New Book ‘Mapping Texas’ Featured Subject of The Texas Collection Fall Lecture

November 12, 2019
Mapping Texas

Libraries Contact: Eric Ames, Baylor Libraries, 254-710-1576
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WACO, Texas (Nov. 12, 2019) – In celebration of the release of the new book, Mapping Texas: A Cartographic Journey, 1561-1860, The Texas Collection at Baylor University will host an author lecture and book signing from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, in Kayser Auditorium in the Hankamer Academic Center, 1428 S. Fifth St., on the Baylor campus.

Mapping Texas (Baylor University Press, 2019) is the impressive result of a collective effort from John Wilson, interim dean of University Libraries; Rachel DeShong, map curator of The Texas Collection; and Sierra Wilson, print production coordinator at the University of Chicago Press, who will speak about their project.

With more than 130 large pages filled with colorized maps that date back between 450 and 150 years ago, this collection showcases the fascinating evolution of Texas cartography over the centuries.

“The sizeable and vivid renditions allow the reader to examine some of the maps’ more intricate details, almost as if they were viewing the originals in person at The Texas Collection,” DeShong said.

The maps included in the book represent Texas’ rich history of six different nations claiming its ownership.

“In a way, this work is paying homage to the painstaking labors of Spanish, French, English and Mexican mapmakers who contributed to defining the boundaries of our great state,” Wilson said. “It is interesting to note the differing views of Texas’ geography and boundaries according to who created the map and in what time period.”

The fall lecture and book-signing event will allow attendees to see a small taste of the vast amount of rich history materials housed at The Texas Collection at Baylor.

“I hope we can tap into their curiosity in order to recount the histories of these maps in a fresh and compelling way,” DeShong said.

Other materials housed in The Texas Collection include print items, photos and archival collections on a variety of topics, including history, religion, culinary arts, language, literature and politics. While these materials all work together to tell the broad story of Texas, the collection has a focus on Central Texas, McLennan County, Waco and Baylor University.

To purchase a copy of Mapping Texas: A Cartographic Journey, 1561-1860, visit Books also will be available for purchase at the event.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The Baylor University Libraries lead as an innovative research library that undergirds scholarship, fosters teaching and learning, and builds communities. Comprised of the Central Libraries and world-renowned special collections that include the Armstrong Browning Library, The Texas Collection and University Archives, The Institute for Oral History, the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society, and the W. R. Poage Legislative Library, the Libraries drive research at Baylor University and beyond.