Mapping the Borders

Inge Panneels and Jeffrey Sarmiento, “Liverpool Map,” 2010.

Mapping the Borders, a series of talks, exhibitions and workshops hosted by the University of Sunderland from 18 to 25 November as part of this year’s Being Human festival, includes an art exhibition, a workshop on glass mapmaking, a full day of activities on the 19th, and a number of pop-up talks. [NLS]

Cartography: ‘A Gently Interactive Show’ at the Halifax Fringe Festival

If you’re in Halifax, you might still have a chance to catch a showing of Colleen MacIsaac’s Cartography at the Halifax Fringe Festival. As The Coast describes it:

For Fringe she has meticulously constructed a small show at The Living Room—maximum 30 seats and 20 minutes—in which she paints a map live, trying to get back to a single tiny, perfect moment in time. […] “I liked the idea of the need to make a map,” says MacIsaac on the patio at The Haligonian, “as opposed to the need to follow a map.”

It’s a gently interactive show: The house size dictates which geographical feature MacIsaac uses as the map’s start point. Patrons are handed a tiny program (“for wayfarers”) that contains a questionnaire asking for places they feel safe, alive, that they can’t remember. “I wanted it to be something where the audience would have a chance to reflect,” she says, “or have some moments in the show where the audience could contemplate their own histories, or their own memories.”

Three showings left: one tonight, one tomorrow afternoon and one Sunday evening. [WMS]

Seymour Schwartz’s Hidden Passion

Seymour Schwartz is a familiar figure in the map world. A professor of surgery by day, he’s built a reputation as a map collector (and donor), historian and author (his books include The Mismapping of America and Putting “America” on the Map). On Thursday he’ll be appearing at the University of Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery, as one of the speakers in their Hidden Passions series. University of Rochester news release. [WMS]

Previously: Schwartz Collection Exhibition Opens MondaySchwartz Donates Maps to University of Rochester.

Opening Today: British Library Exhibition on 20th-Century Maps

Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line opens today at the British Library. It runs until 1 March 2017. Admission is £12, with reduced-price and free admissions in some cases.

The Guardian’s Mark Brown and the Spectator’s Stephen Bayley have long and thoughtful pieces about the exhibition. The Independent’s Simon Calder is somewhat more solipsistic, but observes that this exhibition “might prove to be a wintry retrospective on the summer of peak cartography.”

There was also a segment on BBC Breakfast (using music from The Lord of the Rings was a bit of cognitive dissonance); the clip is available on Twitter:

The British Library’s Maps and Views blog has a sample of the maps on display.

maps-20th-drawing-line-book-coverAs you’d expect from a major exhibition like this, a companion book is out this week from the British Library. It’s available from Amazon UK in both hardcover and paperback; those of us in North America will have to wait a bit until it turns up here.

Previously: British Library Exhibition on 20th Century Maps Opening in November.

Library of Congress Conference Celebrates 500th Anniversary of Waldseemüller’s Carta Marina

Manuscript Page from the 1516 Carta Marina. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.
Manuscript Page from the 1516 Carta Marina. Jay I. Kislak Collection, Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Later this week, the Library of Congress will host a two-day conference celebrating the 500th anniversary of Martin Waldseemüller’s 1516 map, Carta Marina. Facts or Fictions: Debating the Mysteries of Early Modern Science and Cartography will take place on 6-7 October in the Coolidge Auditorium in the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C. The conference agenda is not limited to Waldseemüller or his 1516 map; notable speakers include Kirsten Seaver, Chet Van Duzer and, with a major lecture, Dava Sobel. Free admission; no tickets or reservations required.

(The 1516 Carta Marina should not be confused with the Waldseemüller map most people mean: it’s his 1507 Universalis Cosmographia that names “America.” Nor should it be confused with Olaus Magnus’ Carta Marina.)

