Terra Cognita

Newsletter of the Society for the History of Discoveries

Page 11

May 2004

this effort resulted in early maps of the Americas from Alaska to Peru. He has offered to pay for the radiocarbon test, and he is writing a book about Marco Polo’s New World mapping efforts.

John Thrower is completing further research into the expedition to Central America by John Oxenham in 1576-1577, the first English captain to sail in the Pacific.

Norman J.W. Thrower writes that he has remained quite busy preparing several articles for the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Exploration and the Encyclopedia of Maritime History, both published by Oxford University Press. He also is writing entries for the New Dictionary of the History of Ideas and The Literature of Travel and Exploration.

Carol Urness reports that her essay, “The First Kamchatka Expedition in Focus,” has been published in Under Bering’s Command: New Perspectives on the Russian Kamchatka Expedition, edited by Peter Ulf Moller and Natasha Okhotina Lind (Aarhus University Press, 2003). Carol says that she hated to miss the New Orleans SHD meeting, but is looking forward to seeing everyone in Cody, Wyoming. 

Mark Wentley, an antique map enthusiast and new member of SHD, writes that he works in international business traveling in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. With a strong interest in the Age of Discovery, Mark has found a home in SHD.

When does Eric Wolf not travel? In June 2003, he and Lee attended the Imago Mundi meeting in Cambridge and Portland. He says that nowhere else was there a lobster clambake like the one the Osher Library organized. In August, they ballooned over Tuscany, and saw the Palio in Siena, a wonderful bareback horserace dating from the 13th century with lots of pageantry. October saw the Wolfs at the IMCOS meeting in Cyprus, and then back to the U.S. for the SHD meeting in New Orleans. In addition, they made five trips to New York for plays and operas, and attended the December meeting of the Mercator Society at the New York Public Library.

Scott Westrem was recently promoted to Professor of English at the Graduate Center and Lehman College of CUNY. During this past year, he received a research grant from the Professional Staff Congress of CUNY for a project entitled, “Decoding the Mappamundi Frame.”

His chapter, “Africa Unbounded: on an Unstudied European Mappamundi (ca.1450) and in Related Cartography,” appeared in Making Contact: Maps, Identity, and Travel (2003), edited by Glenn Burger et al., and published in Edmonton, by the University of Alberta Press. On May 2, 2003, Scott presented an invited lecture entitled “Crafting the Medieval Map” to the monthly meeting of the Medieval Club of New York. At the 78th Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, held in Minneapolis in April 2003, he presented a paper, “The Bell Library Mappamundi and its place in Medieval Cartography.”

Still residing in Tucson in the winter and Salisbury, MD in the summer, John Wolter remains busy by editing (with John McDonough) The Diary of William Speiden, Jr. Speiden was a purser’s clerk on Admiral Peary’s flagship on the Japan Expedition (1852-1854). John and Joan this past year became great-grandparents for the first time, and he now finally admits that he is getting “long in the tooth.”

Alberta Auringer Wood says that the bibliography of maps of Labrador and Newfoundland she has been compiling has moved its web location. It can be found directly at: http://info.library.mun.ca:81/index3.html, or via an introductory information page at: http://www.library.mun.ca/qeii/maps/NLmapbib.php. Additional work must be done to add records for many maps seen on trips to England during the past year. Alberta’s term as Vice President of the International Cartographic Association was concluded with the conference in August 2003 in Durban, South Africa.

In September 2003, David Woodward offered ten lectures on various aspects of the history of cartography to audiences in Sydney, Canberra, and Newcastle, Australia, including a day-long workshop at the State Library of New South Wales. In March 2004, David led a week-long workshop on the history of maps at the Rare Books School, University of Virginia: www.virginia.edu/oldbooks/rbs/schedule.html.
John Woram reports that he continues to work on his Galápagos Islands history and cartography website at http://www.galapagos.to, adding maps and charts as time (and budget) permit.

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