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Geographical print culture in the German-speaking territories, c.1690-c.1815

: Fischer, L.; Withers, C.W.J.


Journal of Historical Geography 72 (2021), pp.1-12
ISSN: 0305-7488
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IMW ()

This paper examines the number and type of books of geography and geographical periodicals in the eighteenth-century German-speaking territories and the place and chronology of their publication with reference to recent work on geographical print culture in the Enlightenment. The paper extends recent studies on Aufklärungsgeographie (Enlightenment geography) by taking a broadly quantitative approach and in presenting, for 345 books and 109 geographical periodicals, geographies of authoring, editing and publishing in the German-speaking territories between c.1693 and c.1815. Attention is paid to differences of content, to contemporaries’ interests in geography as a form of ordered knowledge (wissenschaft) and to the purposes of their work: broadly, education, polite sociability, and the ‘completeness’ of geography as a form of Enlightenment knowledge. We show how writing and publishing geography—and Aufklärungsgeographie—was spatially distributed and how the rise in numbers and increased diversity of geographical works raised questions about authorship and credibility and the content of geography.