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Last month Caroline De Candt stepped down from the presidency of the Brussels Map Circle. The Circle's Executive Committee elected Wouter Bracke as her successor. Wouter Bracke is curator of cartographic collections in the Royal Library of Belgium (KBR). He has been involved in the Circle's activities for many years. The January 2021 issue of Maps in History, the Circle's magazine, will offer an overview of the achievements of Caroline's presidency. We all look forward to an opportunity to express our thanks to her, face to face, glass in hand!

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  • Pictures at an exhibition
    • Naples the Noble City and its Kingdom: Geographic Maps, Plans and Views During the Renaissance
  • Looks at Books
    • Sailing across the World’s Oceans - History & Catalogue of Dutch Charts Printed on Vellum
    • Cartography and Empire: The Padrón Real and the Depiction of the New World
  • History and Cartography
    • Berghaus’ Map of Syria of 1835, a new step in cartography
    • Soap atlases of the world (ca 1914 - 1919)
    • The Carte di Castello and their significance for cartography
    • ISHMap Virtual Symposium 2020
    • An unrecorded Atlas of Battista Agnese identified in a Polish Library
    • A 17th-century cartographic curio?
  • The Brussels Map Circle
    • Annual General Meeting
    • Joint Cartography Conference in Venice cancelled
  • News
    • Malta's Map Society 10th anniversary

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The Bibliothèque historique de l'Hôtel de Ville (BHDV) in Paris has endeavoured from its very beginnings to offer researchers and enthusiasts the richest and most varied collection of plans. Plans of the city as a whole, of neighbourhoods, streets or plots: the city had to be covered to the smallest possible scale, over the longest possible chronological span. The collection also had to cover the surroundings of Paris, as its territory could not be dissociated from that of the rest of the Île-de-France region.
A long article by Juliette Jestaz published in L'Échaugette, a publication of the Bibliothèque, and available here.
The Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris is located 24 rue Pavée, 75004 Paris.
Web site:
Link to his inventory: a href="

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  • Exploration History Scholarship: An “Untamable Beast” by Richard Weiner
  • The Founders of the SHD and a Special Member: Biographies: Thomas (Thom) Goldstein by Carol Urness, John (Jack) Parker by Carol Urness with help from Sarah Parker, Vsevolod (Steve) Slessarev by Carol Urness, Barbara Backus McCorkle by Ed Dahl.
  • A Brief History of the Society for the History of Discoveries on the Occasion of its Sixtieth Anniversary by Mirela Altić
  • Some Reflections on Terrae Incognitae to Mark its Fiftieth Anniversary by David Buisseret
  • The Map of the Yurumanguí Indians. Charting the Erasure of the Pacific Lowlands’ Indigenous Inhabitants, 1742-1780 by Juliet Wiersema. The little-known map of the Yurumanguí Indians, created in the late colonial period, preserves information about a remote gold mining region in New Granada. This essay represents the first attempt to link this map to the previously known and partially published Misioneros de Yurumanguí case file, which documents the discovery, attempted reducción, and ultimate erasure of the indigenous inhabitants living along the Naya and Yurumanguí rivers in Colombia’s Pacific Lowlands between 1742-1780. Reconnecting this map to the documents that once accompanied it makes it possible to ascribe a date and an author to the map, as well as link the map to scholarship on the Yurumanguí Indians. An examination of map and case file highlights failed attempts to implement Bourbon reforms in New Granada’s periphery, illuminating competing interests among miners, Franciscans, and colonial authorities, and suggesting that peripheral areas did not always equate to peripheral players or peripheral stakes.
  • Creating “Discovery”: The Myth of Columbus, 1777–1828” by Matthew H. Edney. The modern concept of “discovery” was the creation of the “second scientific revolution” in the decades to either side of 1800. The wholesale reconfiguration of knowledge practices emphasized the Romantic figure of the lone, daring adventurer who could interrogate the dynamic and ever-shifting world to discern new truths. “Discovery” was transformed from an act of investigation into an act laden with social and cultural significance, not least of Western intellectual superiority. The new conception was formulated through Anglophone reinterpretations of Columbus, within a stadial philosophy of history, as a heroic man of science, from William Robertson’s History of America (1777) to Washington Irving’s History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1828). The new concept of “discovery” further required historical assessment and validation, giving rise to the new scholarly formation of “the history of discoveries.”
  • “Merchants, Monarchs and Sixteenth-Century Atlantic Exploration: New Insight into Henry VIII's Planned Voyage of 1521” by Lydia Towns. In 1521 Henry VIII of England and Cardinal Wolsey requested the Worshipful Company of Drapers and other London guilds to assistance in a westward voyage. After the Drapers’ repeated refusal to contribute the requested assistance the expedition was canceled. Previous scholarship points to the failure of this expedition as an indicator that Henry VIII was uninterested in exploration. However, by revisiting the details of this expedition, this article argues that this expedition reveals Henry’s active interest in the Atlantic world and deepens our understanding of Henry and sixteenth century exploration. Henry’s Atlantic forays, whether realized or not, highlight a much more well-rounded and strategic monarch than past narratives have led us towards. Revisiting the failed expeditions of the early sixteenth century, as exemplified by the voyage of 1521, adds greater depth to our understanding of Atlantic exploration, sixteenth century monarchical goals, and the attitudes of the guilds toward exploration.
  • Recent Literature in Discovery History by Austin Miller and Richard Weiner

