Council of North American Map Societies

Meeting of May 21, 2010

 Members present:        John Docktor – President, Art Holtzheimer – Chicago MS, Les Trager – New York MS, Jeremy Pool – Boston MS, Jay Lester – William Cumming MS, Diane and Boone Powell – Texas MS, Tom Sander – Society of the History of Discoveries (“SHD”), Wes Brown – Rocky Mountain MS, Denis Gurtz – Washington MS.

John Docktor called the meeting to order.

Wes Brown reported that Rocky Mountain is planning a four day conference for late July 2012 in Denver. The title will be Mapping North American and the Westward Expansion. A two day lecture program will be hosted by the University of Denver on Thursday and Friday followed by a two day map fair at the Denver Public Library on Saturday and Sunday. There was interest in a reception at the DPL for their cartographic treasures and a Dinner on Friday night. It was thought that having Saturday night free would be a good idea. The Phillips Society would be invited to associate their annual away-from Washington meeting with the program. The other societies felt they could help with publicity.

Diane Powell reported that TMS (about 250 members) continues to follow the pattern of moving their spring meeting throughout the state and having their fall meeting at UTA. They have noted that Geography Departments at various universities have welcomed the opportunity to help host the spring meetings, most recently at UT Austin. This year’s fall meeting in Arlington, hosting the International Cartographic Association, will be a “cartographic orgy.” Texas has recently sent out a survey to their members seeking their preferences and aspirations with good response and put to good effect. Many volunteers emerged through the process. Texas is using a vendor to manage their registrations for annual meetings, including credit card processing, and now for managing the membership dues. The service is felt to be economical and very helpful. The name is At their semiannual meetings, Texas has begun a “Collectors Institute” with one program at each meeting, such as Map Conservation and Buying and Selling Through Auctions.

Jay Lester reported that the Cummings Society has an active email list of 175 which they are using to promote occasional meetings. They have established a Chapel Hill map site.

Jeremy Poole explained how Boston MS (150 members) had in the past operated relying on Harvard Map Department for most of its energy and resources. Last year’s retirement of David Cobb forced it to look to its membership for more leadership and administration. They have successfully made the transition resulting in a small renaissance yielding more active participation by its members than in the past. In the past academic year they had eight meetings including four lectures, two events, and two exhibits tours. They use snail mail for announcements together with email supplements.

Les Trager reported that New York MS has been meeting once a month taking the summers off. They have compiled a list of all the map dealers (both modern and antique) in the area also mentioning the Society. This list is handed out at the Map Room in the NYPL.

Art Holtzheimer reported that Chicago MS, the oldest map society, has nine meetings a year taking the summer off. They try to do a field trip once a year.

Dennis Gurtz reported that Washington MS has eight meetings a year with an attendance of aobut 40 t0 50 per meeting. There are 400 paying members; more than half are out of area including about 50 institutions that seem primarily interested in the journal. They recently hosted a booth at the American Association of Geographers conference with fliers and other promotions costing about $3,000 that yielded three new members.

Tom Sander, reporting for the SHD, spoke about SHD’s upcoming meeting in Santa Fe on September 12 through 14. He mentioned that the Society’s journal, “Terrae Incognitae” will now be published by Maney Publications, and it will be published twice yearly instead of once yearly.

The next meeting of CONAMS will be held during the Society for History of Discoveries conference in Santa Fe.

Recorded by Wes Brown, Secretary