Newsletter 1999: Winter

Volume 2.3 Wins Breasted Prize

Volume Two, Book Three, Cartography in the Traditional African, American, Arctic, Australian, and Pacific Societies, has received the American Historical Association's James Henry Breasted Prize for 1999. The Breasted Prize is offered on a four-year cycle, and the 1999 prize was for the best English-language book in the ancient and early medieval history of Africa, North America, and Latin America. About Volume Two, Book Three, the awarding committee wrote:
"[This is] a pathbreaking book on extending the usually Western-oriented field of historical carto-graphy to non-Western societies. To achieve their goal of integrating many divergent ways of representing space with symbols, the authors in this collection explored a variety of artistic and symbolic systems in many different cultures. The book manages to present fairly arcane information from a wide variety of sources in a clear way that manages to expand the field of cartography well beyond the West, and is potentially useful even for rethinking Western mapmaking. Based on stunning research and beautifully reproduced, the book is likely to be the standard for the field for many years to come."
David Woodward accepted the award at the American Historical Association annual meeting, Chicago, in January 2000. We greatly appreciate the formal recognition of the efforts of our authors and editors.
St. Gallen Cosmographical Globe, ca. 1575
The St. Gallen Cosmographical Globe, ca. 1575

Not much is known about the globe, but it is thought that the stand dates to 1595 and the globe probably dates earlier. The globe is terrestrial as well as celestial, combining the outlines of the main continents with constellations drawn in the oceans. The globe will be discussed in Elly Dekker's chapter, "Globes in Renaissance Europe," in Volume Three of the History of Cartography.

Size of the original: diameter 121 cm; height 233 cm.

Photograph courtesy of the Swiss National Museum, Zurich (inv. no. 129621).

Volume 3 Conference

The Madison staff continues to work almost exclusively on Volume Three, Cartography in the European Renaissance. We look forward to the upcoming Burdick-Vary symposium sponsored by the University of Wisconsin Institute for Research in the Humanities, where David Woodward is senior fellow. The conference, which focuses on Renaissance cartography, will be held on the UW-Madison campus, 6-8 April 2000. For more information, please contact Loretta Freiling by phone 608-262-3855, fax 608-265-4173, or mail: UW Institute for Research in the Humanities, 1401 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706. (See preliminary program below.)

The 24th Annual Burdick-Vary Symposium
Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin—Madison
6-8 April 2000

  Thursday 6 April
6:00 Informal social hour, 1443 Mound Street, Madison
Friday 7 April
8:45 Paul Boyer, "Welcome"
8:50 David Woodward, "Introductory remarks"
9:00 Anthony Grafton, "Cartography and antiquarianism in Renaissance Italy"
Felipe Fernández-Armesto, "Maps and exploration"
Richard Kagan, "Maps and the state"
Richard Helgerson, "Maps and folly"
Denis Cosgrove, "Changing notions of 'cosmography' in the Renaissance"
Catherine Delano Smith, "Unconventional signs"
Reception and Exhibition, Department of Special Collections, Memorial Library
Dinner on own
Saturday 8 April
Günter Schilder, "The map consumer in the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries"
Sarah Tyacke, "English charting of the East Indies: Gabriel Tatton's manuscript atlas"
Glyn Williams, "'Java la Grande': Still more questions than answers"
David Woodward, "Concluding remarks"
Closing lunch

Volume 4 Editors Appointed

For the past year, David Woodward has been considering—in consultation with the University of Chicago Press—several possible scenarios to complete the remaining volumes of the History. He is eager to involve younger scholars in the editing of Volumes Four and Five while striving to achieve some continuity in the project as a whole. To this end, he has recruited a trio of scholars to edit Volume Four, which will cover cartography in Europe and its colonies from 1640 to 1800: D. Graham Burnett, Matthew H. Edney, and Mary Pedley. (Volume Five is still in the planning stage, awaiting the appointment of co-editors for the specialized period of the nineteenth century.)

D. Graham Burnett, Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, is an historian of science. His primary research examines the role of the geographical sciences in European colonialism, but he has also worked on Charles Darwin, the history of exploration, and seventeenth-century optics. His first book, Masters of All They Surveyed, will be published by the University of Chicago Press next year. Burnett was a Marshall Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge, and was awarded the 1999 Nebenzahl Prize in the History of Cartography. His reviews and essays have appeared in the Economist, American Scholar, New York Times, Times Literary Supplement, and New Republic. He will be joining the faculty of the University of Oklahoma Honors College in Fall 2001.

Matthew H. Edney is associate professor of Geography-Anthropology and American and New England Studies at the University of Southern Maine, Portland. He also serves as faculty scholar in the Osher Map Library. A geographer and historian of cartography, his longstanding intellectual interests are in land surveying and social history. His book Mapping an Empire: The Geographical Construction of British India, 1765-1843, was published by the University of Chicago Press (1997) and by Oxford University Press (New Delhi, 1999). Since 1990, he has pursued studies on the nature and cultures of cartography in eighteenth-century Britain and North America.

Mary Pedley is Adjunct Assistant Curator of Maps at the William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her primary research focuses on the map trade and issues surrounding commercial cartography in eighteenth-century Europe—specifically in France. She has written Bel et Utile: Work of the Robert de Vaugondy Family of Mapmakers (Tring: Map Collector Publications, 1992) and The Map Trade in the Late Eighteenth Century: Letters to Jefferys and Faden (Oxford: The Voltaire Foundation, 2000). She is also an Associate Editor of Imago Mundi, the journal for the history of cartography. In addition to her research on cartography, she teaches Latin in the Ann Arbor Public Schools.

