Council of North American Map Societies

Minutes of meeting of February 8, 2014 in Miami


Attending: John Docktor, Jeremy Pool - Boston Map Society, Dennis Gurtz and Bronson Percival – Washington Map Society, Art Holzheimer – Chicago Map Society, Wes Brown – Rocky Mountain Map Society, Ray Wolf – Philadelphia Map Society, Richard Pflederer ­– Williamsburg Map Circle.



Art Holzheimer reported on Chicago. The have been attracting younger members lately and attendance has been up to an average of about 40 to 45 attendees per meeting. There are nine programs per year. Membership is around 150 members and nothing really new going on.


Ray Wolf reported on Philadelphia. Barbara Kaufman is their President. They meet as opportunities for speakers arise, amounting to four or five per year. They are working on a joint meeting with New York Map Society for a visit to Princeton. No dues are charged. When they have an event, they are averaging attendance of 50.


Dennis Gurtz reported on Washington Map Society. They have nine meetings per year, usually at the Library of Congress but most recently they met at the Folger Library. The Ostrich Egg Globe article, receiving worldwide attention, was a great hit that brought much interest to the society. Tom Sander went into overdrive mode fielding enquires and garnered much attention for the Society. Membership is a little more than 400. Attendance at meetings has been rising to about 45 to 50 with the efforts of Ralph Ehrenberg. Many new members have been joining.


Dick Pflederer reported on the Williamsburg Map Circle. The Society was founded four years ago. They have 100 persons on the distribution list and get 35 to 40 at meetings, or which there are about five per year. Bill Woolridge is the program Chair. Dick has brought in several other officers. They do not charge dues; rather, they periodically ask for donations which have been sufficient to date. They don’t have a physical home and all communications are by email. They also occasionally have a field trip.


Jeremy Pool represented Boston Map Society that he says has been struggling for participation at meetings with attendance at meetings now down to 15 to 25. But their membership has been holding steady. One of their members, Michael Blanding, is coming out with a book on the Smiley affair and will be providing a program on this in the Fall. Their meetings have been generally at the Boston Public Library and they have had considerable cooperation from Ron Grim and the Leventhal Map Center of the BPL. Fortunately their finances are strong and dues are sufficient.


Wes Brown reported on Rocky Mountain Map Society. They have 100 paid members and about eight meetings a year, usually a home tour and reception once a summer, an annual field trip, and the rest are an evening lecture at the Denver Public Library. Meetings have attendance of about 40. There are two new initiatives for this year. In cooperation with the DPL, they are initiating Map Month during May of 2014. They will have no meeting in April or June but have four evening meetings, on the same night and time each week in May, with some good publicity with assistance from the Denver Public Library. In addition to the lecture, four local map dealers will each set up a table of items for sale from 5:00 to 6:00 PM in a large room outside the lecture hall, than the program will occur from 6:00 to 7:00 PM, followed by a reception among the map sellers. This year’s program features four strong local experts on various map subjects. RMMS is already planning the Map Month for 2015 that will be focused on 20th Century Mapping and will have related exhibits at both the University of Denver and the DPL. The other new initiative is Young Scholars Lecture in which one fall program each year will be devoted to a lecture by a young scholar, selected under a set of guidelines. The speakers will be selected nationally based on the observations of RMMS members attending other conferences, such as the Society for the History of Discoveries, and seeking to identify the best speakers. The emphasis of this award is not to find the best paper, of which there are already several awards established, but to honor the person who can best communicate at the podium. An honorarium will be paid.


Wes Brown, Secretary