Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2013


Great Plains Research 23.1 (Spring 2013).


Copyright © 2013 by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Lavishly illustrated, beautifully bound, and richly textured, this volume stunningly reproduces the visual culture of the railroad: its maps, brochures, advertisements, broadsides, and pamphlets. Derek Hayes has brought together over 400 maps, ranging from the first railroad survey map drawn in the U.S., filed in 1809, to President Barack Obama's "Vision for High Speed Rail in America," published in 2009. This is an impressive compilation, but it is not an atlas in the conventional sense. Hayes considers a "map" to be any printed item with geographical information on it, whatever its genre. Whether a route map, advertisement, or ticket, whether railroad-produced or not, all are considered "maps" and treated without regard to their original purpose or format. For this atlas, moreover, Hayes has produced no new cartography, either representational or analytical.