Four Centuries of Geographic Expressions of the Central American Isthmus is the name of the book on ancient maps that was presented in the Liberty Plaza of Universidad Francisco Marroquín last Monday February 5th of 2007, at 7:00 p.m.
This book, extraordinarily illustrated with the UFM map collection, is sponsored by Foundación UNO, whose president is Ernesto Fernandez-Holmann; and written by Jens P. Bornholt, with edition of William H. Hempstead.
The presentation happened within the framework of Geographic Expressions of The New World, that is the name of the symposium of the International Map Collectors´ Society that was celebrated in Universidad Francisco Marroquín from the 5 to the 7 of February of 2007.
During the Symposium and in the book they was an appraisal from the linen cloths of Quauhquechollan and Tlaxcala, during the first days of the conquest, to the cartographic expressions of Karl Sapper and Alfred Maudslay, passing through works of great cartographers like Guiljelmus Blaeu and the contributions of Francisco Antonio de Fuentes y Guzmán and Alexander von Humboldt.
At the moment, in the UFM, an extraordinary study is exhibited on the Linen cloth of Quauhquechollan, which is a Nahuatl painting of the 16 Century, where Quauhquecholtec Indians left their vision of the Spanish conquest.
The Map collection of the University is comprised by a collection of old maps that was donated to the Ludwig von Mises Library by Carlos Elmenhorst. This collection is properly catalogued and exhibited for the appreciation and benefit of those who visit the library, the collection of books and maps that belonged to the founding father José Cecilio del Valle was also added. Including the magnificent Geographic map of Southern America, by Cano and Olmedilla, that personalities like Thomas Jefferson also owned.
Regarding to these activities and works, that Universidad Francisco Marroquín makes available to Guatemalans, the president, Giancarlo Ibárgüen S., said that «old maps teach to us that history was lived with limitations much greater than those than we face at the present time; and Thomas Sowell, in his trilogy on races, migrations, conquers and culture, analyzes in detail how the mountains, the absence of navigable rivers, and the little deep coasts, isolated culturally and economically whole towns».
«The work of Sowell raises endless questions», says Ibárgüen. «Why did the industrial Revolution started in Europe and not in China? Did geography played any role in this? What geographic conditions lead more to freedom-or slavery?»
«At the UFM we believe – with José Cecilio del Valle, Alexander von Humboldt and Thomas Jefferson- that freedom is the key to understand those and other fundamental questions on the human action in society. Inspired by that idea, the Board of Directors of the University decided to promote the UFM’s Map Collection as a space dedicated to the study of the dynamic relation between geography and freedom».