| Established 1976 |
We have been dealers in antique maps, atlases, prints and rare books since 1976. For more than thirty years we have been members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) - the principal rare book dealer organization in the United States - and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). George Ritzlin has served on the ABAA's Board of Governors. We're charter members of the International Antiquarian Mapsellers Association (IAMA), and also members of the Society for the History of Discoveries, Boston Map Society, Chicago Map Society, International Map Collectors Society, Map Society of Wisconsin, Michigan Map Society, and the Washington Map Society.
We maintain an office where several thousand maps are always in stock. You are welcome to browse our inventory, and ask questions. Hours are by appointment.
George Ritzlin was always fascinated with maps. As a youngster he found that looking something up in an atlas could take hours because there were so many interesting maps along the way. In the early 1970's he spent a year traveling around the world. Soon after returning to America, he was introduced to old maps and became enthralled - starting a collection of maps of Africa immediately while learning as much as he could about maps. George believes that "at their finest, old maps can be an almost magical combination of history, art and geography." 1976 was a busy time as that year David Woodward and George co-founded the Chicago Map Society (the oldest such organization in the western hemisphere), and he also began dealing in maps on a part-time basis. He became a full-time map dealer several years later when he tired of doing tax returns.
George worked to build an extensive reference library, and he's written articles about cartographic reference material for book trade publications. He has taught courses on old maps in adult education programs at local schools and at the Newberry Library. He also conducted week-long programs on old maps and atlases for librarians, book dealers and collectors at Indiana University's Lilly Library. After more than a four decades of study he feels there still is much to be learned. Finding something new and unusual is a pleasure matched only by placing it in the right hands. "Collectors are the true lovers; we dealers are the Casanovas - while one is going out the front door another is coming in the back."
Mary McMichael Ritzlin has always been a voracious reader of history (especially military history), art and English literature. Her early career was in politics, working for a Congressman, two Governors and a U.S. Senator. This was interrupted by several exciting years on the public relations staff of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Mary worked with George from the start, including researching maps and writing catalogs. Finding the names of women publishers and engravers on old maps piqued her interest and she began seeking more names of early women mapmakers. This led to cooperative research with Alice Hudson of the New York Public Library and to publication of articles in several scholarly journals. Most recently she served as Guest Editor for a Women's History issue of Cartographica, published by the University of Toronto Press.
Her publications include:
"The Role of Women in the Development of Cartography" in AB Bookman's Weekly, Clifton, NJ, June 9, 1986, Volume 77, Number 23, Jacob Chernofsky, Editor.
"Women's Contributions to North American Cartography - four profiles" in Meridian A Journal of the Map and Geography Round Table of the American Library Association, n.p., 1989, No. 2, Philip Hoehn, Editor. Reprinted in serial form in Progress & Perspectives...Affirmative Action in Surveying and Mapping, Jan-Feb. through Sept-Oct, 1990, Dunkirk, NY, Wendy Straight, Editor.
"School Marm to Author: 19th Century Women Geographers" in The Portolan, Washington Map Society: Washington, DC, Fall, 1993, Number 28, Charles A Burroughs, Editor.
[Women astronomers] "Sweeping the Skies: Some Celestial Ladies of the 17th - 19th Centuries" in Meridian..., 1999, No. 15, David A. Cobb, Editor and Judith Tyner, Guest Editor.
"The Bountiful Baroness: Angela Burdett-Coutts, Victorian Map Patron" in Cartographica, University of Toronto Press: Toronto, Fall, 2000, Vol. 37, No. 3, Brian Klinkenberg, Editor and Mary McM. Ritzlin, Guest Editor.
Alice Hudson and Mary McMichael Ritzlin, "Checklist of Pre-Twentieth Century Women in Cartography" in Cartographica, University of Toronto Press: Toronto, Fall, 2000, Vol. 37, No. 3, Brian Klinkenberg, Editor and Mary McM. Ritzlin, Guest Editor.