New and Upcoming Exhibitions

Open now and running through 26 February 2017 at the Boston Public Library’s Leventhal Center, Shakespeare’s Here and Everywhere asks “What roles do place, identity and travel play in his comedies, tragedies and histories? Explore these questions and more through maps, atlases and illustrations of Shakespeare’s time and beyond.” [Tony Campbell]

The Northwest Passage: Navigating Old Beliefs and New Realities opens 29 September 2016 at the Osher Map Library in Portland, Maine. [WMS]

Mapping Australia: Country to Cartography runs from 4 October 2016 to 15 January 2017 at the AAMU Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art in Utrecht, Netherlands. The exhibition “will explore the different representations of Australia. Alongside the VOC’s historical maps of Australia’s coast, drawn by Dutch cartographers in the 17th and 18th centuries, are striking depictions of the country in contemporary art works of Aboriginal artists that are derived from thousands of years of traditions.” [WMS]

British Library Exhibition on 20th Century Maps Opening in November

The British Library’s upcoming exhibition, Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line, runs from 4 November 2016 to 1 March 2017. Tickets are now on sale.

Two World Wars. The moon landings. The digital revolution. This exhibition of extraordinary maps looks at the important role they played during the 20th century. It sheds new light on familiar events and spans conflicts, creativity, the ocean floor and even outer space.

It includes exhibits ranging from the first map of the Hundred Acre Wood to secret spy maps, via the New York Subway. And, as technology advances further than we ever imagined possible, it questions what it really means to have your every move mapped.

The Evening Standard and TimeOut London look at one item going on display: Harry Beck’s original sketch of what would become the iconic Tube map.

Hennig and Dorling on ‘Seven New Maps of the World’

Seven New Maps of the World,” a presentation by Benjamin Hennig (Views of the World) and Danny Dorling (People and Places), both renowned cartogrammers, will take place on the opening weekend of the Oxfordshire Science Festival  Sunday, 26 June 2016 at 1 PM, at the Story Museum, Pembroke Street, Oxford. Tickets £5. [Benjamin Hennig]

Update, 20 June: And here are the seven maps in question.

Exhibitions, Events, Meetings and Societies

Every so often I think about creating directories of map societies or a calendar of upcoming events. That way lies madness, especially since I’d be reinventing the wheel. John Docktor already maintains calendars of exhibitions and meetings and events; sure, I’d like them to be machine-readable (i.e., have the ability to add events to your phone’s calendar), but he’s the one doing the work, so I’ll shut up now. As for map societies, Tony Campbell lists the international societies, while James Speed Hensinger maintains indexes of the local map societies.

There may be other resources out there along these lines; let me know about them and I’ll post them.

And Now Some Map News from Denver

The Denver Post has a piece that is simultaneously a profile of Christopher Lane, proprietor of the Denver-based Philadelphia Print Shop West (which sells its share of antique maps) and a look at the Rocky Mountain Map Society’s upcoming Map Month. Its theme, “Illusions, Delusions & Confusions,” will be explored by a series of lectures at the Denver Public Library running from 2 May to 9 June and two concurrent exhibitions on myths in maps at Denver’s Central Library and at the Map Library of the University of Colorado Boulder: brochure, program (PDF). [via]

Stanford’s David Rumsey Map Center Opens Today

rumseymapsposterAs I mentioned earlier this month, the David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford University opens today (KQED coverage). To celebrate, there’s a grand opening and open house tonight from 6 to 7 PM at the Center, which is located on the fourth floor of Green LibraryPresentations and workshops take place on the 20th and 21st, for which registration is required. That’s followed by a day-long open house on the 22nd.

The Center’s first exhibition, A Universe of Maps: Opening the David Rumsey Map Center, runs from today until 28 August (here’s the online version).

Previously: David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford Opens April 19.

