Newsletter 2000: Summer

Cartography in the European Renaissance, a Burdick-Vary Symposium

A one-day snow storm didn’t dampen the spirits of the approximately 75 participants at our Volume Three symposium—Cartography in the European Renaissance. This Burdick-Vary symposium was sponsored by the University of Wisconsin Institute for Research in the Humanities and was held 7-8 April 2000 in Madison. Nine stimulating lectures were presented by members of the Volume Three advisory board. On Friday, following a warm welcome by Paul Boyer, director of the institute, and opening remarks by David Woodward, there were three morning lecturers: Sarah Tyacke on Gabriel Tatton’s manuscript atlas, Felipe Fernández-Armesto on maps and exploration, and Patrick Gautier Dalché on Ptolemy’s Geography in the fifteenth century. After lunch, the audience heard Richard Helgerson on maps and folly, Denis Cosgrove on Renaissance cosmography, and Catherine Delano-Smith on unconventional signs. Saturday morning brought us Günter Schilder’s talk on the map consumer in the Netherlands, Glyn Williams on Java la Grande, and Anthony Grafton on the possible influence of Ptolemy on the Italian humanists of the fifteenth century. Every talk was followed by lively discussion. The symposium provided an excellent opportunity for many Volume Three authors and advisory board members to gather, discuss, and debate topics relevant to the volume. A productive advisory board meeting followed the symposium.

You may view candid photographs taken by symposium participant Peter van der Krogt at:

Windows on the World Exhibit

An exhibit of twenty historical maps from the collections of the University of Wisconsin—Madison and the State Historical Society of Wisconsin was held this Spring and Summer in the Department of Special Collections of the UW Memorial Library. This exhibit, titled “Windows on the World,” was organized by the History of Cartography Project and displayed many archival treasures in both the history of cartography and historical geography.

Atlases by Ptolemy, Münster, and de Bry were provided by the Department of Special Collections. The State Historical Society of Wisconsin loaned both a first edition of Ortelius’s famous 1570 atlas and The North American Atlas by William Faden. The Lake Mills-Aztalan Historical Society furnished a brass surveyor’s compass that was owned by John D. Waterbury, a local nineteenth-century land surveyor, who used it in the Milwaukee and Chicago areas.

Although the exhibit has now closed, you can still visit the exhibit web page to browse much of the originally displayed material. It can be accessed through the History of Cartography Project web page at We are grateful to all those who loaned materials and assisted with this exhibit.

Cartographic panels at the Renaissance Society of America meeting, Chicago 2001

The History of Cartography Project’s Daniel Brownstein has organized three sessions related to Volume Three, Cartography in the European Renaissance, for the Renaissance Society of America’s next annual meeting (Chicago, 29-31 March 2001). The sessions feature contributors to Volume Three, and they will provide an exciting introduction to issues and images that will be included in the volume.

Detailed panel descriptions follow. Those interested in attending the conference should visit the RSA website at or call (212) 998-3797 to register with the Society.

RSA Cartographic Panel Descriptions

Cartography and Religion in Renaissance Europe

Historical Problems in the Study of Renaissance Cartography

The Appearance of the Map in Renaissance Society

Commentator: Theodore Cachey (University of Notre Dame) Commentator: David Woodward (UW—Madison) Commentator: Ingrid Rowland
(University of Chicago)
Catherine Delano-Smith (University of London), Bible Text and Christian Maps Patricia Seed (Rice University), Digitizing Renaissance Maps Daniel Brownstein (UCLA), Visualizing Information in Renaissance World Maps
Victoria Morse (Carleton College), ‘Being There’: The Importance of Visual Knowledge in Fourteenth-Century Representations of the Holy Land Chandra Mukerji (UCSD), Print Culture and Map Culture: A View From Below Zur Shalev (Princeton University), Maps and Boundaries: Cosmo-Politics in Renaissance Editions of Ptolemy’s Geography
Pauline Moffitt Watts (Sarah Lawrence College), Visual Exegesis and Renaissance Maps Benjamin Schmidt (University of Washington), Maps and the Early Modern State: Texts and Local Contexts Francesca Fiorani (University of Virginia), The Order of Maps: Map Cycles in Print and in Paint
Lesley B. Cormack (University of Alberta), Humanists, Maps, and the Geographical Turn

Exploratory Essays Initiative meeting, Chicago, June 2000. Standing: Mark Monmonier, Alexei Postnikov, Joel Morrison, Dan Montello, David Woodward, Mike Heffernan, Chris Board, Ferjan Ormeling, Peter Collier, John Cloud, Pat McHaffie, Waldo Tobler. Seated: Bob McMaster, Carme Montaner, Fraser Taylor, Karen Cook, Ulrich Freitag, Alastair Pearson. Missing from photo: Jim Akerman, Ingrid Kretschmer, Susanna McMaster.

