Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

The Selden Map and the Archipelagos of East and Southeast Asia

In early 2008, while researching in the archives of Oxford University’s Bodleian Library, I rediscovered the earliest surviving Chinese map made by maritime merchants. This is the now celebrated Selden Map, a beautifully painted, approximately three-by-five, early seventeenth-century wall map of East Asia. The inscriptions are in Chinese characters, although many indicate the use of the Min language from Fujian. Perhaps the most important aspect of this map is that it includes carefully drawn ...

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