In Memory

Thomas Goodrich

Thomas D. Goodrich   (1927 – 2015)

Dr. Thomas D. Goodrich, longtime member of the Washington Map Society, died on November 5, 2015.

He provided the following Spotlight for issue 55 (Winter 2002) of The Portolan:

THOMAS GOODRICHCartographic interests: Ottoman and Islamic maps, and maps of the Ottoman Empire.  Professional background: BA, history, University of California, 1952; MA, social studies, 1953, Middle East certificate and Ph.D. in history, Columbia University, 1968. Professor of history at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 1967-94. Research interests and publications in Ottoman knowledge of America and Europe and also Ottoman maps. Published one article in The Portolan: "Ottoman Portolans and Maritime Maps," 1986, that resulted from a talk I gave to the Washington Map Society.  Comments: Maps of all kinds have been a pleasure since childhood. While preparing my dissertation I became involved in sixteenth-century maps both Ottoman and European. The interest was later intensified after finding two of the three known Ottoman maritime manuscript atlases of that century. In retirement I have continued study and publishing on that topic. Most recent cartographic find was a three-volume manuscript atlas of 1635 by Jean Guérard hidden in two Istanbul libraries. It is always exciting to find such lovely maps, to identify them, and to put them together.

Among his many writings was The Ottoman Turks and the New World: A Study of Tarih-i Hind-i Garbi and Sixteenth Century Ottoman Americana. Wiesbaden: Otto Harassowitz, 1990.

Bert Johnson commented that Tom “was a foremost academic expert on the history of the Ottoman period, including maps of that period.  He led a full and for the most part happy life and left behind him a body of research, many friends, and a robust family. I consulted him a number of times and really enjoyed those conversations.  Details are available in the obituary, for which see link at,23091664/  (Click on “print” to read the newspaper’s obituary.)(PS:  The "Indiana" in the newspaper name "Indiana Gazette" is a town in Pennsylvania.).   I posted the news of Dr. Goodrich's death on the WMS FaceBook page.  Within minutes I had a reply from Ruth Watson, Professor of Art at the University of New Zealand in Auckland.  Ruth was our Ristow winner in 2005 and we still visit at ICHCs. She also belongs to the WMS FB page.  Ruth said how sorry she was to hear the news and what a lovely person Tom had been, and how helpful.   Ruth had a passion for cordiform maps (her Ristow Prize paper was on the cordiform maps of Oronce Fine) and she had consulted Tom on a famous (or infamous) one known as the Cordiform Map of Hajji Ahmed. They had met at various ICHCs and stayed in touch over the years.  They were still in contact, discussing some translation questions on a project Ruth is working on.”

The UDaily of the University of Delaware on Jan. 22, 2013 reported that “Thomas Goodrich, currently an instructor at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware in Wilmington, was recently honored by having two volumes of the Journal of Ottoman Studies dedicated to him. Goodrich, who taught at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for many years, was a pioneer of the field of Ottoman studies in the United States.  The journal’s guest editors noted, “…the study of Ottoman maps, travelogues, and cosmological works is simply unimaginable without the groundbreaking works of Prof. Goodrich,” and many of the field’s current “hot topics” were touched upon by him.”  See

For samples of his writings, see and