Exploratory Essays Initiative Now Underway

A three-year grant from the National Science Foundation is supporting the Exploratory Essays Initiative (EEI) in Twentieth-Century Cartography. The essays resulting from this initiative will provide a foundation for Volume Six by exploring significant currents in the recent history of mapping and map use. With guidance from an international board of prominent cartographic scholars, co-editors Mark Monmonier and David Woodward have selected the authors for eleven essays.  The editors met with authors and board members at a planning meeting in June, and all will consult frequently over the next two years. Authors will present their research at a symposium in Spring 2002; the essays will be published in a special double-issue of Cartography and Geographic Information Science during 2003. The editors hope that many EEI authors will eventually contribute chapters or sections to Volume Six.

Exploratory Essays Initiative Authors

Essay Titles

James R. Akerman (Newberry Library) Maps and Consumers in the Twentieth Century: Lessons from American Road and Transport Mapping
John Cloud (University of California at Santa Barbara) Hidden in Plain Sight: The Clandestine Cartography, Photogrammetry, and Geodesy of the Cold War
Peter Collier (University of Portsmouth, U.K.) The Impact of Technological Change on Topographic Mapping before the Second World War
Karen Severud Cook (University of Kansas) The Impact of Photographic Technology on Map Design, Production, and Printing, 1900-2000
Michael Heffernan (University of Nottingham) The Cartography of War, 1914-20
Patrick McHaffie (DePaul University) Cartographic Labor and Automation
Robert McMaster (University of Minnesota) and Susanna McMaster (Macalester College) Academic Cartography in the Twentieth Century
Carme Montaner (Institut Cartográfic de Catalunya) Maps for Everybody: The Scope, Tendencies, and Evolution of Public Map Collections in the Twentieth Century
Daniel R. Montello (University of California at Santa Barbara) Experimental Cartography in the Twentieth Century
Alastair Pearson (University of Portsmouth, U.K.) Mapping the Third Dimension: Perspectives in the Twentieth Century
Alexei Vladimirovich Postnikov (Russian Acadamy of Sciences) Maps for Ordinary Consumers versus Maps for Military: On Double Standards of Map Accuracy in Soviet Cartography, 1946-91

Volume Four editorial meeting, New York, November 1999. From left to right: David Woodward, Mary Pedley, Matthew Edney, and Graham Burnett.

Cartography in the European Enlightenment

D. Graham Burnett and Matthew Edney (two Volume Four editors) will participate in a session at the annual meeting of the History of Science Society in Vancouver, B.C., 2-5 November 2000. They organized the panel entitled “Maps for Enlightenment: Cartography and Science in the Eighteenth Century” in order to stimulate new ideas and collaborations as work on Volume Four gets underway. The session will focus on the relationship between the history of science and the history of cartography (a subject taken up in a review essay by Burnett “The History of Cartography and the History of Science,” ISIS 90 [1999]:775-80). Papers will be delivered by Michael Bravo (University of Cambridge), Michael Dettelbach (Smith College), Anne Godlewska (Queen’s University), and Matthew Edney (University of Southern Maine). For more information, visit the History of Science Society web page at

Along with co-editor Mary Pedley, Burnett and Edney continue work on the chronological and contextual framework for Volume Four.

Editors’ News

David Woodward, Series Editor
In addition to organizing the Volume Three and Volume Six conferences this Spring, David Woodward took part in a 15-hour course with Catherine Delano-Smith and Cordell Yee on the orientation and philosophy of the History of Cartography at the Institut Cartográfic de Catalunya, Barcelona, 21-25 February 2000. Titles of Dr. Woodward’s lectures were: “Origin and History of the History of Cartography Project,” “Theory and the History of Cartography,” “The ‘Two Cultures’ of Cartography: Scientific and Humanistic Traditions,” “Starting with the Map,” “The Image of the Map in the Renaissance,” and “The Recent History of Cartography and the Possible Use of the History of Cartography Volumes in the 21st Century.” These lectures will be published in Spring 2001 by the Institut Cartográfic de Catalunya. Woodward also published “History of Cartography,” in Dictionary of Human Geography, ed. Ron Johnston et al. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000), 64-68.

Mark Monmonier, Volume Six
In April Mark Monmonier received the Association of American Geographers’ Media Achievement Award for “engaging geographers and non-geographers in the design, construction, and interpretation of maps.” In June, Cartographic Perspectives published a special issue on the history of cartography in the twentieth century, which he edited. The issue included his article “Anatomy of a Cartographic Surrogate: The Portrayal of Complex Election Boundaries in the Congressional District Atlas.” His editor’s essay discussed Volume Six and the Exploratory Essays Initiative. Also in June, Historical Geography published “The Way Cartography Was: A Snapshot of Mapping and Map Use in 1900,” which Monmonier co-authored with Syracuse University graduate student Elizabeth Puhl.

