Latitudes February 2020

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Map Society


February 2020


A photo from the WMS field trip to Mount Vernon on 11 January 2020 as the group toured the mansion, led by Anette Ahrens, a WMS member and a Senior Interpreter at Mount Vernon.




Location: Washington Naval Lodge; 330 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E., Washington DC 20003 (See directly below for instructions on how to find this new location)

"Vacationing in Virginia, 19th Century Style: Plan of Fauquier White Sulphur Springs with Proposed Building Lot"

Speaker: Cassandra Farrell, Senior Map Archivist at Library of Virginia and WMS Board Member

Earlier this year, the Library of Virginia acquired a manuscript plan of Fauquier White Sulphur Springs. Cassandra Farrell will discuss her research regarding Fauquier White Sulphur Springs and the surveyors involved in the plat's creation.  See




Our new location for the fall program will be the Washington Naval Lodge No. 4, 330 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Unit 400, about three blocks from the LoC.


Location of Washington Naval Lodge: Just east of the Madison Building of the Library of Congress, Independence Avenue angles to the right and becomes Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. The Washington Naval Lodge is at 330 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. It is on the north side of the street (opposite side from the LoC) between 3rd Street SE and 4th Street SE (although closer to 4th). The street level is occupied by Chevy Chase Bank, roughly across from the BB&T Bank. We will post a WMS sign near the door, so please look for that. The lodge is on the fourth floor at #400. Please note that the elevator is very small and cannot accommodate full-sized wheelchairs. If you need to use the elevator, please arrive a few minutes early.




At our spring meeting, the WMS will hold its Annual Meeting with reports from the board of directors and election of members to the board.  In addition, the WMS is pleased to present Andrew Rhodes, winner of the Dr. Walter W. Ristow Prize, who will present Thinking in Space: The Case of Franklin D Roosevelt. The meeting will be held at the Washington Naval Lodge (see address and directions above).


WMS 41st ANNUAL DINNER - 15 MAY 2020


Speaker: Dr. Larry Tise, co-author of Theodore de Bry—America: The Complete Plates from 1590-1602.
Venue: Maggiano's at Tysons
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 PM



Lecture: Mapping and Illustrating the Americas: Theodore de Bry—America: The Complete Plates, 1590-1602. Theodore de Bry, a goldsmith turned engraver and publisher, launched his monumental travel narratives Grand Voyages in 1590 with an illustrated edition of Thomas Harriot’s Briefe and True Report on the New Found Land of Virginia. Fortuitously, de Bry snared two sets of original watercolors on a narrow London street two years before: John White’s accurate drawings of Virginia and Jacques de Lemoyne’s sketches of Florida. With these elegant original works and others, de Bry and his engravers between 1590 and 1602 produced hundreds of indelible images displaying the waters, lands, and people of the Americas. Dr. Tise will explain how these depictions of the Americas were created and how they have defined our mental visions of these native people and their worlds from then to the present.

Additional details and registration information will be made available in the next few weeks.




The online videos of speakers at WMS member meetings are a great benefit to WMS members, but we are looking for help with simple editing of the videos. If you would be able to provide 1-2 hours per month of assistance in editing videos, please contact Eliane Dotson at





The WMS is operated by volunteers who create the programs, website, Portolan journal, and all other activities and content. We currently have two vacancies on the WMS board - if you are interested in serving on the board or helping the WMS in any capacity, please contact J. C. McElveen at Board nominations are due by 1 April 2020.





On 29 January 2020 the map community lost a beloved member, Kenneth Nebenzahl.  Kenneth and Jossy Nebenzahl founded the The Kenneth Nebenzahl, Jr., Lectures in the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois. The lecture series brought together map enthusiasts from around the world and recently celebrated its 20th series. Memorial services have not yet been announced, and will be posted on the WMS Facebook page as soon as they are available.




