May 16, 2017

Growing Geography

Pechter maps expand Andover’s collection
by Phillips Academy

Thanks to the generosity of Dick ’63 and Kayla Pechter, P’89, ’93, ’96 Andover’s collection of historical cartography has some new arrivals—17 rare maps representing some of the finest examples of European mapmaking from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. The maps will live alongside the Sidney R. Knafel Map Collection, a unique assemblage of atlases, maps and globes dating from 1434 into the 19th century, donated to Andover in 2011 by Sidney Knafel ’48.

“We’re excited and grateful for this donation,” said Nile Blunt, Instructor in History and Social Science, Coordinator of the Art & Antiques Collection, and Geographer-at-Large. “It includes beautiful and historically significant maps from celebrated cartographers such as Herman Moll, Willem Blaeu, and Abraham Ortelius. It is a wonderful complement to the Knafel Collection.”

A recent History 200 class had a chance to see the crown jewel in this new collection—John Smith’s iconic 1616 map, wherein the explorer actually coins the term “New England.” Students studied the map intently, analyzing a seal in the lower left corner, looking up the Latin, and remarking how Smith seemed to be more focused on his own outsized self-portrait than the map’s geography.

The Pechter maps will be formally incorporated into Andover’s larger collection in the months to come, with some going this summer to the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library. “These historic documents will have a welcome home in the OWHL,” said Mike Barker, Director of Academy Research, Information and Library Services. “They will provide a window into history that our students can actively explore.”

Categories: Academics, Philanthropy

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