2011 – 2012 Meetings

Date: September 15, 2011
Title: Public Land Survey System
Speaker: Kevin C. Lewis
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

How are Townships and Sections divided? Kevin C. Lewis, a working land surveyor for the past 25 years, will present a lecture on the history and origin of the Public Land Survey System in Illinois. Mr. Lewis will discuss some of the recorded documents available to surveyors including: Federal Township Plats of Illinois, Monument Records and Subdivisions as well as the use of State Plane Coordinates and Global Positioning Systems in Modern Public Land Survey System Retracement.

Date: October 20, 2011
Title: Guillaume De L’Isle’s Cartographic Milieu
Speaker: Ronald Lockmann
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Guillaume de L’Isle (1675-1726), “the first modern scientific cartographer,” leader in the eighteenth century “reformation of cartography” and “premier geographe du roi,” gained lasting renown for his cartographic output of roughly 90 maps, noteworthy terrestrial and celestial globes, many influential atlases such as Atlas de Geographie (1700), as well as his book, Introduction a la geographie, avec un traite de la sphere (1746). This presentation will survey De L’Isle’s illustrious career, illustrating and discussing many of his most influential maps. Dr. Lockmann has devoted many years to studying De L’Isle’s oevre, including work in Parisian archives.

Date: November 10, 2011
Title: The Discovery of the Old World Through New Maps
Speaker: Wes Brown
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Through the study of maps, Wes Brown will investigate man’s conception of the shape of the Earth through history and will give particular focus to the discovery of the New World. This general survey will begin with Homer in the 8th century B.C. and will end with Sebastian Münster in the middle of the 16th century. The talk will be illustrated with slides of original antique maps from his own collection, printed between 1472 and 1540.

Date: December 15, 2011
Title: Annual Holiday Party in Honor of Robert W. Karrow, Jr.
Speakers: George and Mary Ritzlin, Hosts
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Please join us for our annual holiday party. This year we will be celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Chicago Map Society with special refreshments and snacks made possible by George and Mary Ritzlin. We will also honor the career of Robert W. Karrow, Jr., recently retired Curator of Maps at the Newberry Library and outgoing CMS Vice President.

Date: January 19, 2012
Title: River Jordan: The Mythology of a Dividing Line
Speaker: Rachel Havrelock, Associate Professor of English and Jewish Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
Location: Ruggles Hall, The Newberry Library

What are the legitimate borders of Israel? Who should determine where they fall? When should the borders become permanent? These are just a few of the controversial questions that surround Israel’s border disputes. In this talk Professor Rachel Havrelock explains how the existing borders came into being and the reasons why they are disputed. Religious traditions, the European creation of the modern Middle East, and the wars of the 20th century all contribute to the current as well as the proposed maps of the region. Accompanied by a power point presentation of historical maps, Havrelock will tell the stories behind the borders and show how, from biblical times to the present, many interpretations of the map of Israel have coexisted.

Professor Havrelock will also be available after the lecture to sign copies of her new book, River Jordan: The Mythology of a Dividing Line, published in November 2011 from the University of Chicago Press

Date: February 16, 2012
Title: Collecting Maps on Postcards
Speakers: John Long
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Maps on postcards make up an enormous body of miniature maps that include examples of just about every topic and task for which maps are used in the world at large—plus others found only in the postcard world—from entertainment to way-finding. John Long will give a brief overview of map postcard collecting and then concentrate on some of the more interesting map cards he has collected over the years. In addition to the images illustrating the talk, there will be a display of map postcards from among the thousands in John’s collection.

Date: March 15, 2012
Title: The Marquette Map Validated: A Hoax Unhoaxed
Speakers: David Buisseret and Carl Kupfer
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

The “Marquette Map,” said to have been drawn in 1674 by Father Jacques Marquette and now preserved in Montréal, has been thought by some to be a relatively recent forgery. Now Carl Kupfer and David Buisseret, members of the Chicago Map Society, believe that they can show that it is in fact genuine. The question is of some importance, since this would be the first European mapping of the Mississippi valley.

Date: April 19, 2012
Title: The Lithographed Map: Innovation, Imitation, and Nineteenth-Century Consumer Culture
Speaker: Martin Brückner
Location: Ruggles Hall, The Newberry Library

“The Lithographed Map” traces the impact of lithography on map production and consumption in the decades leading up to the Centennial Exhibition of 1876. After a brief survey of mapmaking technologies, the talk presents new research exploring the way in which lithography affected map design and the business of cartography. Lithographed maps coincided with the commercialization of visual prints, the invention of mass-marketing, and a nascent culture of window-shopping and store-browsing. Ultimately, this talk shows how in the wake of lithographic production it was map publishers rather than map authors who defined the design, content, and use of modern American cartography.

Date: May 17, 2012
Title: Mapping Open Data
Speaker: Derek Eder, OpenCity
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

We live in a time where an unprecedented amount of data is being gathered and published by governments, companies and organizations. While this is certainly a good thing, it poses new challenges for those who want to understand, interpret and tell the stories behind all this data. One way of doing this is by plotting data on a map. Derek Eder from Open City (a civic startup that focuses on building web apps and products with open data.) will share some of his projects and experiences with mapping open data, including the ClearStreets snow plow tracker, the Chicago Vacant and Abandoned Building Finder, and Chicago Public School Tiers map. He will also demo some free tools anyone can use to start creating maps of their own.

Date: June 21, 2012
Title: Mapping the Terrain of History
Speaker: Anne Kelly Knowles, Middlebury College, Vermont
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Digital methods are enabling mapping on a whole new scale. This talk presents examples of using GIS (geographic information systems) to reconstruct and study past landscapes from the battlefield at Gettysburg to the Holocaust. Historical maps and plans are often key to making digital scholarship possible. Knowles will also explain how the process of creating digital databases and many-layered digital maps can generate new historical questions while contextualizing historical events.