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Abstract

For many researchers, the new categorical imperative by philosopher Theodor Adorno about thinking and acting in the way so that Auschwitz is never repeated, has become the new starting point for rethinking the rules of practicing the humanities. In the article, I present the postwar history of Jewish thought that has been manifested in the discourse about the Shoah.

Abstract

The paper discusses selected maps of rock strata which exemplify the evolution stages of presentation methods of cartographic data concerning the geological structure of selected countries (France, Great Britain and Germany) which in the first half of the nineteenth century constituted the leaders of the field. The results of geologists’ work are used to present the content of maps, provide explanations and showcase the methods and techniques chosen by the maps’ creators. The analysed maps are accompanied by geological writings which contain descriptions of the chronological order within rock formations and strata defined on the basis of fossils, methods of recreating the geological history of individual regions, and attempts of compiling the acquired knowledge and using it to describe larger areas. The author discusses also two maps of Europe published in the mid-nineteenth century, which are the result of cooperation and research achievements of geologists from different countries.

Abstract

A note by A. Chernevski in the 1877 Shakhmatny Listok described two chess variants played in Samarkand, present-day Uzbekistan. One, the “Bukharan game”, is a slightly modified version of shatranj, similar to Rumi chess as described in Murray’s History of Chess. The other, the “Persian game with a queen” resembles to some extent the Persian chess described in 1846 in the Chess Player’s Chronicle but differs from it in several important aspects. Chernevski’s information, which includes recorded games by native players, is absent from later sources on chess history. A summary of Chernevski’s report is provided, with a discussion of several other historical chess variants, and various errors that have crept into their description in the literature.

Abstract

The 90th anniversary of the appearance of Atlas Polski Continental dla automobilistów (Continental Atlas of Poland for Automobilists) published by Continental Caoutchouc Compagnie Ltd Warsaw is nearing. The Atlas was the first publication of its kind after Poland had regained its independence in 1918.

After mentioning the earlier 19th and the beginning of 20th century road maps, mainly from the region known as the Kingdom of Poland being at the time under the rule of the Russian Empire, the author of the article discusses the Continental road atlas.

The date of publishing the Continental road atlas is not known, therefore in the article the author makes an attempt at establishing it on the basis of the map’s contents: railroad lines, settlement network and administrative borders. Unfortunately, the study does not allow one to unequivocally state the date of publication due to numerous shortcomings in the map’s contents. Nevertheless, the date may be estimated as the beginning of the year 1926.

The atlas consists of 20 single-sided map sheets (foldouts) at the scale of 1:1,000,000, which cover the whole territory of Poland as well as some parts of neighboring countries, and a general map showing the division into sheets. The maps’ main contents consists of five categories of roads marked in red. Their background is composed of railroad lines, towns and villages in seven size classes according to the number of inhabitants, water network, some peaks and passes as well as mountain range names. Explanations of map symbols in the legend are given in five languages: Polish, Russian, German, French, English.

The atlas very clearly shows the differences in the density and quality of roads between the regions of the Prussian and Austrian partitions and the road infrastructure-wise neglected Russian partition, especially its eastern part. Apart from mileage information for roads, the maps do not contain additional information specifically for motorists. They do not even show petrol stations or auto repair shops.

What is really worth praise is the sole idea of creating such an automobile atlas and publishing it in 10,000 copies, a copy for every other Polish driver at the time! The fact speaks for the publisher’s, Continental Caoutchouc Compagnie’s, perspective. Despite numerous shortcomings discussed in the article, the Continental Atlas of Poland for Automobilists remains an unique work, which gave a beginning to a new kind of maps in Poland.

Abstract

The discovery in the cartographic collections of the Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies at the University of Warsaw of an original map by Charles Dupin – the first choropleth map – provided an opportunity to conduct a closer methodological analysis of the map and to investigate the subsequent development of this presentation method during the first half of 19th century. From relatively early on, the accepted principle was for choropleth map presentations to use statistical data still imprecisely referred to as relative, as well as using a distribution series as a method of generalizing data.

Abstract

The article discusses the problem of cartographic presentation of immaterial elements of city space. On the example of old city maps of Warsaw from the period between 1641 and the end of the 19th century, the image of objects and places in Warsaw is linked to the image of activities happening in them, or in connection with them. The author presents results of the analysis of the methods of presentation of immaterial elements, distinguishing three most numerous groups of them: nomenclature, functions and significance of objects, and property and administrative issues. The conclusions base on the analysis of 61 general city maps of Warsaw covering the whole city, elaborated in the periods 1641–1800, 1801–1900, and, supplementary, 1901–1939.

Abstract

The article investigates Renaissance naturalists’ views on the links between plants and places where they grow. It looks at the Renaissance culture of botanical excursions and observation of plants in their natural environment and analyses the methods Renaissance naturalists used to describe relations between plants and their habitat, the influence of location on plants’ substantial and accidental characteristics, and in defining species. I worked mostly with printed sixteenth-century botanical sources and paid special attention to the work of Italian naturalist Giambattista Della Porta (1535–1615), whose thoughts on the relationship between plants and places are original, yet little known.

Abstract

My Ph.D research project aims at writing the history of the Portuguese National Institute for Scientific Research (Instituto Nacional de Investigação Científica, INIC) (1976-92). Although INIC is an important institutional actor in the development of the Portuguese scientific system, it has been mostly absent from the history of the Portuguese institutions of science policy. INIC was founded after the Carnation Revolution of 25 April 1974 in a context in which institutional coordination of scientific research had already become a priority. The political instability of the post-revolutionary period, together with the expansion of the scientific system, resulted in institutional tensions and conflicts involving the scientific community, the higher education community, and other institutions tangent to INIC, that led to its extinction in 1992. Based on INIC’s archive and complemented by secondary sources and interviews, this project proposes to bring this institution into the historical narrative of the Portuguese institutions of science policy.

Abstract

A large chess variant played on a 12x12 board was inadvertently created by G. H. Verney, author of Chess Eccentricities, who seriously misinterpreted one of his sources, A. van der Linde’s Quellenstudien zur Geschichte des Schachspiels. Despite its serendipitous origins, the game, for which the name Verney’s Duodecimal Chess seems appropriate, is surprisingly playable. A set of rules is suggested since those provided by Verney are incomplete.

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of two text analytic projects on the Aberdeen burgh records, which are legal records of the city of Aberdeen, Scotland. These records contain detailed information about a range of activities in the city and their legal treatment. The projects cover the periods 1398–1511 (Law in the Aberdeen Council Registers project – LACR) and 1530–1531 (A Text Analytic Approach to Rural and Urban Legal Histories project – TAHL). The completed TAHL project annotated a selected corpus with rich semantic information for the purpose of facilitating historical research by querying and extracting data from across the corpus. The LACR project, which is ongoing, focuses on transcribing the first eight volumes of the Aberdeen burgh records (1398–1511) into the Text Encoding Initiative’s standard, thus making the text machinereadable. This project lays the foundation for further analysis and enrichment of the corpus.