To commemorate the 350th anniversary of the naming of New Jersey, the Princeton University Library has published “Nova Caesarea: A Cartographic Record of the Garden State, 1666-1888” by author/curator John Delaney and designer Mark Argentsinger. This comprehensive — 380 page — and extensively illustrated volume will introduce readers to the maps that charted the state’s development, from unexplored colonial territory to the first scientifically surveyed state in the Union.
The accompanying exhibit can be seen in the main gallery of the Firestone Library on the campus of Princeton University through Sunday, January 25, 2015. An exhibition tour with curator Delaney will be offered on Sunday, August 24, at 3 p.m. Additional tours will be held in October and December.
The exhibition showcases maps including coastal charts, manuscript road maps, and early state maps that provide a historical background to the major focus of the exhibition: the state’s first wall maps and county atlases. The large scale of these maps allowed map makers to include the names and locations of 19th-century farmers and merchants, thereby personalizing local history.
Five landmark maps of New Jersey will appear together for the first time, including Dutchman Pieter Goos’ 1666 nautical chart, the earliest printed map/chart of the territory that became New Jersey, and Englishman William Faden’s 1777 map of “The Province of New Jersey, Divided into East and West, Commonly Called the Jerseys,” the most popular early map of the future state, which settled the boundary between New Jersey and New York.
Also on view is New Jersey cartographer William Watson’s 1812 map, the first wall map of the state and the first to show all of its townships; Trenton surveyor Thomas Gordon’s 1828 wall map, the first large detailed and “official” state map; and the 1860 wall map of state geologist William Kitchell, compiled by Griffith Morgan Hopkins Jr., the largest map of New Jersey published in the 19th century, which attempted to show all the roads in the state.
The book “Nova Caesarea: A Cartographic Record of the Garden State, 1666-1888,” is available in two editions. Copies of the regular pictorial hardcover edition ($100) include a large pocket map. Limited copies of the special edition ($250), also containing the pocket map, have been signed and numbered by the author and designer. Each clothbound volume is housed in a custom slipcase with a separate folder of enlarged copies of the first wall maps of all New Jersey counties. Both editions can be purchased in the library’s Special Collections office during business hours, and order forms are available in the gallery.
Nova Caesarea, through Sunday, January 25, 2015. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Exhibition tours with curator John Delaney will be offered on Sunday, August 24, at 3 p.m., as well as Sunday, October 26, and Sunday, December 14. Free admission. For further information, contact Delaney at 609-258-6156 or by E-mail at Delaney@princeton.edu.