D. Graham Burnett, Volume Four
Graham Burnett spent nine months as a fellow in Peter Gay’s Center for Scholars and Writers at The New York Public Library. During the year, in addition to seeing his book (Masters of All They Surveyed) through to press, Burnett published several short pieces and reviews, including those in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Times Literary Supplement. He was appointed to the editorial board of the American Scholar. His monograph, “Descartes and the Hyperbolic Quest,” will appear in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, and an article entitled “Plots of Desire” on Sir Walter Ralegh, was accepted by Representations. He gave several lectures and workshop presentations, including papers at the Construction and Deconstruction of Science History series at the Fishbein Center for the History of Science, University of Chicago; the spring workshop series of the Department of History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania; the history and philosophy of science section talk series at the New York Academy of Sciences; and the annual meeting of The Society for Literature and Science. He will be giving a “Maps and Society” lecture at the Warburg Institute, London, in the Fall.

Matthew Edney, Volume Four
Matthew Edney wrote an essay reevaluating the nature of geographical mapping in the eighteenth century that appeared in Geography and Enlightenment, edited by David N. Livingstone and Charles W. J. Withers (University of Chicago Press, 1999). Recent presentations included papers for the International Conference on the History of Cartography in Athens and the University of California—Los Angeles’ Global Eighteenth Century lecture series. He also spoke to the Nantucket Historical Association.

Mary Pedley, Volume Four
Mary Pedley was awarded a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, which will support her work on printed maps and popular taste in eighteenth-century England and France. The fellowship will allow Pedley to take a leave from her teaching in the winter of 2001 in order to do some research in London libraries and archives and to prepare the Nebenzahl lecture she will give in October 2001 at the Newberry Library in Chicago. In April, she conducted research in the Marine Archives in Paris, accumulating further data on the costs of map production and their effect on map content. Pedley’s book, The Map Trade in the Late Eighteenth Century: Letters to the London Map Sellers Jefferys and Faden, published by the Voltaire Foundation, Oxford, will be out this summer.

The Madison Office

Dana Freiburger joined the Madison staff as Illustration Editor last January. A returning graduate student, Dana left a career in Silicon Valley to pursue his interest in the history of science. He is continuing the arduous task of procuring high quality illustrations and requesting permission to publish Volume Three images.

In July, we welcomed two new graduate assistants to the Project. Both will serve as Reference Editors, checking citations and preparing for publication the many Volume Three manuscripts that authors will submit this coming year. Kimberly Coulter is completing her masters in geography (cultural geography and cartography) this summer; she will begin work on her Ph. D. in the fall. Brenda Parker entered the geography graduate program at the UW in January. She is studying people-environment interaction, focusing on how individuals perceive the ecological and social dimensions of their communities. We would like to thank the University of Wisconsin—Madison Graduate School for its additional generosity this year. Funding from that institution is supporting the project assistants who will make it possible to get Volume Three to press expeditiously.

After two stimulating years, we said goodbye and extended many thanks to post-doctoral researcher Daniel Brownstein in June. He will participate as a Mellon post-doctoral researcher at the University of California—Los Angeles Consortium for the Humanities, whose 2000-2001 theme is “Vital Signs.” He also plans to transform his University of California—Berkeley dissertation (1996) into a book on anatomy and Renaissance culture.

Honorary Degree Granted

In May, David Woodward was delighted to co-sponsor, with the Department of Surgery, Dr. Seymour I. Schwartz for the Honorary Doctor of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Dr. Schwartz received his B.S. in general surgery from the University of Wisconsin. In addition to being a surgeon, teacher of surgery, editor-in-chief of the textbook Principles of Surgery (now in its seventh edition), chair of his department, and president of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Schwartz writes about the history of cartography in his “spare” time. The Mapping of America, which he co-authored with Ralph Ehrenberg, is still the best well-illustrated account of the mapping of what is now the conterminous United States from the fifteenth century to the present day. Dr. Schwartz’s extensive personal map collection also sparked his interest in writing The French and Indian War, 1754-1763: The Imperial Struggle for North America.
Seymour I. Schwartz


The History of Cartography Project bid a sad farewell to Susan B. MacKerer, who died suddenly on 27 April 2000 while pursuing her passion of folk dancing. Susan was the project administrator from 1985 through 1995, coordinating all non-research aspects of the Project with good humor and cheer. She will be remembered and missed by many of our authors, donors, and staff.

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