Research Note: Political Geography and the Production of Hungarian “Pocket Atlases,” 1913-1919

Zoltán Hajdú


The Zsebatlasz [‘Pocket Atlas’] series published in Hungary between 1909 and 1919 was a business venture of the Hungarian Geographical Institute [Magyar Földrajzi Intézet]. Intended primarily for the teaching of geography at the secondary school level in Hungary, the main aim was to broaden the worldview and expand the knowledge of secondary school pupils. Before and during World War I, the books were militarised, and promoted Hungarian national points of views. Short articles in each of the volumes provided analyses and reports of the war, focusing in particular on the geographical problems arising from ever-shifting territorial transformations. To aid in the transfer of this political-geographical knowledge, coloured maps were published in a huge number in the volumes. This paper outlines the evolution of this “Pocket Atlas” series, and in so doing provides the basis for critical reflection on the relationship between political power, nationalist propaganda, and the production of geographical knowledge.


Pocket Atlases 1913-1919, Hungary, School Geography, Spatial Policy, World War I, Territorial Transformation

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