Newsletter 2001: Summer

Project News

The first half of 2001 proved to be busy for editor David Woodward with trips promoting the Project to Pennsylvania State University, the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting in New York, the Frank Walton Lecture at the Gennadius Library in Athens, the Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting in Chicago, the Jane Austen Interdisciplinary Symposium in Madison, and two workshops for the Newberry Library’s Summer Institute on Popular Cartography and Society for college and university teachers in the humanities and social sciences. Of particular interest was the 4th International Laboratory for the History of Science organized by the Institute and Museum for the History of Science, Florence, and held in Florence and Vinci. The meeting, “Art, Science and Techniques of Drafting in the Renaissance,” brought together art historians and historians of science. The program included three sessions on “Perspective and Mapmaking,” and Leonardo da Vinci's contribution to cartography was discussed.

Upcoming Events

Plans are underway to attend the North American Cartographic Information Society meeting in Portland, Oregon, 3-6 October. David Woodward will take part in two programs, one concerned with teaching map design in an age of technical transition and the other on evaluating cartographic competencies for professional certification in GIS. Fortunately, the Western Association of Map Libraries is meeting in Portland the same week, providing another opportunity to discuss the Project. A cluster of meetings related to the history of cartography to take place in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison from 11-15 October will introduce the Project to different audiences. Following Volume 4 editor Mary Pedley’s series of Kenneth  Nebenzahl, Jr., Lectures in the History of Cartography at The Newberry Library on the French and English map trades, David Woodward will address the International Map Collectors Society at the American Geographical Society Collection in Milwaukee. On 16 October, the Project will host a brief site visit in Madison for participants in the post-conference tour to the beautiful landscape of southwestern Wisconsin, inspiration and home of Frank Lloyd Wright. In January, Woodward will address a plenary session of the Institute of British Geographers Annual Meeting in Belfast on the methodological issues in geography and other disciplines that have arisen from the compilation of the History.

History of Cartography Project display at the 2001 International Conference on the History of Cartography in Madrid.

Photo courtesy of Prasad Gogate of the University of Mumbai.

19th ICHC, Madrid

The Nineteenth International Conference on the History of Cartography was held in Madrid, Spain, 1-6 July 2001. The six days of sessions were packed full of interesting talks, often followed by social gatherings and map exhibitions. The Biblioteca Nacional was the main site for the conference, comfortably hosting most of the lectures.  A fascinating tour of the Monasterio de El Escorial was scheduled for one day, followed by an afternoon of sessions at El Escorial. The map exhibitions were not only intriguing to view, but many were of great significance (wonderful town plans of Madrid; truly rare  and exciting maps at the Biblioteca Nacional; and a scholarly collection of books on geography).

Many History of Cartography authors were present, and several offered papers. It was an excellent opportunity to talk to past, present, and future contributors. The Project’s exhibit explained its progress and philosophy. After enjoying the gathering of so many map enthusiasts, we all look forward to the 20th ICHC, to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, and Portland, Maine, in 2003.

Renaissance Society of America

We were very pleased with the large attendance (57 people signed our list) at the three cartographic sessions organized by Daniel Brownstein at this year’s RSA meeting in Chicago. Three stimulating sessions were held at the Newberry Library on 29 March. The program was as follows:

The Appearance of the Map in Renaissance Society Cartography and Religion in Renaissance Europe Historical Problems in the Study of Renaissance Cartography
Chair: David Woodward; 
Respondent: Ingrid Rowland
Chair and Respondent: Theodore J. Cachey, Jr. Chair and respondent: David Woodward
Papers by Daniel Brownstein, Zur Shalev, and Francesca Fiorani Papers by Catherine Delano Smith, Victoria Morse, and  Pauline Watts Paper by Lesley Cormack and a general discussion

The sessions were such a success that the Project has organized four more sessions for the next RSA meeting in Tempe and Scottsdale, Arizona, in April 2002. The program will include:

Illustrating Space and Place in the Renaissance Using Maps in the Renaissance Maps and Religion Italian Mural Map Cycles
Chair, Catherine Delano Smith Chair, Lilian Armstrong Chair, to be announced Chair, John Marino
David Woodward, “The Taste for Map Projections in the Renaissance”

Denis Cosgrove, “Space and Illustration in Sixteenth-Century Cosmographic and Architectural   Treatises”

Daniel Brownstein, “Denoting Place in Renaissance Maps”

Catherine Delano Smith, “Great Maps and Little Maps: Maps, Users and Literacy in the Renaissance”

Shankar Raman, “Of Maps and Stories: Cartography in the Dutch Golden Age”

