2000 – 2001 Meetings

Date: September 21, 2000
Title: Putting Nuremberg on the Map: Landscapes of Conflict in a Renaissance Imperial City
Speaker: Maria Synder, Department of German, Washington University
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Scientifically literate, technologically advanced, and financially secure, Nuremberg’s citizens connected themselves with other centers of learning and culture, but struggled in their political isolation against constant threats of military conflict. For that reason, the arts of peace and those of war equally shaped the sixteenth-century maps and views of the city known as the “Jewel of the German Renaissance.” Maria Snyder, a doctoral candidate in German literature at Washington University, will help us understand how Renaissance humanism taught Nuremberg to see itself and how it, in turn, taught others to view its landscape.

Date: October 19, 2000
Title: Mapping the Poles
Speaker: Robert W. Karrow, Jr., Curator of Maps, The Newberry Library
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

With the acquisition of the Gerald F. Fitzgerald Polar Collection in 1996, the Newberry Library gained a treasure trove of books, maps, and art works documenting the discovery and exploration of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. The current exhibit at the Newberry, To the Ends of the Earth, showcases many of these items. Maps have been crucial tools in understanding both regions since the Renaissance. From Mercator’s 1595 Arctic map to Captain Anderson’s 1959 Nautilus map; from Fine’s “Terra Australis Incognito” of 1532 to the 1966 Atlas Antarktiki, the cartographic record is rich and informative. For this map society presentation, Bob will tell the story of polar exploration from a cartographic point of view.

Date: November 21, 2000
Title: La France Antarctique: Cartography and Toponymy of the Kerguelen Islands
Speaker: Gracie Delepine
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

The sub-Antarctic Kerguelen Islands were discovered by the French navigator of that name in 1772. Some 1400 miles from Antarctica and 2300 miles from South Africa, the 300 islands that make up the group have served as important sealing and whaling stations and are home to glacial lakes, deep fjords, and a wide variety of flora and fauna. Mlle. Delepine, formerly a principal librarian at the Bibliotheque Nationale, has published widely on the history and place-names of the French Antarctic possessions and has made three trips to the Antarctic. She will review the discovery of the islands, their re-discovery by Capt. Cook, and subsequent expeditions and colonization efforts through the twentieth century. Her talk will be illustrated by slides of numerous maps, from manuscript charts of American and English whalers through twentieth-century remote-sensing images.

Date: December 13, 2000
Title: Holiday Meeting: Members’ Show-and-Tell & The Island of Lost Maps
Speakers: Members of the Chicago Map Society & Miles Harvey
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Our December meeting will focus on the map collector. We’ll begin with some better than-usual collectibles, and then move through an exhibit of maps from your collection. This will be an opportunity for you to show one of your maps and relate its story to individuals or small groups as we circulate through the Towner Fellows’ Lounge and nearby rooms. At about 6:30, Miles Harvey will talk to us about his real-life psychological thriller and present his take on what makes map collectors tick. Miles will be happy to sign books for you.

Date: January 18, 2001
Title: Across the Continent: (Carto)graphic Representations of Chicago’s Railroads and the West, 1850-1880
Speaker: Laura Milsk, Loyola University – Chicago
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

The maps produced in Chicago by its railroad companies at the dawn of the railroad age altered the viewer’s perceptions of the landscape and served as a means to visualize Chicago’s role in newly emerging regional boundaries in America. One company in particular, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CB&Q), produced maps that were instrumental in offering and disseminating images of their route and the Great West that pushed the boundaries of traditional transportation maps and melded propaganda and advertising to convey a specific image of the frontier and the railroad’s role in settling it. Through an analysis of railroad maps from the Newberry’s collection, Ms. Milsk will address the development of Chicago as a railroad center, the subsequent dissemination of railroad promotional literature, and the cultural meanings these maps held for the train traveler and the general nineteenth-century observer.

Date: February 15, 2001
Title: Web Mapping for the Not-for-Profit Sector
Speakers: Tim Frye, Research Analyst and John Jiang, Senior GIS Programmer, The Metropolitan Chicago Information Center
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

The Metropolitan Chicago Information Center (MCIC) is an independent, not-for-profit research and consulting organization committed to increasing the quality, quantity, and accessibility of information about human conditions and the quality of life. Although most of their clients are from the Chicago area, MCIC does work all over the country. Some current clients are the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Department of Human Services, the US Department of the Treasury, and the USDA Forest Service. Messrs. Frye and Jaing will provide an overview of the GIS services provided by MCIC with special emphasis on their new, interactive, web-based products.

Date: March 15, 2001
Title: Field Trip: Cartographic Treasures from the Collections of the Field Museum
Speaker: Ben Williams, Librarian, Field Museum of Natural History
Location: The Library, Field Museum of Natural History

You know about Sue, the pyramids, and natural history exhibits, but did you know that the Field Museum also boasts a fabulous library, whose Special Collections include 7,500 volumes of rare books and thousands of original natural history and ethnographic illustrations? Or that among that number are many rare and beautiful maps? Join us for a special viewing of some cartographic treasures in the Field Museum Library, presented by the Field’s learned and congenial bookman, librarian Ben Williams and preceded by some special refreshments.

Date: April 19, 2001
Title: Mapping Shadows: A Brief History of Eclipse Maps
Speaker: Eli Maor
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

A total eclipse of the sun is among nature’s grandest shows. The sudden onset of darkness, the appearance of solar flares, and above all, the magnificent corona, make each eclipse an unforgettable experience. But when it’s over, all that’s left are photos, memories—and eclipse maps. These maps, which trace the path of the moon’s shadow over the earth, are a relatively recent creation, first attempted by Edmond Halley in 1715. CMS member Eli Maor will show examples of several historic eclipse maps, explain how to interpret them, and share some personal experiences from recent eclipses he’s attended.

Date: May 17, 2001
Title: ‘Terra Australis Incognita’ on Sixteenth-Century Printed World Maps
Speaker: Alfred Hiatt
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Over the course of the sixteenth century the presence of a large austral continent on world maps became commonplace. Indeed, in his Theatrum orbis terrarurn (1570) Abraham Ortelius hailed ‘Terra Australis’ as the third part of the world (after the Old and the New), although “as yet revealed in only a few shores.” Mr. Hiatt’s talk will explore the invention and representation of this land mass, with particular attention to the ways in which cartographers filled the unknown (and unknowable) interior of the southern land.