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An Atlas of Rare City Maps:

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Comparative Urban Design, 1830-1842 by Melville C Branch (Princeton Architectural Press, 1997. £42) is a large- format collection of 40 map-plans first published by the (wonderfully- named) Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. While the majority of these hand-coloured engravings (embellished with vignettes of individual buildings or a panoramic view) are of European cities, they range east to Calcutta and west to Boston, Philadelphia and New York. This last city also has a volume to itself - Manhattan in Maps, 1527-1995 by Paul E Cohen and Robert T Augustyn (Rizzoli, 1997. £35). Its contents are sometimes surprising: such as 'The Midtown Vice Map', 1973 (right), recording a range of facilities in the environs of Times Square.

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