Within the initiative “The Language of Objects—Material Culture in the Context of Societal Developments” the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the three-year joint research project "Coloured Maps" (2018–21), involving the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures and the Mineralogical Museum, Center of Natural History (CeNak), both at the University of Hamburg, the Hanseatic Business Archive Foundation, the Library of Commerce and the Museum am Rothenbaum (MARKK) in Hamburg. Relying on a close cooperation between academics and natural scientists from history, area studies, and material sciences this joint research group analyses hand-drawn and hand-colored maps from Europe and East Asia produced between the 15th and 20th centuries, with a focus on maps held in the respective institutions in Hamburg. Within the group I conduct research on the maps from East Asia.
Our research group aims to acquire extensive information about the colorants used for the coloring of maps, as well as on the meaning and function of colors on maps. With our research we aim to gain a comprehensive historical and analytical picture of colored maps. Furthermore, the research in this project seeks to address the questions of how knowledge transfer concerning coloring and coluring techniques took place between Europe and Asia and within the respective regions.
During my stay at the MPIWG I will work on our forthcoming publication Mapping and Colouring. A Comparative Study in Asia and Europe.