Old Shanghai Maps
January 9, 2004 6:00 AM   Subscribe

How can I find maps (paper or electronic) of Shanghai from the 20's and 30s? There is this WayBack archive of a non-responsive French site, which contains beautiful small images of the kinds of things I am interested in (1, 2, 3, 4), but the images are too small for my purposes.
posted by Irontom to Travel & Transportation around Shanghai, China (6 answers total)
There's a pretty good library near you that has a few maps ;-)

I found only an older one online, but I bet there's something in print you could use. I ran a catalog search for "shanghai map," limiting the search by publication dates of 1920-1940, and got somewhere over 1000 hits.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:31 AM on January 9, 2004

You can spend hours finding cool stuff on LOC. Other than that...
*turns on Mcwetboy signal, waits*
posted by planetkyoto at 7:43 AM on January 9, 2004

posted by planetkyoto at 7:46 AM on January 9, 2004

I suck.
posted by planetkyoto at 7:46 AM on January 9, 2004

Response by poster: Okay, cool. I've never used the Library of Congress before, so I just assumed that their collections were only open to "serious" researchers.

It looks like they will even duplicate maps for me (within limits), at fairly reasonable prices.
posted by Irontom at 8:17 AM on January 9, 2004

You might try the NYPL Map Division; I've used them frequently, they're very helpful, and the rates for copying are considerably cheaper (though mailing costs might eat up the savings). I myself was researching Shanghai of that period (when reading J.G. Ballard's Empire of the Sun) and I'm pretty sure they had an excellent large-scale map with all street names (and an index, though that wouldn't do you much good from afar).

Also, there's a nice '30s Shanghai guidebook that was reprinted not long ago; unfortunately, 1) it's still in a box after the move, so I can't give you the name, and 2) the reprint publisher left out the city map (the bastards). But it's got great details about the city of that day. You might also check books about the period, like Shanghai Modern: The Flowering of a New Urban Culture in China, 1930-1945 by Leo Ou-Fan Lee or Policing Shanghai, 1927-1937 by Frederick Wakeman, Jr; some such books have great maps, others have none (the bastards).
posted by languagehat at 8:43 AM on January 9, 2004

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