Collector’s Corner, with Tim Weiskel

March 21, 2023, 6pm, Zoom

On Tuesday, March 21, several dozen Ticknorites and others joined Tim Weiskel, via Zoom, for a fascinating talk on accessing digital maps and other media, particularly on the subjects of Africa and global history as it relates to Africa. Tim’s personal and teaching collection is deep and broad, and we learned from him that large parts of it are accessible on his website in digital form. 

Tim began his talk, entitled “Book Collecting at the End of Empire,” by introducing us to the work of his mentor at Oxford, Thomas Hodgkin (1910-1982), an English historian of Africa “who did more than anyone to establish the serious study of African history” in the UK, according to his Times obituary.

Over the course of the hour we learned that Africa was the first continent to be circled by navigators and mapmakers, thus giving it a central position in early atlases; about the crops that found their way from the New World to become staples of the African diet as a result of the slave trade; about the great insights that can come from doing “long history” (the French “Annales” school of inquiry); and about how the Age of Exploration led to an “Age of Control.” 

Tim considers his approach to collecting to be “curating a fractured past.”  How very appropriate! One need only go to his website, with its 60,000 links, to learn more about his collecting practices and see how he is making accessible an extraordinarily wide range of historical resources to everyone.  Among those riches, Tim pointed us to “The Africa Map Circle – Introduction & Digital Resource Directory” and “The African Historical Graphics Archive” to illustrate his talk.

Ticknor members can sign into their online account and watch the discussion on the Videos page.

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