In preliminary discussions and at a very productive November meeting hosted by Burnett at the Center for Scholars and Writers, the editors began to refine the volume outline and to identify possible members of an advisory board. Knowing that mapping activity exploded during the Enlightenment period, the editors also discussed criteria to help authors select which maps to include while maintaining the quality and coverage of the volume's reference function.

Volume 6 Exploratory Essays

With support from the National Science Foundation, the History of Cartography Project is continuing work on Volume Six under the leadership of Mark Monmonier, Distinguished Professor of Geography at Syracuse University. Volume Six focuses on the twentieth century, a period with comparatively little historical scholarship on maps and mapping. We have implemented a research initiative to address this deficiency by providing research support for eleven scholars from a wide variety of backgrounds who will write exploratory essays on some aspect of the history of cartography in the twentieth century. The papers will be published in a refereed journal during 2003.

These published essays will form the basis of much larger and more fully developed chapters in Volume Six. They will not substitute for the volume, but are intended to encourage feedback and further interest in this field. Moreover, to nurture and protect our investment in researchers' work, the editors will take an active role in guiding the initiative. In particular, Monmonier and Woodward plan to consult frequently with researchers, offer advice on source materials, read preliminary drafts, and promote additional interaction among researchers. Participants are expected to provide copies of their research materials to the editors to facilitate both bibliographic checking and the incorporation of their efforts in Volume Six. The editors hope that, eventually, many of the participants can be attracted to the Project as chapter authors or section contributors.

To assist in selecting participating authors, Monmonier and Woodward appointed an advisory board of internationally prominent scholars: Christopher Board (United Kingdom), Ulrich Freitag (Germany), Ingrid Kretschmer (Austria), Joel Morrison (United States), Ferjan Ormeling, Jr., (The Netherlands), D. R. Fraser Taylor (Canada), and Waldo Tobler (United States). Board members, authors, co-editors, and Project staff will meet in Chicago next June to discuss events, sources, and historiography. For more information on the exploratory essays initiative, you can go directly to the web site at: or send an email message to Mark Monmonier at with "Vol. 6 info request" in the subject line.

Staffing News from the Madison office

Postdoctoral researchers Daniel Brownstein and Victoria Morse have made valuable contributions to Volume Three this year. We were sorry to lose Dr. Morse this fall to a teaching position in medieval history at Carleton College. Both historians have worked on chapters for the volume in addition to refining our outline, suggesting and corresponding with potential authors, reviewing translations, and editing manuscripts.

In other staffing news, we welcomed Brian Covey, graduate student in history, who began working this past summer on manuscript preparation and reference checking for Volume Three. He filled the project assistant position vacated by Peter Thorsheim, who accepted a teaching post at Manhattan College. Jason Martin, a reference editor since 1997, and Karen Bianucci, illustration editor since 1998, have also left the Project this winter. Both recently completed their master's degrees in geography. Jason will be pursuing his doctoral degree at Queen's University, and Karen is entering the job market.

Drew Ross, our long-time student assistant, also left the Project this year after successfully defending his dissertation. We are grateful to have found our wonderful new assistant, Jane Rosecky, a senior in the Geography Department.

Mark Monmonier's News

In March the University of Chicago Press published Monmonier's new book, Air Apparent: How Meteorologists Learned to Map, Predict, and Dramatize Weather. He presented a Nebenzahl lecture on cartographic narratives in October, and the National Research Council recently appointed him to its Mapping Science Committee.

David Woodward's News

David Woodward presented several papers and attended many conferences at which he was able to spread the word about the Project. In April, he presented the opening talk at Harvard University's International Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World entitled "Maps and the Study of History: The State of the Art." In May, he attended a symposium entitled Looking at Paper: Evidence and Interpretation (Toronto), where he spoke on the use of paper and watermarks in dating early Venetian maps. He also used that occasion to introduce the History of Cartography Project to approximately 300 paper conservators from around the world.

Meetings in Europe included the Hereford (UK) Map Conference in June. In July, he attended the XVIII International Conference on the History of Cartography in Athens, at which he served as Chair of the Program Committee. In Athens, he took part in a special session on the History of Cartography with papers by Matthew Edney and Christian Jacob that discussed the influence of the Project on the field. He attended the International Cartographic Association meeting (Ottawa) in August and gave a keynote plenary speech "Touch the Past" to about 600 international delegates.

Funding News

We are most grateful for the grants provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, which support editorial work on Volume Three and planning for Volumes Four, Five, and Six, and the National Science Foundation, which is funding the Volume Six exploratory essays initiative.

In 1999, we received $55,814 in donations from 179 individuals, map societies, and small foundations. This is an 8.85% increase in contributions over 1998. Many thanks to all our generous supporters; you have made it possible for us to consistently meet our goals for federal matching funds.

Consider a Bequest

One creative supporter of the History of Cartography has created a bequest that will ultimately benefit the Project. In April 1998, he opened a traditional IRA account specifying that all dividends should be reinvested. He bequeathed the funds from this investment to the Project in his will. In 1999, the investment grew and he added additional funds, resulting in a gift for the History that increased by 30% in less than two years. The IRA account is in his name and the University of Wisconsin Foundation is named as the beneficiary. Since the Foundation is a tax-exempt organization, there will be no tax charged when the funds finally transfer.

We thank him for his generosity and foresight, and we encourage others to consider a tax-sheltered contribution such as this.


We are sad to announce that Gerald Tibbetts, associate editor for Cartography in the Traditional Islamic and South Asian Societies, passed away in November 1999. He played a major role in that volume and was a wonderful supporter of the Project.

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