Terra Digitae - Newsletter from the David Rumsey Map Center
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Terra Digitae - October 2019

Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference 2019 | Conferences | Talks

Essay Competition | Symposium | Workshop | Save the Date
Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference on Cartography 2019: Gender, Sexuality, Cartography | October 10-12, 2019
From Bowen, Frances, 1810

The second biennial Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference on Cartography will take place October 10-12, 2019. Following on from our successful first conference in 2017, the three-day event will include a keynote, research papers from a variety of scholars, and an exhibition that will debut at the event. Register here.

For this year’s meeting, all the papers will focus on the relationship between gender, sexuality, and cartography. While some scholars have examined the interplay of gender identities and mapping, particularly with regard to the role of women as buyers and sellers in the historical map market, this work remains isolated and has yet to make a significant impact on the wider field. This conference hopes to offer a counterpoint to this trend by bringing together diverse approaches and hosting interdisciplinary discussions.

While all the invited speakers are experts in maps and mapping, they will also bring their specialties in queer, women’s, and gender studies to bear on the nuanced ways in which maps are conditioned by and help to construct, and transgress, gendered and sexualized norms and spaces. Paper topics include mapping sexual practices in French Vietnam, women in American cartographic history, the gendered cartographic language of medieval texts, the digital mapping of queer spaces, and much more. 

On Saturday, the conference will have a special focus on art, cartography, gender, and sexuality. Artists, scholars, and activists will discuss maps as a medium for the visual expression of place, gender, and sexuality. A separate Saturday-only registration is available.

Our keynote speaker is Professor Susan Schulten, from the University of Denver. She will share her research on the pioneering female mapmaker Emma Willard. 

There is an all-conference fee and a Saturday-only registration fee. Students can register for free (subject to verification). All registered attendees (except for the Saturday only registration, which limits attendance to Saturday events only) will have access to the opening reception and keynote, all the speaker panels, the conference exhibition, and coffee/tea throughout the three-day event. Activities will take place at the David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford University’s Cecil H. Green Library.

For a detailed preliminary program, please click here

If you have any questions, please contact .
To stay informed on speakers, a schedule and registration, check out our website and/or watch for e-mails from us. If you are not subscribed to our mailing list, please signup here.

Organizers: G. Salim Mohammed, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries and Dr. Katherine Parker, Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc. 

California Map Society Student Essay Competition 2020: Now Open!
The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students in California that use the Center's or any of Stanford University's maps in a substantive way. 

Submission Deadline: 9 AM PST on March 2, 2020.
Winner Notification: the winner will be notified the week of April 6, 2020.
Winner Paper Presentation: The award will be presented to the winner at Stanford University’s David Rumsey Map Center and at one or two locations to be chosen in southern California. The presentations will occur in May 2020.

For competition rules, submission guidelines and links, please visit this page.
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 | North America: A Cartographic Odyssey: A talk with Anton Thomas
Image Credit - Anton Thomas
For five years, Anton Thomas spent all his free time hand-drawing a vast illustrated map of North America. An odyssey that took over and reshaped his life, the map was finally completed in February. With thousands of points of interest, it takes a broad and vivid look at the physical and cultural geography of the entire region, from the Arctic to Central America and everywhere in between. Following on from a talk at the Rumsey Map Center last year, Anton will lead new journeys into the immensely detailed piece, from deserts to cities, Rocky Mountain peaks to the ocean floor. We will take a close look at the finishing touches – including bathymetry, constellations, and an extremely detailed cartouche – and discuss what comes next. After all, the drawing may be over, but the work continues. He will share his experience thus far of preparing prints for release, while looking keenly towards new map projects. Join us for a deep dive into a map of epic proportions: North America: Portrait of a Continent.

Doors Open: 2:00 pm
2:30-3:30 pm: Talk by Anton Thomas
4:00 pm: Center Closes

The talk is free and open to the public, but requires registration in advance. Please register below.

If you are not subscribed to our mailing list, please signup here.

Friday, October 25, 2019 | Oliver Lewis: Maps as Mirrors and Methods of Colonialism in Hawai`i | California Map Society Essay Competition Winner Presentation
From Vancouver, George, 1798
My essay, Maps as Mirrors and Methods of Colonialism in Hawai`i, investigates the use of maps in the colonization of Hawai`i. The transcription of the Hawaiian language paired with the European ideologies of land tenure and ownership were tools of which to name and claim land. By looking at maps of Hawai`i, I was able to track both colonization tools as well as the colonization process. These maps act as colonial landmarks, showing the evolution of the written Hawaiian language, the disappearance of communal land, and the early depictions of property lines and land ownership transactions between Hawaiians and Foreigners. 

