Cannibals, ships and the UFM´s map library

Partial view of the map that shows the location of cannibals in South America

«The map library of the Francisco Marroquín University is integrated mainly by three map collections: the  José Cecilio del Valle, Centralamerica´s founding father; the one from the collector Carlos Elmenhorst, that includes a series of Mesoamerican maps, together with some books of history and trips to the region; and the one of Sam Bonis that includes a personal collection of geologic maps, unique and hand drawn», Jens Bornholt, curator of the map library, explained.

A map library is a collection of cartographic material like nauticals and similar maps, atlases, letters; and the one of this University is in the
Ludwig von Mises Library. «The mission of the UFM´s map library  to motivate and facilitate the widest use possible of the collections that integrate it; and to obtain this, it has online tools like catalogues, indexation systems, discussions and multimedia presentations.  The map library looks forward to develop active intellectual spaces for creating innovative academic projects like children activities or traveling exhibitions», explained Grete Pasch, director of the Library.

«In the maps you can see more than what we learned as kids, in school, when we had to memorize by heart the rivers, volcanos, mountains and the capitals of all the world.  In the old maps you can learn history about the trips and the explorations», said Bornholt, when showing a 1550 map in which we see what could be promotion drawings to sell the map.

«This one says that it is the Victory, of Magallanes, the last one of the five ships with which he initiated the first trip of global circumnavigation; and this is the barbecue of a leg in southamerica. The travellers imagined that there there were cannibals, and, to sell their maps in Europe, the cartographers draw images that attracted people», explained Bornholt when showing some illustrations of old maps.

During the presentation, the curator also showed a map of Guatemala, of 1902, that shows the damages extension of that year´s earthquake.

In February of the incoming year, the 2007 Symposium of the International Map Collectors´ Society (
IMCOS)  will be celebrated, here in the Francisco Marroquín University.

Bornholt made the presentation of the map library, previous to the conference that Héctor Monzón imparted on earthquakes.   The same one was celebrated at the Friedrich A. Hayek Auditorium, on February 8th of 2006.

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