The Brussels Map Circle

Home → Events


Access to archives

Oxford, UK
Organisation: Bodleian Libraries
A lecture by Nick Millea, Map Librarian, Bodleian Libraries.
In this talk, Nick Millea, Bodleian Map Librarian, will navigate through some of the highlights of Talking Maps and the rationale behind the exhibition – from early planning meetings to narrowing down the field of exhibits, and focusing on a strong theme. Nick will show how Talking Maps leads audiences away from their cartographic comfort zones and encourages them to explore maps from the afterlife to the Twittersphere.
Nick will be signing copies of Talking Maps¸ the exhibition’s richly illustrated companion catalogue, after the talk. There will also be an exclusive display of maps from the Bodleian’s collections, including:
  • Ambridge – an imaginary landscape familiar to many – does the map match the listener’s interpretation?
  • Thomas the Tank Engine – putting the Reverend Awdry’s tales into a cartographic context – how does the Isle of Sodor relate to reality?
  • A selection of 1940s air photo mosaics – now you see it, now you don’t … literally!
  • Hoggar’s 1850 map of Oxford – a huge colourful masterpiece – too large to display.
  • OS mapping of Cutteslowe – how can something hugely significant seem so insignificant when mapped?
  • Plus many more!
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Weston Library
Time schedule: 13.00 - 14.00

Zurich and St. Gallen, Switzerland
Organisation: International Coronelli Society for the Study of Globes in cooperation with the Schweizerisches Nationalmuseum (Swiss National Museum), the Stiftsbibliothek St. Gallen (library of the abbey of St Gallen) and the Zentralbibliothek Zürich Chris Chris 10:3
The 14th Symposium of the International Coronelli Society for the Study of Globes will take place from 2 to 5 October 2019 in cooperation with the Swiss National Museum, the Abbey Library of St. Gallen and the Zurich Central Library in the National Museum Zurich.
For the first time, the International Coronelli Society for the Study of Globes is organizing a conference on globe studies in Switzerland. The conference venue is the new auditorium of the Landesmuseum Zürich (National Museum Zurich). Along with St. Gallen, the city of Zurich surprises with a few still relatively unknown objects of significance for globe research and/or the history of technology. The venue is located opposite the central railway station, near the historical old city. The transport hub has good links to international networks, with the airport conveniently reachable by train in fifteen minutes.
In addition to the Schweizerisches Nationalmuseum (Swiss National Museum) and the Zentralbibliothek Zürich (Central Library – the cantonal, city and university library of Zurich), the Stiftsbibliothek St. Gallen (Abbey Library of St. Gallen) has also been involved in organizing the conference. All three institutions have interesting objects that will be presented to conference participants during exclusive tours: the St. Gallen Globe (1576), a celestial globe by Jost Bürgi (1594) from St. Gallen, and a globe-goblet by Abraham Gessner (after 1600) from Zurich at the National Museum. The replica of the St. Gallen Globe (2009), which was produced following the ten-year-long dispute about cultural goods between St. Gallen and Zurich, will be shown along with the famous plan of the abbey in St. Gallen (c. 825) during an excursion to the Abbey District in St. Gallen (UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site).
During the conference, the Zurich Central Library is presenting the special exhibition Kosmos in der Kammer, in which the production of globes in the sixteenth century is interpreted as the essence of stately art chamber collections. Central to the exhibition are a newly discovered pair of Mercator globes (1541/1551), a three-meter-high long-case astronomical clock from 1648 (heliocentric) by Michael Zingg from Zurich, a sundial ‘camouflaged’ as a signet ring of 1525, which belonged to the reformer Heinrich Bullinger, and another globe-goblet by Abraham Gessner (c. 1600).
Preliminary program
  • 2 October: registration 'Early Birds', guided tour through Zurich, informal gathering in the restaurant Commihalle, Stampfenbachstrasse 8 (near National Museum, each person pays for him- or herself)
  • 3 October: papers globe related guided tour through the permanent exhibition of the National Museum Zurich (exclusive preview of the newly designed exhibition area) visit to the exhibition Kosmos in der Kammer in the Zurich Central Library
  • 4 October: papers visit to the exhibition World Picture / Welt-Bild at the ETH Zurich symposium dinner
  • 5 October: trip to St. Gallen, visit to the St. Gallen globe (replica) and the famous St Gall Abbey plan in the abbey library
Language: German and English (no dubbing)
Telephone: +43 1 53410 / 298