4:00pm: Center opens
4:30-5:30pm: Presentation by Oliver Lewis
6:00pm: Center closes

The talk is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. Please register below.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 | Linking the Past, Forging the Future: A Symposium on Chained Bindings in Forms Old and New

Image: Detail of the binding of MSS CODEX M0413 FF BB, Nicholas of Lyra, Postilla super librum Psalorum, in the Stanford Libraries Manuscript Collection. Photo by Aude Gabory.

On October 29th, 2019, the David Rumsey Map Center will host a half-day symposium on chained bindings. This symposium will explore the materials and techniques used in chained bindings for medieval books, as well as the work of conserving and of reconstructing them in the modern era.

This event provides us with the opportunity to engage with broader questions. For example, what does it mean to create a model of a chained binding in the modern world of digital materials, and what can we learn by doing so? What choices were made by the artisans who created these materials? How do libraries and museums assign value to objects and balance questions of security and conservation while providing access and availability?

The presence of several original chained bindings on codices in the Stanford collections testifies to the use of chains to secure valuable books to medieval library shelves. Stanford Libraries is commissioning a handmade book, to be used as a teaching model, created by Karen Hanmer, a nationally-recognized book artist, with a chain and clasp hand-forged by Celeste Flores, a Bay Area blacksmith, in close consultation with Aude Gabory, book conservator in the Department of Conservation.

This event is free and open to the public, but advance registration will be required. The registration information and symposium program, with full schedule and list of speakers/presentation titles, will be available shortly. Please fill out this form if you would like to receive upcoming registration information. For further questions, please contact Kathleen Smith (ksmith11 [at] stanford [dot] edu).

Save the Date! Primary Source Symposium Map Sessions | Friday, November 8, 2019
The Map sessions of the Primary Source Symposium sponsored by Stanford’s Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (CMEMS), to be held at the Stanford Humanities Center on November 7 and 8, 2019 will be held at the David Rumsey Map Center on the morning of November 8. Please watch the November newsletter for details!
GISDay@Stanford is coming! | Wednesday, November 13, 1-5pm | Note: Open to Stanford participants only.

Are you a Stanford affiliate interested in how leveraging the “Where” of your research can make it, and the world, better? Are you interested in the privacy implications of “always on” location-based technologies? How about art distilled from the glitches and repetition of our digital lives?

Join us on Wednesday, November 13th, from 1-5pm, for our annual celebration of spatial technologies at the beautiful David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford Library! We’ve got a great line-up coming together this year, and will be adding more workshops, lightning talks and speakers in the coming days. Here’s just a taste of what we have planned, this year:

Keynote: Trafficking and Tech: How satellite imagery, radio comms and vessel broadcasts freed 2,000+ slaves
Martha Mendoza / Associated Press

Satellite Landscapes
Jenny Odell / Stanford University Department of Art & Art History

Privacy in the Panopticon: Secrets in the Age of Sensors
Morgan Herlocker / & turf.js

…and more to come!

For more information on speakers, schedule and workshops planned for Geography Week 2019, please go to

Please register for GISDay2019@Stanford below.  Please note that registration is currently restricted to Stanford Affiliates. If you would like to attend, but are not a Stanford affiliate, please add yourself to the waiting list and we will release unclaimed tickets the week before the event.

Thursday, December 5, 2019 | Fantastic Futures 2019 Conference: Workshop at the David Rumsey Map Center
On December 4-5, 2019, Stanford will host the Fantastic Futures 2019 Conference. It will convene thought and practice leaders from academia, libraries, industry and society to address these questions and help shape the future of AI in libraries, and the role of libraries in AI.

The David Rumsey Map Center will host one out of three different workshop tracks on December 5, 8:30-6pm. Organized in multiple tracks, the workshops will provide practical instruction on a range of topics that address AI for administrators, content experts, catalogers, designers and engineers.

To receive a notice when registration for the whole conference is open, please subscribe to our mailing list at  In addition, to come to the Rumsey Center Workshop Track on December 5th, please register below.
Tours of the Rumsey Map Center

We continue to hold tours. Tours are comprehensive and include time to check out the technology at the Center. All tours begin at 10.30 am and end at 12 noon.

For more information and to register please click on the link below.

Public Hours: 
1 pm to 5 pm. Please check our website as we occasionally close for classes or events.
Morning hours are reserved for classes and workshops.

Contact Us:
1(650) 498-8698 - phone 1(650) 498-9660 - fax Twitter: @rumseymapcenter Instagram: @rumseymapcenter
Copyright © 2019 Rumsey Map Center, All rights reserved.

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