Accompanying the 2016 Annual State History Conference is an exhibition of historic maps, owned by Salt Lake City businessman Stephen Boulay. Stephen’s fascination with maps and the stories they tell began three decades ago, and he has been collecting maps ever since. Stephen has accumulated one of the finest collections of maps dealing with the history of Utah. Some of Stephen’s most prized cartographical renditions show the territory from its sixteenth century imaginings, all the way to statehood in 1986.
William K. Martin, PhD Candidate at the University of Utah’s History Department, provides a little background on the collection, and how it offers a “cartographical history” of Utah from the time when nothing, or hardly anything, was known about the territory.
To most of us, we think of maps as an important tool to get from one place or another – lines laid out on a two-dimensional space in a way that suits their real or imagined world. Importantly, the difference between what is “real” and what is “imagined” on a map is not always due to what is “known”. These maps show how lines on a piece of paper do more than show distances and the “lay of the land”.
The Utah Cultural Celebration Center welcomes those attending the 2016 Annual State History Conference, and encourage anyone interested to register for the gathering. The collection will be on display to the general public through October 6. Exhibitions are open Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and by arrangement.