Philadelphia, USA
Organisation: The American Philosophical Society Library
An international and interdisciplinary conference investigating the power of maps and the politics of drawing borders.
This three-day conference will be held in conjunction with the APS Museum’s exhibit, Mapping a Nation: Shaping the Early American Republic, which traces the creation and use of maps from the mid-eighteenth century through the early republic to show the different ways in which maps produced and extended the physical, political, and ideological boundaries of the new nation while creating and reinforcing structural inequalities.
While the exhibit and conference are focused in particular on the early American republic, it will include topics like:
  • The forms of power expressed by maps and through the process of mapmaking in the Atlantic World
  • The politics of borders as symbols of conflict, contestation, negotiation, and peace during the American Revolution
  • The role of maps in state-building efforts and in constructing a sense of nationhood during the early national period, while also serving as a means of disempowerment and exclusion
  • The varied uses of maps as diplomatic tools, as legal documents, as works of art, as assertions of sovereignty, and in other ways during the Age of Atlantic Revolutions
  • The different forms of cartographic knowledge that existed in colonial and revolutionary North America
  • The labor, skills, technologies, and publications used in the creation and dissemination of maps in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
  • The various ways maps were read in the early republic and are interpreted today by scholars and others
  • The role of maps and other cartographic tools in enabling or hindering scientific expeditions, and the ways in which new scientific thinking shaped maps and mapmaking in the Enlightenment.

Valetta, Malta
Organisation: Malta Map Society
The landmark event will be held in the historic and recently-renovated De Paule Room at the beautiful Presidential Palace in San Anton Gardens and invitations are being sent by the President himself.
Speakers at the conference will be Dr Albert Ganado who will talk on The birth of a Malta Map collection; Prof. William Zammit on Malta-Related Maps and Plans at the Gennadius Library, Athens, Dr Alexander Kent and Dr John Davies on The Secret Soviet mapping of Malta during the Cold War; Prof. John A. Schembri on Sketches of villages in Malta and Gozo in 1907; Dr Ritienne Gauci and Ms Sara Jane Bezzina on Cartographic expression of young children's spatial skills; Dr Almudena Arellano on From Ghar Dalam to Pendimoun. Mediterranean itinerary; Mr Joseph Schirò on A bird's-eye view of the village of Ħal-Muxi by Lorenzo Cafà? and Ms Roberta Cruciata on The Maltese workshop of the Gili. From the Commissions for the Knights of Ursulo to the Malta Map of Aroisio.
Four foreign speakers will be participating. These are Dr. Almudena Arellano Alonso who will talk about cartography in pre-history. She will be travelling specialty from the Balzi Rossi (Red Rocks) site, Italy, one of the most important pre-historic sites in the world, where she is Superintendent. Dr Alex Kent who is a Reader in Cartography and Geographic Information Science at Canterbury Christ Church University, together with Dr John Davies who is a life-long map collector and enthusiast. And finally Dr Roberta Cruciata who is a Lecturer of Museology and Management of Museum Heritage at the University of Palermo.
The Malta Map Society was founded by Dr Albert Ganado, the 96-year-old President of the Society, and is known for its scholarly works on many aspects of Maltese Cartography. These last ten years, the Map Society has organized several activities including the very successful International Map Collectors' Society (IMCoS) Symposium which was held in Malta in 2011.
Venue: Presidential Palace in San Anton Gardens, Malta
Contact: Rod Lyon
Brussels Map Circle event

