Geologicka Mapa Ceskoslovenske Republiky


Large and striking geologic map of Czechoslovakia.

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Published less than a decade after the country’s independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, this map would have served multiple purposes. In addition to reflecting the latest geologic research, it also frames the new nation of Czechoslovakia in its independent postwar context. The information presented within the image was compiled by Dr. Josef Woldrich, a geology professor at Masaryk University, named after the first president who was elected in 1920. The map was issued largely in the Czech language and published by a firm in Prague, making it an entirely domestic production.

A legend in the upper right matches each bold color with its corresponding geologic age and provides the symbols for fault lines, topographic contours, mineral deposits and railways. Interestingly, it was found during translation that several of the scientific terms were presented in other Slavic languages, perhaps because of their specialized nature. The use of multiple languages reflects the prominent existence of various ethnicities within the Czech borders, which would ultimately become a significant factor in the country’s split to the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.

On the verso of the front panel is a manuscript note reflecting ownership in Prague and library stamp from a prior owner, Willard Rouse Jillson. Jillson was an academic from Kentucky who taught geology at several universities and directed the state’s sixth geological survey. Born in 1890 and died in 1975, Jillson’s lifetime is an excellent barometer to examine how quickly a country’s fortune could change in Europe during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He would have been around to see the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918, its absorption into the Third Reich in 1938, and ultimate invasion by the Soviet Union and transition to a socialist republic in 1960.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1926

Author: Dr. Josef Woldrich

Sheet Width (in): 52.00

Sheet Height (in): 24

Condition: A-

Condition Description: Apart from very faint toning and minor wear on the outer edges, this lithographed map is in excellent shape. Includes original green paper folder, which has been folded.


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