Terra Cognita

Newsletter of the Society for the History of Discoveries

Page 10

May 2003

the 15th century nautical charts and a series of essays of nautical/mercantile/cultural interests. My study is a transcription, translation, and commentary on a series of 24 illustrated elementary math problems of practical interest to certain craftsmen and military and nautical engineers, possibly culled from several lecturers’ or students’ class notes. It has been printed privately and distributed to appropriate libraries and interested researchers. Any SHD member interested in this material may contact me directly.” Further, Jim’s article, “Waldseemüller’s Secret: Revisited,” appeared in the January-February (2003) issue of Mercator’s World.
     Michael Layland has published his most recent article in Mercator’s World, (vol. 8, no. 2) pp.46-53. The title is “A Country so Favorably Situated,” and it concerns Matthew Maury’s ambitions for the Amazon.
     Bruce Lenman maintained his interest in South Asia in 2002, writing a chapter on “Britain and India” for A Companion to Eighteenth Century Britain (2002), and publishing a paper on the Asian trade in precious material before 1800 in The World of the East Indies Company (2002). However, he devoted most of his sabbatical semester in the Spring 2002 to work on Caribbean archives, spending long spells in Havana, Santiago de Cuba, and Kingston, Jamaica before returning to Scotland to run a conference in St. Andrews in June on “The Early-Modern Greater Caribbean.” 
     Scholars of the history of the Spanish, Dutch, French, and British Antilles participated in this successful event at which Bruce spoke on the hazards of amphibious operations against major Spanish colonial port cities in an age of inadequate marine cartography, especially of the waters around archipelagoes such as the Philippines and the Antilles, where coral reefs abound. After a heavy teaching load in the Fall semester, he expects to conduct further field work in the Caribbean in 2003, the more so as snorkeling along major reef-systems ranks as field work on early-modern operational cartography.
     Rodrigue Lévesque has finally completed his 20-volume encyclopedia on the “History of Micronesia: A Collection of Source Documents.” Amazingly, he has produced this extensive set of books single-handedly, in all aspects, from research to distribution.
     Dee Longenbaugh has begun entering historical material on her website, Observatorybooks.com. Her manuscript on the history of the mapping of Alaska is now undergoing editing at

the University of Alaska Press. Dee is serving her second year on SHD’s Honors Committee.
     In August 2000, Russell Magnaghi assumed the chairmanship of the Department of History at Northern Michigan University. He and his daughter, Emily, continue to work on a manuscript dealing with plant usage in the Californias prior to 1848.
     After twenty years as an aerospace engineer, Gregory McIntosh is now the Director of the San Francisco Gallery of W. Graham Arader III.
     Harold Osher wrote that he continues to build the Osher Map Library (OML) collection in Portland, ME, and to promote the use of maps as educational resources. He is looking forward to co-hosting, with the Harvard Map Collection, ICHC 2003, June 15-20 in Cambridge and Portland.
     Douglas Peck says that his research into the seafaring Chontal Maya, which included five extensive field research trips to the Yucatan archaeological sites, along with study in the university and museum archives in Chetamal, Cancun, Isla Mujeras, and Merida is finally paying off in limited recognition and publication of his efforts. Doug writes, “The June 2002 (Numero 130) issue of Revista de Historia de America, contains my study: “The Geographical Origin and Acculturation of Maya Advanced Civilization in Mesoamerica.” This study is the lead-in or foundation for the paper on the Chantal Maya that I presented at the SHD 2002 meeting in Zapopan, Mexico. I have not entirely left my work in early navigation and the voyages of Columbus and those that followed, as my article on “History of Early Ocean Navigation,” was published in Terrae Incognitae (vol. 34, 2002).
     Also, several of my papers have been published by the New World Explorers, Inc., a non-profit educational corporation dedicated to historical research of early seafaring exploration, and available on its website, www.newworldexplorersinc.org. Of particular interest to SHD members are the papers, “Early Ocean Navigation” and “Columbus Navigation and Landfall,” which can be downloaded from the website.”
     Richard Pflederer has recently completed a catalog of the portolan charts and atlases of the British Library. The catalog is available as a 340-page book and a searchable data base (in ACCESS). He continues work on this project by extending the database to include other collections.
     Teresa Pinto Coelho writes from Portugal that she is coordinating an international interdisciplinary project on “The Portuguese Discoveries in the

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