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During the opening weekend on 19 and 20 September 2020, you will have the opportunity to be one of the very first visitors to discover the KBR museum. Discover its unique and fascinating collection of manuscripts: the Library of the Dukes of Burgundy.
Read more.

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We forward you the below message from the Commission Chair Imre Demhardt.
Dear Colleagues,
The international situation of Covid-19 remains fluid and the ICA Commission on the History of Cartography sincerely hopes that all its members are making it safely through these challenging times.
While it is still not possible to reschedule our 8th International Symposium (, which was due to be held in Istanbul back in April, a pre-proceedings volume is planned to bridge the gap until we can meet again. Further information on the volume, which just has been accepted by Springer, will be shared.
There is another development of interest to our commission: Because the International Cartographic Association, which in Tokyo in 2019 celebrated its 60th anniversary, feels it is important to lay an institutional focus on the investigation and preservation of its history, the ICA Executive Committee in its most recent (virtual) meeting in June 2020 approved the new Working Group “History of ICA”. As stakeholder for our commission, the Executive Committee endorsed me as one of the members of this Working Group, which will be chaired by Igor Drecki. I hope to share more details with you once the set-up of this WG has been concluded. In the meantime however, it is reassuring that ICA recognizes the need to research and preserve its legacy. To get the ball rolling, I encourage you all to send me comments, questions, suggestions etc., which, if you agree, will go into the new Working Group.
Last but not least, many members of our commission also attend the bi-annual conferences of Imago Mundi. The deadline for submitting an abstract for their 29th conference, which at this point is planned to meet face-to-face in Bucharest in July 2021, is just a month away (October 5). For further details on the conference see the website:
Stay strong, take care and best regards
Imre Demhardt
Chair: ICA Commission on the History of Cartography

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  • C. Abshire, D. Gusev, S. Stafeyev, M. Wang Enhanced Mathematical Method for Visualizing Ptolemy’s Arabia, 1-25 [pdf 2592 KB]
  • Ε. Voulgarakis, A. Tsorlini, C. Boutoura Depicting the Greek communities in “Smyrna Zone”, Asia Minor at the beginning of 20th century (1919 – 1922), combining historical maps with textual data, 26-43 [pdf 2300 KB]
  • Α. Koussoulakou, M. Dimitriadou, C. Kontozi, Y. Mitzias Telling of a city’s invisible past through georeferenced historical documents and web map technology, 44-56 [pdf 2997 KB]

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Herebelow a message from the ICHC 2021 local organizing team.

Dear Mr. [...],

I’m writing you on behalf of the ICHC 2021 Bucharest organizing team with a kind request. As the pandemic has disrupted most of the traditional channels for academic interaction, we are worried that our CfP has not reached all those interested. Therefore, we kindly ask you to help us disseminate the information to all scholars that share an interest in the history of cartography (especially to those who don’t regularly use H-Map, Facebook, Twitter or similar).

The 29th International Conference on the History of Cartography will be taking place in Bucharest, from the 4th to the 9th of July. The conference is entitled ‘Conflict and Cartography’ and the deadline for submission of proposals is Monday, the 5th of October 2020. All further details are available on the conference website:

Thank you for all you help and best wishes,

The ICHC 2021 local organizing team

For further details see here.

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