MAPS OF ESTATES IN BOHEMIA AS AN EXAMPLE OF AN UNDERVALUED HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHIC SOURCE – RESEARCH SURVEY AND EXAMPLES OF UTILIZATION
As an interdisciplinary discipline, historical geography uses a diverse aggregate of historical sources, from traditional written through tangible up to pictorial, i.e., iconographic. From the pictorial sources, we can separate an individual group of cartographic materials – old maps and plans, which are one of the most important sources of information in current historical geographic research. The paper briefly summarizes the development of historical geography and then addresses the presentation of the source materials in historical geography. It draws attention to classification of the sources concerning their form and purpose and then focusses on historiographic sources of comparative and individual character. In addition to traditional comparative cartographic works (the Müller map, the military surveys and the stable cadaster), the paper emphasizes the individual maps of smaller territorial units – maps of estates – as sources that originated until the mid-19th century and as still relatively insufficiently utilized material. Through their analysis and interpretation, it is possible to obtain relatively detailed knowledge on the historical landscape of the pre- industrial period, thus filling blank spots in the research on past landscapes. The paper documents the testimonial value of these maps with an example of two aristocratic estates, those of Jilemnice and Nové Hrady, and a comparison of several specific features (depiction of the settlement, land cover, and map legends).