list of the collections, choose an institution
  4. From the notice, links facilitate the navigation between series.
  1. By collection, to have access, institution by institution, to the collections of the program members.

      Step by step:

  1. From the map or the list, choose an institution,
  2. From the web page of the institution, click on: Inventoried documents,
  3. From the map list, choose a series.

Good navigation !

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Space, Representation and Use
  Research program
  The Mediterranean Map Library
  An exchange network
  Project members
Map notices
Navigation help

The program Space, Representation and Use aims to promote exchanges and cooperation between the researchers of the MMSH research centres involved by the use and the representation of space. Its other goal is to initiate in Aix-en-Provence, between the MMSH and the Université de Provence, an incubator of permanent competences in iconographic analysis and practice. This program takes its place in the MMSH structure between, research, resources and training, and in a network of a dozen of French and foreign members.
Its activities relates to resources, training and research.

Director of program : Jean-Luc Arnaud, CNRS Research Director ; Research Assistant: Marie-Christine Vazquez, CNRS ; Web site creation: Skandar Ghorbel ; contact: cartomed@mmsh.univ-aix.fr ; tel.: (33) 04 42 52 40 59.

This site was made with multiple collaborations. Preparation of the texts : Gisèle Seimandi for proof-reading, Marie-Christine Vazquez for English translation. Map drawing : Victor Arnaud, Victor Canut, Wassila Bedoui, Franck Flamini, Lina Itani, Pascal Lebouteiller, and Kamel Nasraoui. Resources : Saddek Benkada for resources on Algeria, Véronique Blanc Bijon, for the CCJ collection ; Hélène Chauve, for the resources on Maghreb countries ; Mathieu Coulon, for the resources on Algeria and Tunisia ; Mohammed al-Dbiyat, for the resources on Syria ; Evelyne Disdier, for the MMSH collection ; Fabienne Jullian, for the resources on Beirut ; Basile Khoury, for the resources on Lebanon ; Nelly Martin, for the resources on Alexandria ; Raymond Panattoni, for the ESEP collection ; Tafieda Sabbouh, for the resources on Near Eastern countries ; Hayma Zeifa, for the resources on Damascus. Publication of the site: Arnaud Weill.



A little more than one year after its web site opening, the Mediterranean Map Library project expands its range with the support of the CNRS ADONIS Très Grand Equipement.
In this new framework, the project changes its name in CartoMundi. It is developed in partnership with the Bibliothèque nationale de France Maps and Plans Department, the Institut géographique national and the Comité français de cartographie.
As the name CartoMundi indicates, this new tool will be able to document the whole world. Moreover, the system will be changed and it will offer new services to the Map Libraries project partners, particularly an online data entry interface of collection inventories.
This new site is planned to be operational from the autumn 2009. Before this date, the Mediterranean Map Library keeps improving. In a few weeks, you will find new data on Turkey and on Balkans



To facilitate research activities, the project also produces resources tools. With its network members, it has initiated a homogeneous catalogue of maps and plans of Mediterranean countries.
Concretely, its goals are:
1°. Producing resources inventories and managing tools, developing a general and homogeneous inventory of the project members’ maps an plans,
2°. Scanning the most damaged collections and/or commonly used ones.
3°. Publishing a collective catalogue by means of a web site and an interactive DVD collection.
All this information is online on The Mediterranean Map Library web site (http://cartomed.mmsh.univ-aix.fr), which actually offers unpublished resources on Algerian, Egyptian, Iraqi, Israeli, Lebanese, Libyan, Palestinian, Syrian and Tunisian maps. This bilingual site enables to specify the references of a requested document, and, eventually, to locate it among the inventoried collections. In a few months, high definition digitized documents will be put online.



Several map collections of towns and Mediterranean countries are kept in various research centres in France and abroad. When they exist, the inventories of these collections are too heterogeneous to be brought together in the same data base.
To improve the access to these collections, the Mediterranean Map Library aims to build an exchange network:

  1. To develop a general and homogeneous inventory of its members’ map collections,
  2. To offer its members inventory and managing tools: graphic indexes, map series notices.
  3. To duplicate with a large scan the most damaged collections, or the most used. The MMSH takes care for most the expenses.
  4. To publish an interactive DVD collection of duplicated documents.
  5. To promote the members’ collections by publishing their inventories on the web site.

All the institutions (public or private, French or foreign) having a map collection on Mediterranean towns and countries are invited to join up with the network.
To become a member, write to: cartomed@mmsh.univ-aix.fr



The Mediterranean Map Library distributes digitized versions of old and/or ancient documents free of right in a DVD collection. Beyond duplications, the volumes include notices and a graphic index interface enabling to visualize and to select the maps.
The first DVD will be soon published (2007): The Ottoman Empire atlas in 39 sheets, published by J.-J. Hellert in 1843, with his translation of the Histoire de l’Empire Ottoman de Joseph De Hammer (16 vol.).

