Latitudes January 2020

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Map Society


January 2020


"A map of General Washington's farm of Mount Vernon from a drawing transmitted by the General" Image courtesy of Library of Congress




We had a great response to our special WMS visit of Mount Vernon and the library tour is currently FULL, however we still have space for a couple more guests for the buffet lunch at Mount Vernon Inn (1 January 2020, 12:30 - 2:00 PM). To register for the Buffet lunch ONLY, please contact Eliane Dotson at and indicate the name(s) of the attendee(s). To pay by check, please make the check payable for $24/person to Washington Map Society and mail to Peter Porrazzo, WMS Treasurer, 1924 Tysons Trace Dr, Vienna, VA 22182. If you would like to pay by PayPal or credit card, please indicate that in your registration email to Eliane and she will send you instructions. Please note that there is a $1 service fee for paying by PayPal or credit card.

Details on directions and parking will be sent to all registered attendees in the next few days.




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.




  • 30 April 2020 – Andrew Rhodes, winner of the Dr. Walter W. Ristow Prize, Thinking in Space: The Case of Franklin D Roosevelt
  • 15 May 2020 – Washington Map Society 41st Annual Dinner, featuring guest speaker Dr. Larry Tise, co-author of Theodore de Bry—America: The Complete Plates from 1590-1602



Welcome to our newest WMS members:
Gale Kaufmann
Robert Mannering
Kent Mathewson





You can consult the WMS website for all sorts of useful information, such as:
Meeting Schedule and Information:
Videos of past presentations for members:
Copies of all past issues of The Portolan, including High Resolution editions for the past 39 issues:





There is a new international research collaboration project that will culminate in the publication of a 6-volume Cultural History of Exploration in 2023 (under contract, Bloomsbury). Edited by Prof. Lauren Beck (Mount Allison University, Canada) and Prof. Fabio López Lázaro (University of Hawaii, U.S.A.), this series critically approaches exploration history’s key and emerging themes across the world, from antiquity to today. A workshop has been scheduled for November 2020 at University College Dublin for all those interested in participating in this project. This workshop will bring together the 40-50 authors and volume editors for an intensive scholarly workshop dedicated to the collaboration's themes. For more information, please contact the series editors: and




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:


S.T. Lee Gallery, Weston Library, Oxford University, UK.  Talking Maps.


The Bodleian Libraries’ summer 2019 exhibition is a celebration of maps and the stories they tell. Drawing on the Bodleian’s unparalleled map collection, Talking Maps brings together an extraordinary collection of


ancient, pre-modern and contemporary maps in a range of media as well as showcasing fascinating imaginary, fictional and war maps. The exhibition will explore how maps are neither transparent objects of scientific communication, nor baleful tools of ideology, but rather proposals about the world that help people to understand who they are by describing where they are. Highlights on show include the Gough Map, the earliest surviving map showing Great Britain in a recognizable form, the Selden Map, a late Ming map of the South China Sea, and fictional maps by CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. July 2019 - February 2020.


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

"Whether made for military strategy or urban reform, to encourage settlement or to investigate disease, maps both reflect and mediate change. They record efforts to make sense of the world in physical terms. They capture what people knew, what they thought they knew, what they hoped for, and what they feared. They invest information with meaning by translating it into visual form, and in so doing reveal decisions about how the world ought to be seen. Above all, they demonstrate that the past was not just a chronological story but a spatial one as well."

Susan Schulten
from "A History of America in 100 Maps"


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