Tervuren, Belgium
Organisation: The Brussels Map Circle
Final programme
  • 10.00 – 10.30 - Welcome visitors with coffee
  • 10.30 – 10.45 - Absurd Mistakes and Blunders … by Prof. Dr. Imre Demhardt
    Although the ancient Mediterranean cultures knew the northern edge of Africa and the Portuguese uncovered its coastal outlines in the fifteenth century, the geography and history of the hinterlands remained rumoured about but seriously explored only since the late eighteenth century. After sketching the physical geography and introducing to post-discovery history of the African landscape, the presentation will focus on the colonial partition and drawing of boundary lines in the nineteenth century, the pivotal period to the modern map of the continent.
  • 10.45 – 11.00 - A Short Overview of Printed Maps of Africa from 1501 to 1800 by Prof. Em. Elri Liebenberg
    Ever since the Portuguese rounded the Cape of Good Hope and reached India in 1498 the map of Africa has undergone various changes. The first map of the continent which represented the shape of Africa reasonably correct was the Cantino Planisphere of 1502. This presentation will give a short overview of printed maps of Africa from 1501 to 1800 by referring to three of the six key characteristics Richard Betz mentions in his seminal book entitled The Mapping of Africa (2007):
    • the depiction of the shape of the continent
    • information on the hydrography (the lakes and river systems)
    • the depiction of mountain ranges
    Following Betz, these characteristics will be used to identify specific landmark maps which served as basic models for numerous maps of Africa by other and later cartographers well into the seventeenth century and beyond.
  • 11.00 - 11.15 - Questions and answers ans short break
  • 11.15 – 11.45 - Sisyphus in the Desert: The Strange Story of the Unfinished Map Series of German South West Africa, 1892-1918 by Prof. Dr. Imre Demhardt
    It was not before the second half of the nineteenth century that serious commercial and missionary interest for South West Africa took off. These explorations resulted in route and basic overview maps of a rugged and, for the most part, only sparsely populated region. The need for more detailed mapping arose with the Scramble for Africa, when German merchant Adolf Lüderitz in 1883 bought Angra Pequena, one of only two natural harbours on that coast. Along with subsequent acquisitions this nucleus was declared the Protectorate of German South West Africa, the first and soon most important German colony in Africa. After establishing the boundaries and succeeding in pacifying the indigenous communities, colonial penetration and valorisation was only possible based on topographical knowledge. The presentation will introduce highlights from the most active period in cartographic coverage of southwestern Africa, but also try to explain why the famed Preußische Landesaufnahme [Prussian Survey] failed to conclude any but one (large scale) series – and why this torso still was unsurpassed until the 1970s …
  • 11.45 – 12.15 - The Cartography of the South African Diamond Fields, 1871 to 1876 by Prof. Em. Elri Liebenberg
    It has long been known that South Africa is a leading producer of high-quality gem diamonds and that diamonds have played an important role in the history of the country. This presentation will deal with the cartography involved in the struggle for the possession of the diamond fields and how a doctored map was used by the British Government to expropriate the diamond fields from the legitimate ownership of the Orange Free State in 1873 and to annex the area then called Griqualand West as British territory. Attention will also be given to the territorial disputes which continued and the eventual settlement with the Free State of 1876.
  • 12.15 - 12.30 - Questions and answers
  • 12.30 – 14.30 - Lunch in the Museum Bistro (optional and paying; EUR 52.00 for a three course menu with drinks; to be paid on site)
  • 14.30 – 17.00 - Exploring Africa with Ancient Maps. In the afternoon, a selection of maps from the collection of the Museum will be presented by Wulf Bodenstein, volunteer curator of this collection, author of Exploring Africa with Ancient Maps, (2017 – also available in French and Dutch translations) and founder of the Brussels Map Circle. This viewing of the maps will take place in alternating groups, to ensure good visibility of the maps to all. While waiting their turn to see the maps, participants are free to visit the newly refurbished museum at their leisure as they will be given a free entrance ticket for the museum for the day. Beside the two famous wall maps of the Belgian Congo, they can discover some of its 27 collections covering various facets of Central Africa, from pre-history until current day life: ethnography, history, art, religion and traditions, landscape and biodiversity, mineralogy, music, etc.
Participation fee
Free for Members.
Accompanying persons and non-Members are invited to pay EUR 20.00 on our bank account IBAN BE52 0682 4754 2209 | BIC: GKCCBEBB and to mention in the bank transfer 'Tervuren 2019' and the name of the person.
Useful links Registration
If you would like to join this event please register here.
Venue: Royal Museum for Central Africa / AfricaMuseum, Leuvensesteenweg 13, 3080 Tervuren, Belgium
Time schedule: 10.00 - 17.00

