Collection Robert E. Diefenbach Map Collection at Phillips Academy

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Bird's-eye view of New York City in 1897
Robert Diefenbach saw maps as works of art, as attempts by man to depict his environment and enable him to navigate within it. With help from his classmate at Andover, Sidney Knafel, he started out by acquiring 16th century maps of the then newly-discovered western hemisphere and using them to decorate his homes. To these he added 17th, 18th, and 19th century maps of areas where he and his family lived and visited.