Chicago Map Society

Upcoming Events

The Chicago Map Society typically meets at The Newberry on the third Thursday of every month during the academic year (September through May). Meetings start at 5:30 p.m. with a social half-hour, followed by an hour presentation on a cartographic subject of interest to our membership. Our meetings are open to the public, but to help defray expenses, non-members are asked for a small donation at the door. If you are unfamiliar with The Newberry, which is located on the near north side of Chicago, here are directions.

The list below details the upcoming meetings of the Chicago Map Society, as well as an occasional event that is of especial importance to our membership.

John Docktor maintains calendars of map society meetings and cartographic exhibitions worldwide, both of which are available at Cartographic Calendars. For information on the events held by Wisconsin Map Society, our sister organization ninety miles to the north, please visit their website by clicking here.

Date: Thursday, April 13, 2017 5:30 PM
Title: Flows of Illusion: Waterways to the Pacific
Speaker: Christopher W. Lane
Location: AGSL, Golda Meir Library 3rd Floor, East Wing, UW-Milwaukee, 2311 E. Hartford Ave., Milwaukee, Wis.

Maps and America: The Arthur Holzheimer Lecture Series

For three and a half centuries, from the earliest days of the discovery of North America, the notion of a water passage across the continent was an idée fixe for many explorers, geographers, and politicians. In the sixteenth century, there was thought to be but a narrow land bridge between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and even when the vast size of the interior of North America became known, many still believed that there was some system of rivers and lakes, with short portages, which would offer a practical channel to reach the western coast. These postulated and hoped for mythical waterways were a product of misinformation, misinterpretations of reports and observations, and just plain wishful thinking and it wasn’t until the middle of the nineteenth century that the absence of any practical watercourse across North America was established once and for all. This lecture is a look at the theories and searches for these flows of illusions, quests which did not realize the hopes of the seekers, but did help unfold the physical reality of the continent.

April Meeting of the Michigan Map Society

Date: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 6:00 PM
Title: Mapping the Great Lakes in the 17th Century: From Samuel de Champlain to Jean Baptiste Louis Franquelin
Speaker: Jean-François Palomino
Location: University of Michigan, Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery Room, 913 S. University Ave, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Join the Michigan Map Society as Jean-François Palomino discusses early French mapping of the Great Lakes region and the two noted cartographers who played seminal roles in introducing the Great Lakes to Europeans. For any questions, please email Anne Bennington-Helber at

April Meeting of the Chicago Map Society

Date: Thursday, April 20, 2017 5:00 PM
Title: Field Trip to the Graphic Conservation Company
Speaker: Russ Maki
Location: Graphic Conservation Company, Chicago, Ill.

Please join us we tour the state-of-the-art, 8,000 square foot lab at the Graphic Conservation Company, which is located in Chicago’s South Loop. Originally a boutique department of R. R. Donnelley that specialized in bookbinding and preservation, the now-independent company specializes in art and document restoration. On our tour, owner Russ Maki and his staff of conservators will demonstrate some time-tested techniques using a collection of specialized tools and equipment that enables them to treat paper items suffering from many different types of damage.

Please note that this program will start at 5:00 p.m., so that we can see the conservators at work, and that we must limit attendance to around thirty people. Accordingly, we will ask our members to make reservations for this event.

May Meeting of the Chicago Map Society

Date: Thursday, May 18, 2017 5:30 PM
Title: Chicago Globes
Speaker: Murray Hudson
Location: Ruggles Hall, The Newberry, Chicago, Ill.

For a century beginning in the 1880s, Chicago was the globe capital of the world with as many as ten major globe makers and retailers. Globe-making began in Chicago during the period of the city’s great growth between the 1871 fire and the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. A. H. Andrews was the first major manufacturer in the mid-1880s, followed by Rand McNally in 1891 (just in time for the World’s Fair). A. H. Andrews became C. F. Weber in 1895, and new manufacturers sprang up as Chicago continued to boom through World War I and the “Roaring 20s.” Even more globe makers (Replogle, Weber Costello, Nystrom and others) managed to flourish during the Great Depression using Chicago ingenuity. If one includes Marshall Field’s, who used their name on Replogle globes, as many as six globe makers/retailers were operating at the height of production. No other city can claim such a concentration of diversity, ingenuity and productivity in globe-making, as Chicago made itself America’s “Global City.”

June Meeting of the Chicago Map Society

Date: Thursday, June 15, 2017 5:30 PM
Title: Highlights of the the Barry MacLean Collection: Field Trip to the MacLean Collection
Speaker: Tom Hall
Location: MacLean Collection, Green Oaks, Ill

Please join us at what is becoming an annual event—a field trip to the McLean Map Collection, which is in Chicago’s northern suburbs and is one of the largest privately-held collections of maps in the world. This year will be a special treat, as map curator Tom Hall will introduce us to some of the highlights of the collection.