Council of North American Map Societies

Minutes of meeting of February 2, 2013 in Miami


Attending: Jeremy Pool - Boston Map Society, Dennis Gurtz - Washington Map Society, J.C. McElveen – Washington Map Society, Art Holzheimer – Chicago Map Society, Tom Sander – Soc. for the History of Discoveries, Imre Demhardt – Texas Map Society and Society for the History of Discoveries, Wes Brown – Rocky Mountain Map Society, Dick Pflederer – Williamsburg Map Circle, Ray Wolf – Philadelphia Map Society.



The meeting was called to order by Secretary Wes Brown. The first order of business was a continuation of the discussion, first proposed by Imre Demhardt, to create an active web-directory of members of the North American map societies and additional map scholars; a tool enabling networking initiatives. Following the July 2012 meeting, the Library of Congress and Phillips Society was approached as a possible host and has declined due to a variety of privacy and other issues. Matthew Edney reports doing preliminary work on such a site utilizing wiki and is investigating the correct map body to associate with. The general feeling was that few of the members of most map societies would participate in such a site. Although each society had dedicated researchers or collectors that might desire this, they might fulfill their needs utilizing either Matthew’s site, possibly associated with Imago Mundi, or the ever expanding web-based member director of the Washington Map Society; noting WMS currently has broad national involvement by serious map enthusiasts owing to its outstanding Portolan Journal. The conclusion was not to support the creation of such a site to be associated with CONAMS. Rather the group believed that CONAMS primary role would be to help publicize and even promote such a site to its members, when established by another entity.


The group went around the table giving a status report of their local society, passing along new ideas, and identifying ways to cooperate. Primarily new information is presented below as many of the reports were generally status quo.


Jeremy Pool reports that Boston MS, is still having about eight events per year. Jeremy is currently serving as President. They meet at the Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library typically having 30 to 50 attendees per meeting. They have done several joint events with Harvard.


Dick Pflederer reports that the Williamsburg Map Circle has been meeting for three and one-half years, has grown its mailing list to 65 persons, although it has never charged membership. It has now become more formal with four officers and has started collecting annual dues of $25 for an individual. It has been holding about eight or nine meetings a year in rented facilities.


Ray Wolf reported that the Philadelphia MS is in its second year of existence. The mailing list has grown to close to 50 persons. No dues are collected and so far expenses have been nominal. They are currently having meetings every other month.  It meets at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania Building with a couple dozen attendees on average. It was organized by Barbara Drebing.


JC McElveen, President, reported that the Washington MS is very energized having eight or nine meetings a year. They have an active and growing FaceBook membership. They currently have 400 members, many of whom are attracted to receiving the Portolan Journal. The principal current initiative is a major updating of their website.


Imre Demhardt reported that Texas Map Society has elected recently-retired Gerald Saxon, as the new President. They are continuing with spring and fall meetings, generally the first weekend in April and October, but for various reasons, meeting dates will occasionally vary.


Dr. Demhardt also reported on SHD’s much anticipated coming conference in Tampa Bay on October 31st to November 2nd. The following year’s meeting will be in Austin Texas.


Arthur Holzheimer reported that the Chicago MS is holding steady at 150 members. They have been having about 35+ attendees at meetings and recently they’ve had more young members.


Wes Brown reported that Rocky Mountain MS continues modest growth and after the annual purging of unpaid members was at 102 this year for the first time crossing 100. Following its big conference and map fair in 2012, this year will be back to usual of about nine meetings a year. Brown described the success that RMMS has had using local map experts and past speeches given to the society to create a six-week seminar for a local adult-learning school. This is a form of outreach, educating about maps and brings in a few more serious enthusiasts.


It was reported that there was an effort to rekindle a map society in Edmonton Alberta.


A general restlessness overcame the members who wanted to bring the meeting to a quick close and rush back into the Map Fair looking for bargains. The presiding Chair happily complied.


Wes Brown, Secretary