Alison Sandman, “Drawing a Line in the Ocean: Boundaries, Projection Errors, and Pilots’ Reports in Late Sixteenth-Century Iberia”

Noam Flinker, “Antidote to Civil War: Thomas Fuller’s Mid-Seventeenth-Century Pisgah-sight as a Textual Crusade”

Zur Shalev, “Mapping Church History in Early Modern Europe”

Pauline Watts, “A Mirror for the Pope: Gregory XIII’s Gallery of Maps” 

Francesca Fiorani, “The Spirituality of Maps: The Gallery of Maps in the Vatican Palace”

Mark Rosen, “Curtailment and Completion: The Role of Don Stefano Buonsignori in the    Guardaroba of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence”

Barcelona Volume Announcement

We are happy to announce the publication of a series of fifteen lectures given by David Woodward, Catherine Delano-Smith, and Cordell D. K. Yee on some of the methodological issues the History of Cartography Project has raised. The lectures were presented at the Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya in Barcelona in February 2000.

The 354-page book includes chapters on: “Origin and History of the History of Cartography”; “‘Theory’ and the History of Cartography”; “The ‘Two Cultures’ of Map History—Scientific and Humanistic Traditions: A Plea for Reintegration”; “Starting with the Map: The Rosselli Map of the World, ca. 1508” (all by DW); “The Map as Commodity” (CDS); “The Map Trade in China” (CDKY); “The Image of the Map in the Renaissance” (DW); “Breaking the Grid: Maps and the Chinese Art of Writing” (CDKY); “Maps and

Religion in Medieval and Early Modern Europe” (CDS); “A Reaction to the Reactionagainst Scientism: On the Power and Limits of the Textual Analogy for Maps” (CDKY); “Maps and Map Literacy I and II” (CDS); “The Influence of Chinese Map Culture on the West” (CDKY); “The Grip of the Enlightenment: Separation of Past and Present” (CDS); and “The Recent History of Cartography and the Possible Use of the History of Cartography in the 21st Century” (DW).

Plantejaments i objectius d’una història universal de la cartografia [Approaches and Challenges in a Worldwide History of Cartography] (Barcelona: Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya, 2001) ISBN: 84-393 5433-9. Order from: Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya, Parc de Montjuïc, E-08038 Barcelona, Spain. 

Interview with Jude Leimer, Managing Editor

By Ben Sheesley, Reference Editor

Jude Leimer
Jude Leimer received a M.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin—Madison Geography Department in 1982, having written a thesis about maps in newspapers under advisor David Woodward. Her uninterrupted transition from student to the Project’s first Managing Editor has made her an integral part of the History of Cartography Project for twenty years. Jude is now ultimately responsible for the daily organization, scheduling, correspondence, and reference editing that makes the History such an accurate reference work. Her consistent interaction with volume editors, authors, Project assistants and staff, advisory boards, and the University of Chicago Press are invaluable to its progress. Jude recently spoke with us about the Project.

How did you initially become involved with the History of Cartography Project?
As a graduate student, soon after the Project came to Madison in the early 1980s, I had the opportunity to compile reference maps and create line drawings in preparation for the initial volume on cartography in medieval Europe and the Mediterranean. While in school I took classes from both David Woodward and Arthur H. Robinson, and my appreciation for the history of cartography grew. Soon after I graduated, David offered me a full-time position as Managing Editor and I couldn’t refuse; we had already developed a strong working relationship, ambitious goals had been set for the Project, and the maps and essays were extremely intriguing. It was a privilege to experience the early growth of the Project and be involved with such a dynamic group of scholars including David and Brian Harley.

Can you describe what you do in a typical day at work?
Each day at the office is quite different. It is my job to establish the logistics of getting the volumes of the History published. 

Therefore, rather than working through a daily routine, I tend to operate on a publishing schedule that varies with each new book. This process occurs in two main stages: author work and press work. I  maintain an extensive system of communication with our authors as they submit and receive updated versions of their texts and ensure that all reference editing progresses toward finalization. This involves working closely with our staff every day, and together we read, edit, and standardize manuscripts to fit Project and University of Chicago Press guidelines. Naturally, manuscripts are always in unique stages of development—their ultimate due date to be determined by the editor and the publisher. At that point press-related work begins and my focus shifts to regular communication with the press’s copy editor, production coordinator, and designer until the review of page proofs.

Has your role as Managing Editor changed throughout your tenure with the Project?
In one sense, no, the work that I do has remained the same since the beginning. I continue to organize and direct this office to produce a reference work that meets the same high standard that we set twenty years ago. But on another level, refreshing changes constantly occur. The subjects of the volumes change over a broad time-scale as do the editors, maps, authors, essays, project assistants, and staff. This is perhaps the most exciting part of my job, for not only do I enjoy learning from this growing store of scholarly cartographic literature, I also have the opportunity to discuss it with fascinating people who have invested themselves in these topics.

