Terra Cognita

Newsletter of the Society for the History of Discoveries

Page 11

May 2005

Richard Pflederer reported “I’m still working hard on portolan charts. The book on the Huntington Library collection was completed last year, and the Newberry volume is scheduled for early 2005. I will begin on the NMM collection later in 2005.” Richard is the local arrangements chairman for the 2005 SHD annual meeting in Williamsburg, VA.

Maria Teresa Pinto Coelho has moved from Portugal to become the director of the Portuguese Studies Centre at the University of Oxford in England.

David Plumly is completing his senior year at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA. His senior thesis involves the Portuguese embassy to Abyssinia from 1520 to 1526. He is attempting to debunk the myth of Prester John, and how Portuguese expectations of the mythical kingdom collided with reality.

Gerald Saxon was appointed Dean of Libraries at the University of Texas at Arlington on July 1, 2004. He and Dennis Reinhartz have edited the book, Mapping and Empire: Soldier-Engineers in the Southwestern Frontier (forthcoming, UT Press, 2005).

Ann Savours Shirley participated in a conference that was held at the Southampton Oceanography Centre in July 2004 to mark the centenary (1904-2004) of the return of Captain R.F. Scott’s Discovery from the Antarctic at the conclusion of the National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904. This expedition was the first to penetrate any distance into the interior of the continent and to bring back a harvest of scientific results. Ann’s paper concerned earlier vessels with the name, Discovery, 1601-1876. The conference proceedings are to be published in Archives of Natural History. She continues to make progress with the fourth volume of The South Polar Times, and with a contribution to the forthcoming Hakluyt Society Miscellany volume. These works are published under Ann Savours.

Richard Stephenson delivered several speeches during the past year. Noteworthy were his presentations: “Albert H. Campbell: Civil Engineer, Cartographer, and Incidental Artist,” (SHD annual meeting in Cody, WY), and “A City in Transition: Mapping the Nation’s Capital from the Civil War to the Creation of a Comprehensive Plan, 1861-1902,” (Washington Map Society’s 25th Anniversary Celebration, May, 2004). Dick’s article, “General Lee’s Forgotten Mapmaker: Major Albert H. Campbell and the Department of Northern Virginia’s Topographical Department,” was published in the Fall 2000 issue of The Portolan.
He also taught an 8-week course on the history of cartography at the College of Lifetime Learning, Shenandoah University. He keeps busy by serving on the boards of the Handley Regional Library (chairman), the French and Indian War Foundation, the Winchester Musica Viva, and he continues to serve as an academic adviser to the Library of Congress’s Philip Lee Phillips Society. 

Harry Sutcliff reports that he is retired, and is still collecting antique maps, particularly of North America and Europe. He would like to hear from other collectors.

Daniel Terkla, on the faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University, writes that his article, “The Original Placement of the Hereford Mappae Mundi,” was published in Imago Mundi, vol. 56-2 (2004), pp.131-151. Also published was “Speaking Map: Teaching With the Hereford Mappae Mundi,” Glotema, December 2004. Dan also presented “Reading, Hearing (and also Having) the Mappae Mundi: Thoughts on Praxis,” at the International Medieval Congress, held at the University of Leeds, July 12-15, 2004. Also at the Leeds Congress, he organized the session, “The New Nature of Cartography.” He contributed the articles on William of Rubruck and Ludovico de Varthema for the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Exploration.

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