In progress:
The L. Bremont Mediterranean Atlas
The Ottoman Empire by Henri Kiepert
Egypt at the Beginning of the 20th century
Syria and Lebanon at the Beginning of the French Mandate



Power Issues/Knowledge Issues
For several centuries, Mediterranean coastal area is more densely occupied than hinterland, and numbers many large towns where multiple ethnic and religious communities coexist. In this context of high density and high diversity in limited space, power and knowledge issues – concerning as well territories as networks – were graphically depicted in profusion since the 4th century. These documents may be exploited in several ways: as knowledge means, as intervention or communication tools. These different practices interrelate closely, above all during crisis eras, when the evolution of the social, political or economic order accelerates.
The program addresses all these issues through a cycle of round-table conferences organized in cooperation with several foreign members and the support of the European program RAMSES2. The conferences will bring together researchers working on the iconographic production of different eras: from the papal propaganda during the 16th and 17th centuries, to the Ottoman Reforms of the 19th century, or the setting up of colonial and mandatory powers. The analysis will be based on two hypotheses:
            - The documents are always incomplete and biased,
            - They depict at the same time reality and their backer point of view.

Each conference will deal with a special topic:

Mapping as a means of appropriation – Islands and coasts as spaces of conquest
Conference scheduled on July 16-17 2007, in Ermoupolis (Syros), in cooperation with the Neohellenic Research Institute of Athens and G. Tolias (NRI).
Between the 15th and 18th centuries, the ‘Insulaires’ (Islands atlases) – literary style both descriptive and visual – constitute a specific Mediterranean editorial product. These publications foretell the opening up of towns and the widening of their horizon. It is a learned style, based on the experimental knowledge of Mediterranean sailors and the humanistic tradition. In the context of the antagonism between the Ottoman Empire and the multiple factions of the Christian world, knowledge about islands and coasts bear tactical issues: maps are depictions intended for politics. The Dalmatians, Spanish, Italians, French, Ottoman, or Portuguese compilers of the ‘Insulaires’build up a network of knowledge transfer in the Mediterranean area. For their political sponsors, these islands inventories are a means of space appropriation, or, at least, of asserting claims by knowledge renewal.
Program of the conference
Session 1– The “Insulaires” and Humanism
Buondelmonti and his Liber Insularum, Benedetta Bessi, John Cabot University, Roma
Enrico Martello et le Liber insularum archipelagi de Cristoforo Buondelmonti, Nathalie Bouloux, François Rabelais University, Tours
Composite Manuscripts of Cristoforo Buondelmontiand Ciriaco d’Ancona, Thodoris Koutsogiannis, Athens University

Session 2 –Islands Mapping
Charting Crete, Christos Zacharakis (Emeritus)
Insular Cartographic Representations from a Numerical point of view, Evangelos Livieratos, Aristote University, Thessalonika

Session 3 – The ‘Insulaires’ and the Art of Navigation
Benedetto Cotrugli « De navigatione », Piero Flachetta, Marciana National Library, Venezia
Piri Reis’ Kitab-i-bahiye, Dimitris Loupis, Harvard University
Late Manuscript Isolarii : Art of Navigation and Travel Literature, Georges Tolias, NHRF, Athens

Session 4 –Power Issues – Knowledge Issues
Représenter les villes siciliennes, Paolo Militello, Catania University
Insularity, Empire and the Visualization of Knowledge in Early Modern Venice, Anastasia Stouraiti, Oxford University
Philisophie(s) de l’Insulaire (XVe-XVIIIe siècles), Franck Lestringant, Sorbonne University, Paris

Conclusion, Jean-Luc Arnaud, CNRS, Aix-en-Provence ; Georges Tolias, NHRF, Athens

Mapping, a tool of intervention. – Towns in the turmoil of the second middle of the 19th century.
Conference scheduled in autumn 2007, in Oran, in cooperation with the Centre de recherché en anthropologie sociale et culturelle d’Oran et S. Benkada (CRASC).
Since the middle of the 19th century, the urbanization of the Mediterranean countries accelerates in a way announcing and preparing today large cities. During a hundred years, whatever the country, in Europe with its technical progress and scientific revolution, in the Ottoman Empire with the Reforms, in recently independent countries, in colonized areas, or in region under Mandates, a same will leads public authorities: the stronger and stronger will to control urban change.
In this context, new tools of intervention are developed, and mapping stands in a good place. The goal is to analyse how these maps at the same time testify of technical necessities and of the approach founding the definition and qualification of much lusted for urban space.
This approach suppresses the common divide between pre-colonial and colonial eras, and between the Empire period and Independences.

Mapping, a means of knowledge and forgery – Coexistences, strong differences in confined proximities.
Conference scheduled in spring 2008, in Alexandria, in cooperation with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
            Since the first signals of collapse of the Ottoman Empire till the most recent events (parting of Serbia from Montenegro in May 2006), one of the main motive of geo-political reorganization in the Mediterranean basin is the ethnic and religious difference between populations.
Thematic mapping pertaining to this topic began during the second half of the 19th century. The documents are analysed not so much from the point of view of registered knowledge as from the process employed to produce them: definition of spatial units of data registering, of construction of population categories, and of the codes signalling them. These variables testify of the author and/or his sponsor point of view insomuch as they have consequences on the results, and may occult or increase the allotment of some populations. In this way, thematic mapping is a means to legitimate territorial claims and to delimit frontlines. Doubtlessly, it is not new, but this approach was never used concerning the Ottoman Empire, where the approximation of data allows conflicting interpretations. The renewal of populations census since the middle of the 19th century are analysed following the same perspective.
The outcome of these works will be published in two ways. Academic contributions will be published as reports in scientific publications, or as books. Descriptive and visual documents will be included in the web site of the program, The Mediterranean Map Library.