Turkish Maps Exhibit at the Karpeles Museum

the Karpeles Manuscript Museum.  Courtesy photo.

Press release from the Karpeles Museum:

Turkish Maps Exhibit

Maps in the Old World were very important. They were so important that they were highly guarded and rarely folded. A ship’s captain was likely to destroy navigation maps, rather than to let them fall into the hands of enemies or competitors.

Such maps are part of the Turkish Maps Exhibit at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum. The current collection is a set maps that have been brought together from all parts of the world. Surprisingly, many of the maps depict the exact same information in many different languages. More

Some of Christopher Columbus’ maps of the “Voyage of Discovery,” might be lost to us today if it were not for the fact that the Turkish empire somehow ended up with copies of the original manuscripts through unknown channels. Most of Columbus’ originals have long since disappeared, but many copies were produced for the use of the Turkish fleet.

Sultan Bayazid II hired experienced mapmakers and seamen to gather information from other countries about recent explorations. The Turkish empire had plans to conquer Europe while the European nations were busy conquering the New World.

So maps like those of the Magellan circumnavigation were of great interest to the Turkish Empire. Several maps of that voyage are included as are the global wind charts of the early Spanish fleet. The Spanish might have saved themselves great trouble by holding the wind charts with greater care. Copies of these charts eventually found their way into Turkish possession.

Ships from the Turkish Empire and its allies didn’t have to sail to the New World to benefit from its riches. They merely had to wait for Spanish galleons to approach home on the predictable routes marked on the wind maps.

Beyond the navigation maps are a number of purely educational maps. These maps represent celestial courses, global animal species and maps of the Crusades. Most are hand drawn and beautifully, crafted.

The Karpeles Manuscript Museum is currently open 10 am to 4 pm  Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free of charge year round. School field trips and group tours are always welcome.

About the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museums
The Karpeles Manuscript Library is the world’s largest private collection of original manuscripts & documents. The library was founded in 1983 by California real estate magnates, David and Marsha Karpeles, with the goal of stimulating interest in learning, especially in children. All of the Karpeles Manuscript Library services are free.

To make the documents more accessible, there are ten Karpeles museums across the US. Items are rotated between museums quarterly and each of the museums present a daily general exhibit and one or more special scheduled exhibits throughout the year. Each of the libraries is located in an historic building.

Contact Us:
Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum
3039 Piqua Ave.
Fort Wayne, IN 46806
Phone/Fax: 260.456.6929
Official website

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