Cartobibliography of the Grand Canyon and lower Colorado River regions in the United States and Mexico, 1535–2021

FIRST EDITION — March 2021

To download the Cartobibliography click on this button:

NOTE:  The 2nd Edition of the Cartobibliography is expected early in 2022.  Expanded and revised.


This Cartobibliography is an accompaniment to THE GRAND CANON : A Worldwide Bibliog­raphy of the Grand Canyon and Lower Colorado River Regions in the United States and Mexico. It itemizes and often describes details on maps produced worldwide from the 16th to 21st centuries. Many citations for historical maps before the 20th century are chorographical; attention is on part of the map rather than the whole, in order to describe how the Grand Canyon and lower Colorado River regions are portrayed. Thus the main purpose of the map may not be mentioned, even though the map may be of wider interest to cartographic histo­rians for content that is unrelated to the physical geography of the Southwest (for example, a map that delineates newly drawn political boundaries in areas that are outside the geographical area of interest here). In some instances, remarks correct or amplify the work of earlier bibliographers. All forms of maps are listed: general, geologic and physio­graphic, and certain specialized maps; to which is added a complete guide to all scales of topogra­phic map quadrangles in the greater Grand Canyon–lower Colorado River regions in the U.S. and Mexico, produced by the U.S. Geological Survey and Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (as also used by the Servicio Geológico Mexicano). The kinds of maps cited here vary. Many are standalone productions, while others are included in atlases or accompany reports of explorations, some of them as large fold-outs, others as maps loosely laid in or even grouped in separate covers. Maps that appear as illustrations within books and periodicals are not generally considered. Neither are manuscript maps consid­ered, although a few significant ones are cited; those that are of seminal impor­tance in the history of the Grand Canyon and the Southwest. Notes added to these citations provide more detailed information that describe relationships between features of physical geog­raphy, for the benefit of users who may thus determine that a map should be more closely examined, or it may suggest to them that a map is not of interest to work at hand. The Cartobibliography divides maps into two major groups: 16th–18th cen­turies, and 19th–21st centuries. There is also a consolidated chronological listing for all maps. The 16th to 18th centuries in this region recorded human interactions that focused on the lower Colorado River, by inter­national parties with interests in the region. Only manuscript maps ventured to embrace the area that now is known to be the Grand Canyon. The 19th century saw the first sponsored explorers in three centuries span­ning the region, eventually delineating the Colorado River and its tributaries correctly, and discovered again the Grand Canyon. And the 20th century witnessed an explosion of general and scientific maps of the region, including topographic mapping at large scales. More specifically detailed bibliographical products and statistical surveys can be derived from this Cartobib­liography.


ELABORATION.  The Cartobibliography greatly expands upon what was Part 25 in the 1st–3rd Editions of The Grand Canon (2012, 2015, 2019). Even though this is a standalone publication, it remains a part of that work. It uses the same methods of citation and cross-referencing standards used in the full bibliography. Notes with many citations direct users who, for bibliographical or statistical pur­poses, or for historical perspective within this bibliographical project, may have need to follow the cross-referencing information. For most users, this information may be superfluous, but it allows others to work in tandem with the complete Grand Canyon–Lower Colorado River bibli­ography.

Given the special nature of maps, atlases, and similar productions, and considering the great size of this Cartobibliography now, it was deemed more serviceable to segregate these sections from the main bibliography to create a new, comprehensive compendium that serves a specialized audience. So Part 25, which was restricted to “general” maps, was detached, and into it was merged all the other, usually specialized, maps that are cited in other parts and sections of the bibliography. (Citations copied from parts of the bibliography other than Part 25 are still present in their original places because they topically complement the content of the units with which they appear. They also will continue to be materially attached to parts of The Grand Canon that may be individually distributed, such as are available online at Raven’s Perch Media.)

The Cartobibliography maintains the same format as that followed throughout The Grand Canon. It also keeps in place each citation’s unique Item Number (or registration number) and special biblio­graphical cross-listings. Accordingly, the Item Numbers displayed in the Cartobibliography also divulge their original topical placements in The Grand Canon. Differing from the standard procedure adopted for the main bibliography, new Item Numbers were not assigned to the citations copied from other units. In so doing, the statistical size of The Grand Canon’s citation counts has not been inflated.

Citations that comprised the original Part 25 of The Grand Canon (“general” maps) can be identified by the Item Number prefix “25.”; other prefixes are:

 9.  copied from Part 9 (travel and trail guides)

10.  copied from Part 10 (Colorado River guides)

11.  copied from Part 11/Section 2A (separately published geologic maps in the lower Colorado River region, which complement the geology citations for the Lower Colorado River region separate-coverage group of the bibliography)

24.  copied from Part 24 (separately published geologic maps in the Grand Canyon region, which complement the geology citations for the Grand Canyon region)