UpdateNational Geographic coverage. [WMS]

David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford Opens April 19

In 2009 it was announced that map collector David Rumsey, whose eponymous website has been a must-visit for any map aficionado, would be donating his collection of 150,000 maps, plus digital copies, to Stanford University. Preparations to receive Rumsey’s collection began last summer. Now the David Rumsey Map Center is set to open—an event that will be marked with a reception on 19 April, the opening of an exhibition called A Universe of Maps: Opening the David Rumsey Map Center, and a series of presentations and workshops over the following two days. Speakers include Anne Knowles, Susan Schulten and Chet Van Duzer, among others, as well as Rumsey himself. [via]

Here’s a page previewing the Center. Here’s a short video:

Previously: Rumsey Donates Maps to Stanford.

Map as Metaphor

Map as Metaphor is the theme for this year’s History of Art series, hosted by the New York-based Center for Book Arts. Starting tomorrow and running on three consecutive Friday evenings, a series of panels will investigate “how the map can be understood as a metaphor, both as material artifact and cultural object as well as an artistic tool”: The Socio-Political Map: Control and Power (18 March); The Eco-Techno Map: Data and Online Initiatives (25 March); and The Artist Map: Appropriation and Creation (1 April). Each panel takes place at the Center for Book Arts, 28 W 27th St, 3rd Floor, New York, and begins at 6:30 PM. Reservations recommended; donations requested. [via]

Upcoming Talks and Workshops

Here are some talks and workshops hosted by local map societies coming up in the second half of March 2016:

Thursday, 17 March 2016, Chicago IL. In-Car Navigation Systems: A Twenty-Year Retrospective. Michael Quane, who gave a talk to the Society on in-car navigation systems in February 1996, returns for another talk “to help us understand how much has changed in the world of in-car navigation and to give us some notion of where the field might be five (or even twenty) years hence.” Chicago Map Society meeting. Ruggles Hall, The Newberry Library, 60 W Walton St, Chicago IL 60610. 5:30 PM. Donations requested.

Saturday, 19 March 2016, Richmond VA. Introduction to Antique Maps Workshop. “While examining a variety of antique map types, guest speaker Eliane Dotson will discuss map terminology, color application, printing techniques, manufacture and creation, and clues to look for to identify reproductions and forgeries. Join us to explore questions such as what you should ask or think about when looking at a map and what maps can relate to us within their broader context.” Fry-Jefferson Map Society meeting. Library of Virginia, 800 E Broad St, Richmond VA 23219. 10 AM. Free; registration required.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016, Boston MA. Missing Women, Blank Maps, and Data Voids: What Gets Counted Counts. Joni Seager, author of the State of the Women in the World Atlas (now The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World) will discuss “the persistent paucity of gender-disaggregated data.” Boston Map Society meeting. Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St, Copley Square, Boston MA 02116. Free.

Thursday, 24 March 2016, Washington DC. Watching the Apocalypse: Using GIS and Social Media to Map Refugees. The Library of Congress’s John Hessler discusses the mapping tools used to chart population movements in the face of war, humanitarian disasters and epidemics. Washington Map Society meeting. Library of Congress, James Madison Memorial Building (Geography and Map Room, basement), 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington DC 20050. 7 PM. Free.


Tuesday, 29 March 2016, Denver CO. Marie Tharp, Illustrator of a Paradigm. John Lindemann gives a talk on the woman who mapped the ocean floor. Rocky Mountain Map Society meeting. Denver Public Library (Gates Room, 5th floor), 10 W 14th Ave Pkwy, Denver CO 80204. 5:30 PM. Free.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016, Boston MA. The World for a King: Pierre Desceliers’ Map of 1550. “Chet Van Duzer will give an account of the large (4.4 × 7 feet) and elaborately decorated manuscript world map made by the Norman cartographer Pierre Desceliers in 1550.” Boston Map Society meeting. Boston University, Hillel House, 213 Bay State Rd, Boston MA 022151506. 5:30 PM. Free.

Upcoming Talks

4 February, London. Maps and Society lecture. Dr. Kevin Sheehan on “Construction and Reconstruction: Investigating How Portolan Maps Were Produced by Reproducing a Fifteenth-Century Chart of the Mediterranean.” Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Woburn Sq, London WC1H OAB. 5:00 PM. Free admission.

