Newsletter 1998

Volume 2.3 News

We are delighted to announce the publication of Volume 2.3 of the History of Cartography series, Cartography in the Traditional African, American, Arctic, Australian, and Pacific Societies. This book provides an evocative picture of how indigenous peoples view and represent their worlds. It is the first book-length attempt to document traditional cartography outside Western and Asian societies. Written to the research and presentation standards of the previous three books, we expect that Volume 2.3 will shed new light on the nature of maps and will offer a rich resource for disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, art history, ethnology, geography, history, psychology, and sociology.

Volume 3 News

Although Volume 2.3 was not published until November 1998 and consumed the majority of our time last year, we were able to focus more on Volume 3, Cartography in the European Renaissance, as the year progressed. In January we began our search for a postdoctoral candidate to work on the volume. We were fortunate to attract two historians, both coincidentally from the University of California at Berkeley. Victoria Morse and Daniel Brownstein's first task was to review and revise the Volume 3 outline, concentrating mainly on the introductory essays needed to set the stage for the Renaissance period and the national cartographic traditions. Both are helping to edit essays and recruit authors in addition to writing their own contributions to the volume.

Our authors are an eminent group of scholars from several disciplines. To complement this excellent team, we have appointed an advisory board whose members have broad backgrounds in cultural history.  Their suggestions, criticisms, and advice concerning 'the big picture' will be essential in shaping Volume 3.

Volume 3 Advisory Board

Denis Cosgrove, Dept. of Geography, Royal Holloway College
Catherine Delano Smith, Institute of Historical Research
Felipe Fernández-Armesto, Oxford University
Paula Findlen, Dept. of History, Stanford University
Anthony Grafton, Dept. of History, Princeton University
Stephen Greenblatt, Dept. of English, Harvard University
Richard Helgerson, Dept. of English, University of California—Santa Barbara
Christian Jacob, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Richard Kagan, Dept. of History, The Johns Hopkins University
Martin Kemp, Dept. of the History of Art, University of Oxford
Chandra Mukerji, Dept. of Communications, University of California—San Diego
Simon Schama, Dept. of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University
Sarah Tyacke, Director, Public Record Office
Glyndwr Williams, Dept. of History, Queen Mary College

François Ollive's map of the Mediterranean, ca. 1664

François Ollive's map of the Mediterranean, ca. 1664, is exceptionally highly ornamented with coats of arms, ships, animals, knights, and rulers. It also contains seven city views in rectangular frames showing Marseille and its most important trading partners of the time: La Ciotat, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. Ollive's works are recognizable for their floral decorations and for the heavy use of green and orange. Size of the original: 130 cm x 88 cm. Photograph courtesy of the Musée de la Marine, Paris.

Volume 6 News

Volume 6 coeditor Mark Monmonier had a fulfilling year. Syracuse University promoted him to Distinguished Professor of Geography, and the University of Chicago Press awarded him a contract for a new book on legislative redistricting, to appear in 2001. In March 1999 the Press will publish his history of meteorological cartography, Air Apparent: How Meteorologists Learned to Map, Predict, and Dramatize Weather. On the lecture circuit, Mark attended the fall meeting of the Philip Lee Phillips Society at the Library of Congress and presented talks at Rutgers University's School of Communication, Information and Library Science; the Globe Corner Bookstore, Cambridge, Massachusetts; and GIS conferences in Nebraska and Minnesota.

On a subcontract from the University of Wisconsin, Mark opened a History of Cartography Project office in Syracuse and hired a graduate assistant, whose duties include planning support and compiling a bibliography that Volume 6 authors will share. Last summer Mark and David reworked the Volume 6 outline and collaborated on a major proposal to the National Science Foundation. The revised outline reflects extensive comments from participants at the planning conference held in October 1997 at the Library of Congress.

David Woodward's News

1998 seemed to be the year for posting publications on the world wide web. The University of Chicago Press web site featured the Volume 2.3 introduction during December, and David's “The Description of the Four Parts of the World: Camocio's Wall Maps in the Bell Library and Their Place in the Italian Tradition,” James Ford Bell Lecture No. 34, can now be found at He also published two brief articles in Mercator's World: “Maps as Popular Prints” (May/June 1998): 22-29 and “Cartography in Indigenous Societies” (September/October 1998): 28-33.

David’s talks related to the Project included “Another Projection,” closing remarks to Mapping the Early Modern World: A Conference at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., 13-14 March 1998, and a commentary at “Mapping by the Other: Non-European Traditional Cartography,” 23rd Annual Social Science History Association, Chicago, 19 November 1998. Other Volume 2.3 authors delivering papers and comments at the SSHA session were Bill Gartner, G. Malcolm Lewis, Eric Silverman, and Neil Whitehead.

Staff News

Postdoctoral fellows Daniel Brownstein and Victoria Morse both have excellent qualifications for contributing to Volume 3. Dr. Brownstein is a student of Randolph Starn with broad interests in Renaissance culture, humanism and early modern intellectual history, and the history of medicine. His interest in theories of representation in the Renaissance can naturally be applied to maps. Dr. Morse was trained as a medievalist under Robert Brentano and has interests in the intellectual and religious world of the Middle Ages and Early Modern Europe, art history, and the history of the book. She brings superior contextual skills to the study of the medieval Renaissance transition.

We also welcomed two new project assistants in 1998. Peter Thorsheim, a dissertator in history, is editing and checking references for manuscripts. Karen Bianucci, graduate student in geography, is ordering illustrations and requesting publication rights.

Samir Murty, the Project’s Research Experience for Undergraduate NSF scholar, has been researching the editions of Ptolemy’s Geography published at Ulm in 1482 and 1486. He has visited several US institutions to compare about 25 copies for block and color variations. We hope to be able to incorporate some of his findings into Volume 3.

G. G. Kraill von Bemebergh, geometric instruments

G. G. Kraill von Bemebergh, a German military surveyor, was commissioned by Gustavus II Adolphus to work for Sweden. These geometrical instruments from his work Tractatus geometricus et fortificationis (1618) illustrate his remarkable talents. Photograph courtesy of the Krigsarkivet, Stockholm.

Funding News

NEH is currently considering our proposal for support from July 1999 through June 2001. In addition, we have submitted a revised proposal to NSF for the three-year period beginning September 1999. If awarded, the NSF grant will support work at Syracuse University for Volume 6. Perhaps now more than ever, we are relying on donations from individuals, corporations, and private organizations. These gifts enable us to maintain the quality for which the History series has become well known. Many thanks to all who made contributions in 1998.

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