What are some of the most rewarding moments working for the Project?

Holding a bound volume for the first time after publication is a great feeling, even after seeing a full set of page proofs. 

Traveling to Chicago to pick up volume 1 was particularly rewarding, because, as our first, a considerable amount of extra work was done with an understanding that ensuing volumes would be based on its level of accuracy and detail. However, more satisfying than the physical products are the smaller tasks that are resolved on a daily or weekly basis. For example, receiving a difficult to obtain illustration from an archive, mailing out an updated manuscript to an author, or locating a translator are some of the gradual steps that we take to advance the History toward publication. Furthermore, it is rewarding to know that our authors appreciate this necessary work. The fact that it will always exist allows me to set manageable goals that when accomplished are readily replaced with new challenges. Working with David for all these years has been especially rewarding. From him I have learned a great deal about writing, editing, and publishing and a great deal about the history of cartography. We have spent many hours examining the course of the Project and in recent years have enjoyed promoting the Project at the International Conference on the History of Cartography. David is a joy to work with, and I am fortunate to be good friends with him and his family.

Do you foresee any changes taking place at the Project in the future?
The new encyclopedic format planned for Volumes 4, 5, and 6 will have a definite impact on my job. I look forward to learning from a much larger quantity of artifacts and maps that will be incorporated into a more recent account of cartographic history. Furthermore, coordinating the inputs of an increased number of editors and authors will be valuable but challenging. As I look back, each book has brought its own set of challenges, and I am eager to accept the new ones to come.

Ben Sheesley
Ben Sheesley

Updates on the History of Cartography Books

Volume Three, Cartography in the European Renaissance

The Madison office is still on track to submit volume 3 to the University of Chicago Press at the end of 2002. We are currently fully staffed with four trained reference editors and one illustrations editor, each one-third- time, all working on Volume 3 manuscripts.

Volume Four, Cartography in the European Enlightenment

David Woodward, in consultation with volume editors and the University of Chicago Press, has proposed a new format for the final volumes of the History, beginning with Volume 4. For the history of cartography since the Renaissance, in which there are many experts in many small subjects, a large multi-level interpretive encyclopedia seems to be logistically the most straightforward way of presenting the material. The format (8.5 x 11 inch, double column), typography, and paper specifications will be the same as in previous volumes, and the same level and quality of illustration and scholarly apparatus will be maintained. The encyclopedia format will provide narrative essays on broad themes as well as incorporate shorter articles of reference value (e.g., biographies, descriptions of key maps, agencies, and mapping modes). Entries will be alphabetical and range in length from 500 words to 5,000 and potentially 10,000 (or more as essays addressing broader issues might warrant).

Two counteracting factors have prompted 

this new approach. First, the number of extant manuscripts and printed maps increased after 1650 (the approximate end date for volume 3) to the point where the challenges of writing a general history of cartography become different from those faced in earlier volumes. Second, and working to exacerbate this problem of the size of the cartographic corpus, the amount of secondary literature about these maps falls off considerably. The lack of synthesizing literature, particularly for the twentieth century, and the narrow scope of many authors’ interests, do not provide sufficient foundation for the next level of synthesis. The advantages of an encyclopedic approach are numerous. The list of experts to write such entries would be long but straightforward to compile and truly international. The information would be easy for the reader to find, both by keywords and volume index, and the extensive bibliography and suggestions for further research at the end of each article would provide valuable signposts. Scholarly quality would not be sacrificed. We are excited about this new format. The editors have already compiled a first draft of the keywords for Volume 4 and sent out an initial mailing to potential authors.

Volume Six, Cartography in the Twentieth Century

Exploratory Essays Initiative

Professors Mark Monmonier and David Woodward, Volume  6 editors, are starting to review essays by scholars chosen for the Exploratory Essays Initiative, a project 
commissioning and guiding the development of eleven exploratory essays on the history of cartography in the twentieth century. Monmonier organized a special double-session for the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers, held in New York City in late February, on “Exploratory Essays on the History of Cartography in the Twentieth Century” in which six authors participated. Monmonier chaired and introduced the session and presented his own paper, and Woodward served as summary discussant. The EEI authors are now completing their research and writing these essays. Their findings will be presented during a symposium on 17-18 March 2002, to be held as part of the pre-conference program for the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, California. The symposium is planned for 50-100 participants in addition to essay authors, board members, and Project staff. Authors will present their findings during the first day and a half, and the latter part of the second day will include a field trip to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. The results of the authors’ research will be published in a special issue of Cartography and Geographic Information Science in late 2002.

