Council of North American Map Societies

Minutes of meeting of November 1, 2013 in Miami


Attending: John Docktor, Jeremy Pool - Boston Map Society, J.C. McElveen – Washington Map Society, Art Holzheimer – Chicago Map Society, Ralph Ehrenberg – Phillips Society, Dianne Powell – Texas Map Society, Wes Brown – Rocky Mountain Map Society, Ray Wolf – Philadelphia Map Society.


Dianne Powell reported that Texas will have its Spring meeting on April 4th and 5th at Baylor University, a one-day meeting plus evening reception focusing on a variety of Texas mapping subjects. The fall meeting will be joint with the Rocky Mountain Map Society and is scheduled for a two-day conference on Thursday and Friday, October 16th and 17th, and a two-day map fair on Saturday and Sunday the 18th and 19th. The focus will be Mapping Manifest Destiny in the West and Southwest from 1816 to 1865.The Civil War will be a big topic for the program. The conference will be at UT Arlington and the map fair in Dallas.


Ralph Ehrenberg reported the upcoming two day conference at the Library of Congress will be on May 15th and 16th titled From Terra to Terabytes: the History of 20th Century Cartography and Beyond. The Division has had considerable success with newsletters and has a number of Occasional Papers pending publications. Membership is stable as is the Steering Committee. The LC has purchased the Albrecht Durer star chart of 1516, a part of the original Schoner Sammelband, and recently obtained two huge and important sets of maps: the Iran digital mapping set on a scale of 1:25,000 involving 7,000 sheets and a China modern set on a scale of 1:200,000 involving 1,156 sheets.


Jeremy Pool reported that the Boston MS has a membership of about 120, down a bit, and has six to eight events a year, several of them associated with Harvard University. A recent exhibit on Arctic maps led to a strong turnout for a related program by the Society. A table maintained at the Miami Map Fair has gained a few members. He reported they have teamed with the Leventhal Center at the Boston Public Library for several events a year. There is about one field trip per year and they put out one or two small newsletters per year.


Ray Wolf reported that Philadelphia Map Society continues to benefit from Barbara Kaufman as President. They meet approximately every other month and have no membership dues, simply meeting announcements. They typically get from 20 to 50 attendees. On March 29, 2014, there will be a special program at Bartram’s Gardens.


Art Holzheimer reported that the Chicago Map Society maintains about 130 members with an average attendance of 40 at meetings. They have eight meetings a year, all at the Newberry Library with an occasional field trip. They held the first International Map Fair in late September that was an overall success with 27 dealers. The meeting was produced by a prominent antique book dealer with little involvement (or acceptance of suggestions) from the Chicago Map Society. Attendance was well below projection but this was thought to be due to a lack of general local advertising. In contrast advertising through CONAMS to the map society world was strong. Dealers expressed willingness to give it another try next year.


Wes Brown reported that all is well at Rocky Mountain Map Society with paid membership stable at about 95 and an active program. A special program will be tried this coming year, “Map Month”, being a series of evening lectures, one each Tuesday night for four weeks with special publicity by the Denver Public Library. There will be no programs in March or May. The local map dealers, perhaps three, will be invited to come and set up tables of merchandise outside the lecture hall (at no cost to them) and simple beverages such as wine and beer will be served. This is the brain child of Chris Lane of Philadelphia Print Shop who runs the Denver store and has been a great boost to the local map community.


J.C. McElveen described the happenings at the Washington Map Society. The Portolan journal continues to be the biggest draw for membership. There has been great energy placed on improving the website and they are beginning to get a large number of hits on this. The Ostrich Egg Globe article has been a huge hit for them, creating great publicity actually resulting in a few new members. Membership is about 400. They continue to have eight meetings a year at the Library of Congress and coordinate their annual dinner in May with the LC’s annual conference.


After the reports, several general ideas were discussed including the following:


Dianne Powell suggested an interesting idea, Texas Map Society’s occasional use of National Endowment for the Humanities mini-grants of about $1,500 to bring in a speaker. The application was on a state-by state basis to local boards and suggested other map societies try this. She reports once you learn to make the application, it is not so cumbersome.


Wes Brown observed that, by his count, there were seven attendees at the SHD Conference this year under the age of 50, and of these, six were women. Rocky Mountain Map Soc. has also noticed more women members. He argued it would be wise for each society to acknowledge this trend and embrace it, in their program speakers and officers.


Wes also promoted the idea of alerting other map societies to great speakers that they have had, as many speakers are happy to travel far and wide to give speeches they have worked hard to prepare.


John Docktor reported the URL for the Map History Directory Site is:


Wes Brown, Secretary