Terra Digitae -  Newsletter from the David Rumsey Map Center
COVID-19 Edition 2
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Workshops and Resources Online | Upcoming Talks | Medicinal Maps | Map Showdown
In light of the Center being closed, we will be hosting a series of workshops and virtual talks this quarter. We look forward to seeing you all virtually!
Workshops and Resources Online
David Rumsey Map Center: A Virtual Tour
Click on the video above, or go here to take a virtual tour of the David Rumsey Map Center. To explore maps within Google Earth virtually, go the David Rumsey Map Collection in Google Voyager here. 
Workshops and on-line consultations:

We are offering map-finding workshops to those interested in learning about our resources and how to use them. These will be held online from 2:00pm-2:45pm on the following dates: April 22, April 29, May 13, and May 27.  These workshops are free, but require pre-registration. Please register here

We are also available for one-on-one consultations for your classes or research projects. Please contact us here.
Other digital map resources from Stanford Libraries:
Map Staff from Stanford Libraries, including the Branner Earth Sciences Library and Map Collections, have put together exhibitions on the Stanford Geological Collection, Mining Maps and Views, Tokyo Over Time, Coordinates: Maps and Art, Office of Strategic Services Maps and Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, among several others.
Sampling of digital resources from These are maintained by David Rumsey:
  • Browse and search for maps via using its Luna viewer.
  • Search for maps geographically in the David Rumsey Map Collection using MapRank Search.
  • To georeference maps on, please read the tutorial here.
  • A fine selection of blogs on featured maps are here. 
Upcoming Live Talks
NEW DATE: Friday, April 24, 2020, 3:00pm | When Measurements Were Monuments: Emanuele Lugli on his revolutionary new book The Making of Measure and the Promise of Sameness
What measurements did architects, geographers, and politicians use to construct the cities, the roads, and the maps of premodern Italy? How were they made? Who had access to them and who didn’t? In this talk, Emanuele Lugli, Assistant Professor in the Department of Art & Art History at Stanford University, will explore an overlooked period in the history of metrological knowledge during which standards were not kept in the safes of scientific academies but installed in the open. As he argues in his new groundbreaking study The Making of Measure and the Promise of Sameness (University of Chicago Press, 2019), such displays reveal the curious and much overlooked duplicity of measurements, which rather than being taken as mere descriptors of the real, ought to be seen as powerful molds of ideas, affecting our notions of what we consider similar, accurate, and truthful. Come to see measurement standards in a whole new way and learn about how they shaped space and its representations.
Dr. Emanuele Lugli is an expert in the history of measurements, urbanism, and cartography. He has written two books, a history of the metric system in Italy and The Making of Measure and the Promise of Sameness, the focus of this talk. With Dr. Joan Kee (University of Michigan) he has also edited a volume on scale in art, the first of its kind. Besides his scholarly research (on questions of labor, precision, and the reach of intellectual networks), he writes for magazines such as Vogue and Slate.
Please note that this talk will be live, and held online via Zoom. The schedule is as follows:

3:00pm - Zoom opens
3:15-4:15pm - Talk by Emanuele Lugli, followed by Q&A

This talk is free and open to the public, but requires pre-registration so we can send a Zoom link. Please register below.
Friday, May 8, 2020, 3:00pm | Portraying the World Anew: Chet Van Duzer on Martin Waldseemüller’s Carta marina of 1516
Detail, Carta marina, Waldseemüller, 1516. 

Martin Waldseemüller created two large world maps in 1507 and 1516, just nine years apart, but the two maps could not be more different: while the 1507 map is based on Ptolemy, in his 1516 Carta marina he sets aside the Ptolemaic model and adapts that of nautical charts instead. Moreover, the cartographer abandons almost all of the sources he used in creating his 1507 map, and undertook detailed research in contemporary geographical texts and maps for the details he wanted for his new map.

We have very little information about the workshop practices of early sixteenth-century cartographers—about how they created their maps. Waldseemüller’s Carta marina of 1516 offers a rare opportunity to obtain just this sort of information. By examining the cartographer’s sources, both cartographic and textual, as well as how he used those sources, we can reconstruct how he went about creating this magnificent map, and gain a unique and unprecedented view of an early modern cartographer at work. The talk also includes evidence regarding the diffusion of the Carta marina.

Van Duzer has just published a book about his research: Martin Waldseemüller’s Carta marina of 1516: Study and Transcription of the Long Legends (New York: Springer, 2020).

Chet Van Duzer
Chet Van Duzer is an independent American historian of cartography specializing in medieval and Renaissance maps — mappaemundi, nautical charts, and the maps in Ptolemy's Geography — with an emphasis on determining the sources that cartographers used for the texts, images, and geographical features on maps. He is also a board member of the Lazarus Project at the University of Rochester, which brings multispectral imaging to cultural institutions around the world. 
Please note that this talk will be live, and held online via Zoom. The schedule is as follows:

3:00pm - Zoom opens
3:15-4:15pm - Talk by Chet Van Duzer, followed by Q&A

This talk is free and open to the public, but requires pre-registration so we can send a Zoom link. Please register below.
Friday, May 15, 2020, 3:00pm | Mapping an Epidemic: Lauren Killingsworth on Cholera in Nineteenth-Century Colonial India
Map of Pargana Amorha, Basti District, Showing Locality of Cholera Prevalence in 1877. (1878)

Disease maps have become increasingly common in our world today. Disease maps shape public perception of disease — they influence the way we view specific populations and assign responsibility for disease. They can illuminate health disparities, but also generate stigma. This talk explores the deeply political nature of disease maps, focusing on an imperial initiative to map epidemic disease in late nineteenth-century colonial India.