Looking beyond those interim essays, the editors are proposing to compile Volume 6 of the History of Cartography as a large multi-level interpretive encyclopedia, as has been detailed above (see Volume 4). A keyword list is being prepared to send to potential authors.

New NEH Grant Awarded

The National Endowment for the Humanities recently awarded the Project a new two-year grant beginning July 2001, with both outright and matching funds. The NEH matches private contributions received by the Project, doubling the value of each gift. In the letter of award, the NEH summarized the written comments by evaluators who reviewed the proposal for the grant. Reviewers acknowledged the international importance of this project.

Recent Reviews of Volume 2, Book 3, Cartography in the Traditional African, American, Arctic, Australian, and Pacific Societies

Excerpt from Patricia Molen van Ee in Isis 91 (2000): 765-66

“This volume deserves the accolade  ‘monumental,’  even when compared to its very distinguished predecessors. Earlier books in this series comprehensively reviewed the history of cartography of prehistoric, ancient and medieval Europe and the Mediterranean and cartography produced by Islamic and South and East Asian societies. The volumes have been extremely well received and commended for their unique contributions to the history of cartography....

The authors bring together concepts and artifacts representing place and time, religious and secular philosophies, oral and written traditions, art and science. They also use the methodology of an array of disciplines, including geography, history, art history, history of science, anthropology, archeology, theology, psychology, sociology, and mathematics. The result of their efforts is a feast for the intellect.”

Excerpt from Robert Rundstrom in Annals of the Association of American Geographers 91 (March 2001): 208-10

“On the whole, the book represents a huge achievement. Each chapter is at the very least a thoroughly researched cartobibliographic summation of the published scholarship existing in the relevant languages about the non-Western mapping of a specific region. As such, this is indeed the valuable reference volume I was awaiting. The short essays on Africa, lowland South America, and northern Eurasia barely begin to address their subjects, but that only serves to indicate how little research has been done in these areas. We should be grateful to the authors not only for ferreting out the scant available information, but for boldly going where truly few have gone before....

The centerpiece of the book is clearly Lewis’s own chapter on North America, his massively detailed cartobibliographic tour de force concluding twenty-two years of archival research.”

Recently Noted

New book published: Bushmanders and Bullwinkles: How Politicians Manipulate Electronic Maps and Census Data to Win Elections by Mark Monmonier, Volume 6 editor.

“The proliferation of computers has led to an almost obsessive preoccupation with cartography among some politicians ... and it has made mani-pulation of boundaries easier than before,” a New York Times review on 27 May 2001 notes. The review describes the book as “timely and painstakingly researched, and it raises vital questions about the art (not the science) of how politicians manipulate maps to win elections.”

Monmonier’s article, “Where Should Map History End?” (Mercator’s World [May/ June 2001]: 50-51), laments the shortage of scholars focusing on the history of cartography in the twentieth century.

Matthew Edney, Volume 4 coeditor, will be on sabbatical from the University of Southern Maine and the Osher Map Library for the 2001-2002 academic year. He will begin research for his essays on British 

colonial mapping for the volume with a three-month residency at the John Carter Brown Library in Providence, Rhode Island, during the spring of 2002. In support of this research, he has been awarded the JCB’s Jeannette D. Black Memorial Fellowship.

Eric Ash and Alison Sandman, authors for Volume 3, have been named Postdoctoral Fellows for 2001-2002 by the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology.

Eric Ash received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and has been a lecturer in its History Department. He has written a Volume 3 essay on Renaissance navigation techniques and practice.

Alison Sandman received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Her essay for Volume 3 focuses on Spanish nautical cartography during the Renaissance. During her fellowship year at the Dibner Institute she will conduct a comparative study of navigation and cosmography of the major sixteenth century European sea powers: Portugal, Spain, and England.

Madison Staff News

Beth Freundlich, Project Administrator, is on family leave from the Project from mid-April 2001 through June 2002. In her place, two half-time staff have been hired to work on different areas of her responsibilities, Teresita Reed and Paul Tierney.

Teresita Reed coordinates Project outreach including web page maintenance, newsletter and other outreach publications, exhibits, fundraising support, correspondence with donors and the general public, conference logistics for the March 2002 EEI symposium, and mailings 

to authors and donors. Her administrative responsibilities include staff recruitment, database maintenance, as well as day-to-day office management.

Paul Tierney coordinates grant proposal submissions, reporting and correspondence with federal funding institutions, budgeting (existing funds and grant proposals), payment of stipends to authors, travel reimbursements for authors, advisors, and editors when on Project business, human subjects review for EEI, as well as day-to-day business requirements of the Project.


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