2002 – 2003 Meetings

Date: September 19, 2002
Title: The A. H. Andrews & Co.: An Early Chicago Globe Maker
Speaker: Scott R. McEathron, Assistant Map and Geography Librarian and Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Join us as Scott McEathron shares a brief history of Alfred H. Andrews and his Chicago-based globe company. This lecture will explore Andrews’ connection with the Holbrook family of globe makers, review the types and characteristics of globes Andrews’ made, and present the results of a survey to locate existing globes.

Date: October 17, 2002
Title: Reading the Chicago River
Speaker: Paul Heltne, President Emeritus, Chicago Academy of Sciences
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

The Chicago River has been fundamental to the development of the Chicago region. In an illustrated lecture, the president emeritus of the Chicago Academy of Sciences explores the cultural and historical landscape of our region by focusing on the River. He draws upon paleontology, geology, and the glacial and postglacial history of the Chicago region to demonstrate how our human history has been shaped by larger natural forces.

Date: November 12, 2002
Title: Surveying and Mapping in the Prehistoric New World
Speaker: Jim Marshall
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

The invention of writing was a crucial step in the development of civilizations at various centers around the world. Writing was not a sudden or spontaneous invention but instead was an outgrowth of thousands of years of experience at manipulating symbols such as those used for counting and weighing trade goods and for measuring land. Written communication in the pre-Columbian New World north of the Rio Grande seems to have stabilized at understanding these geometrical concepts, producing plan drawings based on them, and then laying out and building earthworks. Civil engineer Jim Marshall will share his findings on the pre-historic geometric earthworks he has surveyed and mapped in Ohio.

Date: December 12, 2002
Title: Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms: An On-line Education Initiative
Speaker: James Akerman, Director, Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography, The Newberry Library
Location: The Newberry Library

Many research libraries restrict use of their collections in the name of conservation and security. These policies prevent elementary and secondary school students from engaging with primary documents that greatly enhance student comprehension of the humanities. Likewise, many teachers want to incorporate historic maps into the classroom but lack the resources and/or the training to do so. In an effort to make its Map Collections more widely accessible, the Newberry is developing an on-line resource for teaching the geographical aspects of United States History. James Akerman, Director of the Smith Center, will provide background on the project, explain the project goals, describe the process of preparing lessons to accompany the on-line maps, and demonstrate a test version of the website.

Date: January 16, 2003
Title: New Maps for Old History: Thematic Cartography for the New Encyclopedia of Chicago History
Speakers: Doug Knox, Michael Conzen, Dennis McClendon, and Anne Keating
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Four key contributors to the new history maps in the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Chicago History will outline the project to embellish the encyclopedia with almost 50 maps of historical subjects based on careful historical research, artful design, and rigorous editing. The Encyclopedia comprises two products: a 1,300-page book and a hypermedia electronic encyclopedia to be published on-line. Each will provide comprehensive reference for scholars, teachers, students, and the general public. The Encyclopedia encompasses all aspects of Chicago’s past, from geological prehistory to the present. No comparable reference work exists.

Date: February 20, 2003
Title: The Measure of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error that Transformed the World
Speaker: Ken Alder, Northwestern University
Location: Ruggles Hall, The Newberry Library

During a time of great unrest, empirical evidence and tangible fact provide a comforting standard to cling to. Perhaps that explains why, during the tumult of the French Revolution, Pierre-Francois-Andre Mechain and Jean-Baptist-Joseph Delambre, two intrepid astronomer-geographers in their mid-40s, did the calculations that would give birth to what we now call the metric system. Their success was a scientific triumph, but there was a problem. Mechain had made a significant error in the measurements. In addition to his extensive archival research, Alder—on his own private Tour de France—biked the route that Mechain and Delambre measured in 1792 between Barcelona and Dunkirk in order to project the circumference of the earth.

This program was co-sponsored by the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography, The Newberry Library Center for Public Programs, and the A. C. McClurg Bookstore.

Date: March 20, 2003
Title: Making Maps and Perspective Views for Fun and Profit in the Age of the Personal Computer
Speaker: Tom Willcockson, Mapcraft Cartography
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Historical illustrator and cartographer Tom Willcockson will discuss his life as a freelance mapmaker and his use of the desktop computer to design maps and perspective views. His projects to be highlighted include historic town perspective views, maps of the Lincoln Park Zoo and Chicago Botanic Gardens along with maps and perspective views produced for the Art Institute’s Van Gogh/Gauguin exhibit.

Date: April 22, 2003
Title: Mapping Time in Early Colonial Mexico
Speaker: Eduardo de Jesús Douglas, Assistant Professor of Art History, University of California – Riverside
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Eduardo de Jesus Douglas is a Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Newberry Library, investigating the political and cosmological aspects of 16th century pictorial manuscripts produced by the Acolhua Indians of central Mexico.

Date: May 15, 2003
Title: The Baroness’ Bankbook: The Influence of Lady Angela Burdett-Coutts on Victorian Cartography
Speaker: Mary Ritzlin
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Join us as Mary Ritzlin shares the ways in which Lady Burdett-Coutts (1814-1906) influenced the content of maps during the Victorian era. From her funding of the 1864 Ordnance Survey of Jerusalem, to her support of expeditions by Livingstone and Stanley, and in her efforts to reform public housing in London, Burdett-Coutts stands as a patron of cartography. Her actions affected how cartographers, and in turn, map consumers viewed the world.

Date: June 26, 2003
Title: Where the Mediterranean Meets the Alps: The Mapping of Slovenia from Antiquity to Modern Times
Speaker: Veslin Miscovic, Curator of Maps, National and University Library, Ljubjana, Slovenia
Location: Ruggles Hall, The Newberry Library

On the frontiers of Central Europe, Germanic and Latin influences created a distinct blend of language and culture in Slovenia. The National and University Library’s curator of maps will guide us on an illustrated tour through 2000 years of the mapping of Slovenia, from a Roman road map and the great Renaissance atlases to the nineteenth- and twentieth-century mapping of emerging Slovenian nationalism. Join us for a cartographic exploration of an ancient, yet new European land.