Map of the Gulf of Finlad Region ca. 170-?

(Photo courtesy of the LaBudde Special Collections)

This map may be small (just 19 x 27 cm.), but it is a true gem amongst the maps to be found in the LaBudde Special Collections. Hand drawn in ink on just one side, the map leaves no clue as to who drew it, when, or why. Centered on the Gulf of Finland and showing the countries and regions surrounding it. Swedish owned Finland comprises the northern bulk of the map, Sweden having rule over Finland since the 16th Century. Curving around through Karelia and the northern parts of Russia we see St. Petersburg and the Russian naval island of Kronstadt. St. Petersburg was founded only in 1703 by Peter the Great and so it’s inclusion on this map offers a clue to its dating. We also see a little mentioned region of Northern Russia named “Ingria” which was made a province of St. Petersburg in 1710 and was home to many Lutheran Finns at the time this map was likely drawn. West of Ingria we come to Livonia, or modern day Estonia, with the cities of Narva and its capital Reval (spelled Revel on the map). Revel is known today as Tallinn and is the oldest capital city in Northern Europe. Further down the coast we come to Riga, once a powerful member of the Hanseatic League but under Swedish rule at the time of this map. Also shown are the numerous islands and smaller towns that helped make this an important commercial region in Europe at the time. The detailed penmanship of the maker is just exquisite and it seems a shame that a map showing a region of Europe in flux must go uncredited to its maker.

  — Contributed by Garth Tardy, Library Specialist.