In the late 1860s, the British government announced an initiative to map cholera across India. Here, Lauren traces the origin, evolution, and reception of this contentious and highly resource-intensive mapping project. Government officials touted cholera maps as instrumental in elucidating the origin and transmission of cholera, but there is little evidence that they enhanced understanding of disease. Rather, they aimed to enforce hierarchies between the British and their colonized subjects and within the British bureaucracy, and to reinforce administrative borders. 

Cholera maps were designed to project control, but the map-making process exposed unreliable statistics and a reliance on indigenous knowledge. Disdain for the mapping initiative grew into concerns that extended beyond public health administration. Resistance took the form of new disease mapping approaches that directly countered imperial motives. Though the mapping initiative intended to enforce compliance at all levels of governance, it ultimately raised tension and resistance amongst colonial administrators, exposing the weaknesses of the colonial system of knowledge and surveillance.

Lauren Killingsworth is an MD-PhD candidate in the History of Science and Medicine. She holds an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. Her dissertation examined the history of medical cartography in colonial India. As an undergraduate at Stanford, she studied Biology and History, and conducted research on cholera mapping in nineteenth-century Oxford. She is the 2017 Ristow Prize Winner for academic achievement in the history of cartography. 
Please note that this talk will be live, and held online via Zoom. The schedule is as follows:

3:00pm - Zoom opens
3:15-4:15pm - Talk by Lauren Killingsworth, followed by Q&A

This talk is free and open to the public, but requires pre-registration so we can send a Zoom link. Please register below.
Coming in June 2020

Peter Hiller, the Jo Mora Trust Collection Curator, will give a talk on Jo Mora's body of work. From pictorial maps, book illustrations, paintings, sculptures, printmaking and writing, Joseph Jacinto "Jo" Mora's (1876-1947) artistic talents were boundless. Peter has been enamored with Jo Mora's art since he came upon Mora’s cartes (maps) in the mid 1990's - to the extent of having recently written an extensive biography about Jo published in October 2019 by the Book Club of California.

Maps in Focus: Medicine
Maps not to scale. Please click on larger images below.

For this month’s newsletter from quarantine, we are going to escape into the soothing world of elixirs and herbal medicines, the pharmaceuticals of yore.

Published in 1932, the first map highlights the variety of medicinal plants grown across the United States, along with their related drugs, from eucalyptus in California to seaweed in the north Atlantic. Other “vegetable drugs” from around the world run along the border. The good news is that chocolate (cacao) and coffee (coffea arabica) are listed amongst the medicinal plants, so it seems many of us are already doing a great job of self-medicating. The National Wholesale Druggists’ Association issued the map for pharmacists to display in their windows and showcase the breadth of knowledge required by their profession. At a time when medicine was beginning to rely more on discoveries in the lab than the careful mixing of chemicals derived from plants, the association felt it necessary to underscore pharmacists’ “vital” (yet endangered) role in medicine.
The Alga Pharmaceutical Laboratory issued this map of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia c. 1940 to advertise two of their most popular products, both derived from extractions of native herbs. Alga, on the bottom corner, was a therapeutic massage oil derived from seaweed, while Energin, on the top right, was an early energy drink designed to “strengthen the blood and nourish the appetite.” Companies often distributed maps to advertise their goods as they were both useful to consumers (and less likely to be thrown away) and cheap to produce. Alga sold its products throughout Europe, winning the numerous awards displayed on this map, and was known for its well-designed bottles and ad campaigns.
Branner Earth Sciences Library and David Rumsey Map Center Friendly Map Showdown
Inspired by other mappy March Madness brackets, our friends at the Branner Earth Sciences Library and we at the Center have decided to have a “friendly” map showdown. For those unfamiliar, Stanford has two map spaces on campus, one at Branner and one at the Center, each with separate map collections. Staff members from each library have picked a favorite map from our respective collections to face off according to several themes to get the bracket started, and we're asking you to vote down through these maps until we have a champion of champions.

At the time of this newsletter being sent out, we're currently in the round of 32 of the showdown. To participate, head to any one of our social media pages linked below to vote for your favorite map in each category. You can vote by commenting on Instagram or Facebook, or by poll on Instagram Stories or Twitter. We are intentionally leaving out which map is from which library to remove as much bias as possible, but we will share links to each map as they are eliminated. 

May your favorites prevail! Vote below:

Public Hours: We are normally open 1 pm to 5 pm; Mon-Fri. Due to COVID-19 concerns, we are closed until further notice.

Contact Us:
1(650) 498-8698 - phone 1(650) 498-9660 - fax
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