Library of Congress, Jefferson Building, Whittall Pavilion, 10 First Street SE, Washington, DC. Boundaries and Brigands: James McCarthy and the Mapping of Siam will be presented by WMS board member Harold Meinheit from 12:00 - 1:30 PM on 25 February 2020. For more information contact Harold Meinheit at


Library of Virginia, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA. Map Genealogy Workshop / More Than Just a Pretty Picture: Maps and Research at the Library of Virginia will be presented by Senior map archivist Cassandra Farrell from 9:30 AM–12:30 PM on 7 March 2020. Registration is required - go to


Library of Virginia (LVA), Richmond VA, 800 E. Broad Street, Richmond. 25 April 2020. Alan and Natalie Voorhees Lectures. English Impressions of “Virginia” & Its Inhabitants before Jamestown:  English Mapping and Iconography of the New World.

Speakers: Dr. Larry Tise and journalist Andrew Lawler will discuss the extraordinary explorations of the Albemarle Sound region and the first English settlements on Roanoke Island in the 1580s. Although these settlements failed, they produced a rich scientific, cartographic, iconographic, and literary base that has shaped our imaginations of pre-colonial America from the sixteenth century to the present.

An exhibition of early maps of Virginia from the Library’s collections will be on display throughout the day. The lectures begin at 1:00 pm followed by book signings. Additional activities include map appraisals by Old World Auctions, map exhibition, book signings, and a workshop on “17th Century maps of Virginia and the Southeast” (reservation required). Box lunches are offered for advance purchase only. Hosted by the Fry-Jefferson Map Society and Semper Virginia Society of the LVA; free to members. Non-members $10. For more information contact Dawn Greggs at 804.692.3813 or at




Kroch Rare Book Library, Cornell University Library, 216 East Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850. Latitude: Persuasive Cartography from the PJ Mode Collection. Through 21 February 2020.



Long-time WMS member PJ Mode has donated his collection of Persuasive maps to Cornell University, his alma mater.  These “persuasive” maps are focused on shaping decisions and desired outcomes. They employ a variety of tools and strategies—unusual projections and coloring, selective inclusion, imaginative illustration, allegory, satire, and even intentional deception—to advance a particular cause or point of view. Spanning from the 18th century to the present, many of the maps on display illuminate historical perspectives on topics that still resonate today, such as immigration policy and political gerrymandering. Others seek to foster social change, promote products and places, or send warnings about imagined futures. From the past to the present, Latitude helps us understand how ideas and opinions are shaped by data visualization techniques. For more information:


Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Boston; America Transformed: Mapping the 19th Century - Part I (The U.S. Pushes Westward: Mapping America 1800-1862); May – December 2019. Part II (From Homesteads to Modern Cities, 1862-1900); November 2019 – May 2020.


During the 19th century, the U.S. expanded dramatically westward. Immigrant settlers rapidly spread across the continent and transformed it, often through violent or deceptive means, from ancestral Native lands and borderlands teeming with diverse communities to landscapes that fueled the rise of industrialized cities.


Historical maps, images and related objects tell the story of the sweeping changes made to the physical, cultural, and political landscape. Moving beyond the mythologized American frontier, this map exhibition explores the complexity of factors that shaped our country over the century.


Miami International Map Fair, 101 West Flagler Street, Miami, Florida; 13-15 March 2020.


This is the 27th Annual Miami International Map Fair and the event will be held again at HistoryMiami but on a new weekend due to the Superbowl being held in Miami in February 2020. This is truly one of the best map fairs in the world (likely THE best) and offers three days of events. It kicks off on Friday 13 March with a VIP preview sale and cocktail reception, which is only for those who registered for the full weekend. There will be over 30 map dealers from around the world exhibiting thousands of maps, atlases, globes, and prints, as well as a lecture series. For more information and registration, go to


More Opportunities:
Many more events are listed on the web site known simply as Cartography Calendars, operated for many years by WMS member John Docktor. Go to (note relatively new address) and select the page you wish to see, i.e., Calendar of Meetings and/or Calendar of Exhibitions.


Know someone who's not a member of WMS but should be? Share this copy of Latitudes with them, and steer them to



Cartographic Quotations

"Maps need not always serve a wholly geographical purpose. They may be literary, satirical, frivolous, or simply decorative. The fertile imagination of map-makers has contorted the countries of the world into human and animal shape, created allegorical lands of vice and virtue, and invented new realms for the characters of fiction to walk in."

Gillian Hill
from "Cartographical Curiosities"


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