4 February, Kennebunk, ME. Dinner and lecture; Matthew Edney and Steve Spofford on “Mapping the History of Boatbuilding in Kennebunkport.” Table, 27 Western Ave, Kennebunk ME 04043. 5:00 PM. $70. [tickets]

5 February, Boston. Boston Map Society meeting. “Dr. Ron Grim, Curator of Maps at the Normal B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, will talk about these off-site maps hung at the Langham Hotel while guests taste Scotch. (Lecture is free, drinks are pay-as-consume.)” Langham Hotel, 250 Franklin St, Boston MA 02110. 5:30 PM.

6 February, Lancaster. Maps and the Landscape: Distortion and Reality, a “study day” consisting of series of lectures by various academics: Angus Winchester on “Distorted reality? Maps as Historical Evidence”; Bill Shannon on “King Arthur, Tarn Wadling and the Gough Map”; Pat Saunders on “‘Nieuwe Kaarte van’t Koninkryk Bengale’ 1726: An Influential but Unreliable Dutch Map of Bengal”; Catherine Porter on “Progress or Plagiarism? The Mapping of Early Modern Ireland”; and Graham Cooper on “Control by the Crown of Salters (Deer-Leaps) in Private Deer-Parks: New Insights from a Duchy Dispute Map of Leagram Park, 1608.” Lancaster University, Regional Heritage Centre, Lancaster LA1 4YT. 9:30 AM to 3:50 PM. £25.

18 February, Chicago. Chicago Map Society meeting. Richard Pegg on “A Chinese Map of the World (Wanguo yutu) in the Newberry Library Collection.” Ruggles Hall, The Newberry Library, 60 W Walton St, Chicago IL 60610. 5:30 PM. Donations requested.

18 February, New York. New York Map Society meeting. Field trip to Manhattan Borough President’s Map Room. A behind-the-scenes look at oversize manuscript maps held by the Manhattan Map Room led by official topographer Hector Rivera. Municipal Building (19th floor), 1 Center St, New York NY 10007 (subway: Brooklyn Bridge). 6:30 PM. RSVP mandatory (see link for details).

18 February, Washington, D.C. Washington Map Society meeting. John Rennie Short on The National Atlas. “This talk looks at the emergence of the modern national atlas in the late nineteenth century down to the present day and reflects the rise of the postcolonial, the newly independent and the recently reinvented. The talk considers a number of themes, including how the atlas depicts national landscapes, embodies national communities and condenses national debates.” Library of Congress, James Madison Memorial Building (Geography and Map Room, basement), 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington DC 20050. 7:00 PM. Free admission.

23 February, Cambridge. Cambridge Seminars in the History of Cartography. Dorian Gerhold on “Plans of London buildings drawn c. 1450–1720.” Emmanuel College (Gardner Room), St Andrew’s St, Cambridge CB2 3AP. 5:30 PM. Free admission.

23 February, Denver. Rocky Mountain Map Society meeting. Lorraine Sherry on “Lithuania and the Baltic States: Welcome to NATO and the Euro Zone!” Denver Public Library (Gates Room, 5th floor), 10 W 14th Ave Pkwy, Denver CO 80204. 5:30 PM. Free admission.

24 February, Washington, D.C. Philip Lee Phillips Map Society meeting. Curtis Melvin, creator of North Korea Uncovered, on “North Korea Uncovered: The Crowd-Sourced Mapping of the World’s Most Secret State.” Library of Congress, James Madison Memorial Building (Mumford Room, 6th floor), 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington DC 20050. Noon. Free admission.

25 February, London. Maps and Society lecture. Maj. Tony Keeley on “Cartography in the Sands: Mapping Oman at 1:100,000 and Fixing the Position of the Kuria Muria Islands in 1984.” Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Woburn Sq, London WC1H OAB. 5:00 PM. Free admission.