Is the Library of Congress Hiding Information?

January 15, 2010

by Charlotte Rees

Is the Library of Congress Hiding Information?

I am certainly in favor of the Library of Congress publicly displaying old Asian maps. For too long their collection has been kept in the vault. On January 12, 2010 they started displaying a 1602 map in Chinese http://www.loc.gov/index.html. What angers me is that the Library of Congress is touting this as “The First Map in Chinese Showing the Americas” – especially when they know better. I believe that this is part of their effort to hide from the public that there are pre-Columbian Asian maps of the Americas.

In 2003 and once since then I, as part of a small group, was shown a map in the vault of the map division of the Library of Congress. That map has both Asian and European style writing on it and shows Asia and parts of N. America including Alaska. The map division told us then that the map was carbon dated to late 14th century. Despite the fact that they have owned that map at least 50 years, the Library of Congress has ignored repeated requests from various sources for them to either fully verify it or deny its veracity.

Furthermore, my family owns the Dr. Hendon Harris, Jr. Map Collection. These are Tian Xia (Ch’anhado) maps and show both North and South America. For the past seven years I have researched about this style map. My books are endorsed by prestigious scholars and I lecture internationally on this topic.

In 2007 the Library of Congress co-authored Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations and in that book recognized the Ch’onhado as a genuine world map but dated it 1592. That text does not explain how they arrived at that date – which ironically is exactly 100 years after Columbus.

At that time I wrote a pleasant e-mail to the Chief of the Geography and Maps Division, who had previously answered all my e-mails and to whom I have given copies of my books, asking why in choosing a date for the Ch’onhado they had ignored the reputable text Old Maps of Korea by Korean Library Science Research Institute (which is found in his division). That book states that the Ch’anhado was old in 1402 when they introduced the Kangnido. (The Ch’anhado is written in Chinese.)  In addition, in 1947 Imago Mundi Japanese scholar, Dr. Hiroshi Nakamura, contended the Ch’anhado was Chinese in origin and was in existence at least by the 7th century.  Furthermore, Dr. Joseph Needham of Cambridge quoted a Chinese text from the third century that mentioned an incident involving that style map in the 18th century B.C. Since then my e-mails to this chief are unanswered.

I had spoken at the Library of Congress in 2005 and was invited to speak there again in 2008 after the release of my book Secret Maps of the Ancient World. That speech was advertised on the internet and in Washington, D.C. newspapers but was suddenly cancelled without explanation. My inside sources tell me that the cancellation came from “high up.” (Incidentally, I have since lectured at U. of London; Stanford U.; U. of Maryland; Simon Fraser U., Vancouver, B. C.; and other universities – all with good reviews.)

I have waited years for them to verify the 14th century map. I brushed off the cancellation of my speech by thinking that they must have had a good reason. I also rationalized that since Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations is about many different maps, the Library of Congress might have inadvertently missed information in that text about one. However, now that I have laid the proofs on their lap and yet they are still presenting this Ricci map as the “First Map in Chinese Showing the Americas” I cannot help but conclude that The Library of Congress is purposely hiding evidence that Asians beat Columbus to America.

I would rather live in peace than to start a fight – especially with the Library of Congress, one of the most influential organizations in the world. However, if I do not bring this to light, who will? Sometimes in the lives of all of us we must choose truth over peace.

Charlotte Harris Rees

www.HarrisMaps.com

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