Astronomical and Geographical Land Map of the Russian State, Irkutsk Province, with the Indication of Cities, Fortifications, and Settlements of Various Peoples, Adjacent Parts of North America as well as the Empires of China and Japan, and with Corrected Measurements of Longitude and Latitude from the Meridian of Saint Petersburg


This map depicts Irkutsk Province and eastern Siberia in the early 19th century. It was compiled in 1810 by Ivan Kozhevin, a geodesist with the Russian Academy of Sciences. Under the map title at the top center is the symbol of Imperial Russia, the crest of a double-headed eagle holding the orb and scepter. The map also shows other regions of the Russian Empire to the west of Irkutsk, as well as adjacent parts of North America, China, and Japan. Colors delineate national boundaries, with a solid pink line outlining the entire eastern and northern borders of the Russian Empire, including Alaska (i.e., Russian America, where the eastern boundary with British North America is shown inaccurately). In contrast to the highly detailed Russian portions of the map, foreign lands are inaccurately represented, with far less precision and even missing elements. Parts of Alaska that the Russians had settled and explored extensively by the early 19th century, including the Aleutian Islands, Kodiak Island, and the Kenai Peninsula, are shown with much greater geographical specificity than adjoining inland regions of Alaska and North America. Southeastern regions of Alaska, which the Russians were only beginning to settle at this time, are also imperfectly represented. Northern areas of Alaska, especially within the Arctic, were poorly known by the Russians at this point and are entirely misrepresented on the map. A nonexistent large landmass stretching into the far north is placed where the Arctic Ocean is shown to the north of Alaska. The coast of China is shown inaccurately in places, while the islands of Japan are misrepresented in both shape and number. A bright dashed-yellow line indicates the Great Wall of China toward the center-left of the map. In the upper-left-hand corner are a series of tables that list the number of churches throughout eastern Russia, including local parish membership rolls by gender as well as a total count. There are two pictorial insets at the top of the map, an image of Tsar Alexander I in the upper-left-hand corner and one of Tsar Peter the Great in the upper-right-hand corner. Smaller insets can be seen at the bottom of the map: an image of a large ocean-going ship in the lower-left-hand corner and an image of a native Aleut hunting sea otter from a baidarka (Aleut or Unangan kayak) in the lower-right-hand corner.


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Title in Original Language

Астропомическая и географическая ландкарта Российского государства Иркутской губернии с показанием городов, укреплений и где какие народы обитают, с присоединенной частью Северной Америки и смежностей Китайского и Японского государствов, с поправкой географических долгот и широты с мест от Санкт-Петербургской меридианы

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : color ; 96 x 175 centimeters

Last updated: February 7, 2018