Terra Cognita

Newsletter of the Society for the History of Discoveries

Page 5

May 2002

The Biblioteca Mathes of the Colegio houses the most extensive collection relative to New World exploration in western Mexico. El Colegio de Jalisco is located in the center of Zapopan, once a suburb of Guadalajara, and home of the 18th century basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan, patroness of Guadalajara, and the Huichol Museum and art store. Although part of the metropolitan area, Zapopan retains a small-town atmosphere, with numerous small restaurants, bars, and pedestrian streets within a block or two of the Colegio.
      Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) is served by Aeroméxico, Aero California, Mexicana, Continental, Delta, United, and American airlines. Several three- and four-star hotels are located within walking distance of the Colegio.
Michael Mathes, Chairman, 2002 Local Arrangements Committee

      The past year has been an exciting and busy one for the SHD website. In the year 2001, January then August were our busiest months, that is the months in which the most visits were made to the website. 
      For the year 2002, the busiest month so far has been February, with March 4 being the busiest day. Analysis of web statistics tells us that about 1,300 people visit the site at least once each month. Many more visit it several times each month. It has been pretty steady that 86 percent of site visits are from within the USA; 10 percent come from viewers in the Netherlands; 3 percent of visits are from people in the UK; and fifteen other countries make up the remaining visitors. More than half of the visitors have bookmarked our site, whereas the other 50 percent have put the word ‘discoveries’ on their web browser to find us. Half of visitors spend one-to-six minutes at the site.
      Members are encouraged to visit the site with regularity, for we do make changes. Nineteen changes were made to the site in 2001 – that included posting details about on-going news of our members, our upcoming Denver 2001 meeting, and photos of that meeting (do visit the photos), and of course advance word about our 2002 Guadalajara meeting. In the coming months more information about the 2002 meeting will be mailed to all members, but the site will also present considerable information. 
      Having information on the website allows members to direct inquiries quickly; folks who write in can immediately access the information and we save postal costs. Plus we can add information about the program of speakers once that is known, so meeting attendees can get a much-updated view of the meeting before leaving home.
An additional function of the Web Content Manager has been to maintain the master list of e-mail addresses of members in good standing. Those members receive e-mail alerts when something major has been posted at the web site or if there is important information to disseminate that would be of interest to our discoveries-focused membership. By providing the Secretary with new or updated email addresses, members can ensure they receive such e-mailings.
Tom Sander, SHD Web Content Manager, www.sochistdisc.org

      The Forum on European Expansion and Global Interaction held its 2002 conference at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA on February 14-16. Among those presenting papers at the conference were SHD members Paul Mapp (Diplomatic Restraints on French North Pacific Exploration after the Treaty of Utrecht), and Norman J. W. Thrower (Pepys and the Expansion of Britain’s Royal Navy). Philip Boucher chaired a session, and David Buisseret and Norman Fiering are members-at-large of the Executive Committee of FEEGI.
      Although the membership fluctuated throughout this past year, the total as of April 1, 2002 is 298, down nine from a year ago. As was done last year, I expect to purge at least 10 to 15 names from the directory if dues are not received by May 15. Twenty percent of our total resides outside the United States. Below is the breakdown of non-U.S. members:

Australia - 3
Bahamas - 1
Canada - 20
France - 2
Germany - 1
Italy - 2
Jamaica - 1
Japan - 1
Mexico - 1

Netherlands - 3
New Zealand - 2
Philippines - 2
Portugal - 1
Spain - 1
Swaziland - 1
Sweden - 1
Switzerland - 1
United Kingdom - 16

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