Barcelona, Spain
Organisation: Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya
El mapa como elemento de conexión cultural entre América y Europa
Se pretende abordar la historia de la cartografía iberoamericana, entendiendo el mapa como un elemento de conexión cultural entre América y Europa. Los mapas coloniales, los mapas de las expediciones científicas o los mapas de los territorios independientes comparten historia, técnica y usos. En el simposio proponemos analizar estos hilos que tejen una historia común de la cartografía iberoamericana:
  • De la cartografía colonial a la cartografía científica: el mapa como demostración de apropiación territorial.
  • Las aportaciones autóctonas al conocimiento geográfico del territorio americano y su plasmación en la cartografía.
  • Los mapas misionales entre la subordinación colonial, la obediencia eclesiástica y el descubrimiento del territorio.
  • Modelos, influencias y diferencias en la cartografía urbana a ambos lados del Atlántico.
  • La imagen de América en la cartografía publicada en Europa y la imagen de Europa en la cartografía publicada en América.
  • La influencia del uso de las tecnologías en el estudio de los mapas antiguos: de la accesibilidad de los catálogos a la georreferenciación y vectorización de mapas.

Los idiomas oficiales del Simposio son el castellano y el portugués.

Istanbul, Turkey
Organisation: The ICA Commission on the History of Cartography and the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) – Department Istanbul
The symposium is open to everyone with an interest in the cartography of the (former) Ottoman countries during, but not limited to, the 16th to 20th centuries.
The symposium will focus on two main themes:
  1. Cartography of the Ottoman Countries in Europe, Asia and Africa
    • Ottoman cartography (maps and charts, city and cadastral plans, thematic maps)
    • Foreign cartography of Ottoman countries
    • Geodesy and surveying methods developed under Ottoman rule and by foreign cartographers working in these areas
    • The impact of the military on the development of cartography
    • Cartographic collections in the former Ottoman countries and around the world
  2. Mapping Archaeological Sites, Landscapes and Excavations in the Ottoman Empire in the 19th and 20th Centuries
    • Technical and conceptual development of archaeological cartography, from the earliest site plans to the introduction of GIS and 3D reconstructions
    • Dichotomy between accurate cartographic representation and archaeological interpretation when mapping manmade artefacts, features and landscapes
    • Relationship between cartography, archaeology and the military
Venue: Library of the DAI, located in the heart of Istanbul, next to Taksim Square

Bucharest, Romania
The International Conference on the History of Cartography will be organised in Bucharest from 4 – 9 July 2021
The International Conference on the History of Cartography (ICHC) is the only scholarly conference solely dedicated to advancing knowledge of the history of maps and mapmaking, regardless of geographical region, language, period or topic.
The conference promotes free and unfettered global cooperation and collaboration among cartographic scholars from any academic discipline, curators, collectors, dealers and institutions through illustrated lectures, presentations, exhibitions, and a social programme. In order to expand awareness of issues and resources, each conference is sponsored by leading educational and cultural institutions.
Venue: Central University Library ”Carol I”, Bucharest