Two-Day Cartography Conference Will Celebrate 1516 Carta Marina
And Focus on Mysterious Maps
Website to Launch on Life and Maps of Martin Waldseemüller
A two-day conference hosted by the Geography and Map Division at the Library of Congress will celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Waldseemüller’s Carta Marina, one of the great masterpieces of Renaissance cartography, and focus on some of the most mysterious maps of the Medieval and Early Modern periods. The conference also will unveil a multi-media interactive website on the life of Waldseemüller, and feature best-selling author and historian of science Dava Sobel as the keynote speaker.
“Facts or Fictions: Debating the Mysteries of Early Modern Science and Cartography—A Celebration of the 500th Anniversary of Waldseemüller’s 1516 Carta Marina” will be held on Thursday, Oct. 6 and Friday, Oct. 7 in the Coolidge Auditorium on the ground level of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed.
The Galileo Museum in Florence, Italy, in collaboration with the Library’s Geography and Map Division, created an online multi-media presentation on Waldseemüller’s life and cartography. Galileo Museum Director Paolo Galluzzi, the museum’s Deputy Director Filippo Camerota and John Hessler, Curator of the Kislak Collection at the Library of Congress, will demonstrate the website. The Ambassador of Italy to the United States Armando Varricchio and Umberto Tombari, president of Ente Cassa di Risparmio, the foundation in Florence that sponsored the project, will deliver opening remarks.
“Facts or Fictions” also will celebrate the Library’s completion of the Schöner Sammelband acquisition project. The Sammelband is a compilation of materials that originally contained Waldseemüller’s Map of 1507, his 1516 Carta Marina, globe gores by Johannes Schöner and the earliest printed star chart by Albrecht Dûrer, dated 1515. Schöner bound together the contents of the Sammelband in Nuremburg in 1517. In 2003, the Library of Congress purchased the 1507 map from the Prince Waldburg-Wolfegg in Baden-Württenberg, Germany, whose family owned the Sammelband and its contents for many generations. Jay I. Kislak, a member of the Library’s Madison Council, purchased the Carta Marina, the globe gores and the Sammelband portfolio, and donated them to the Library in 2014. The Library purchased the final piece of the original Sammelband, the Dûrer chart, in late 2015.
Sobel will present “Mapping the Elusive Southern Sky” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6, in the Coolidge Auditorium on the ground level of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The lecture is free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed. The presentation will be the keynote speech for a two-day conference hosted by the Library’s Geography and Map Division. “Facts or Fictions” Debating the Mysteries of Early Modern Science and Cartography—A Celebration of the 500th Anniversary of Waldseemüller’s 1516 Carta Marina” will be held on Oct. 6 and Oct. 7 in the Coolidge Auditorium. The conference is free and open to the public. For more information about the conference, visit www.loc.gov/today/pr/2016/16-142.html
A former New York Times science reporter, Sobel is the author of “Longitude” and “Galileo’s Daughter” and the forthcoming “The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars.” Her new book will be released in December 2016. Sobel’s talk will cover the centuries-long efforts to fill-in the blanks on the earliest printed, and sparsely populated, star chart by Albrecht Dürer, dated 1515. According to Sobel, these efforts, which included the establishment of observatories in South America and South Africa, led not only to detailed charts of the southern stars, but also the means to measure distances across space, enabling astronomers to appreciate the true scale of the universe. The Dürer chart, purchased by the Library of Congress in late 2015, is part of the collections of the Library’s Geography and Map Division.
Other speakers at the conference will include historians of cartography, science, philosophy and literature. They will talk about the Vinland Map, Marco Polo and the Rossi Map with Ship, the 1516 Carta Marina, portolan charts, and the Puebla-Tlaxcala contrived maps and manuscripts. There will be a special presentation by the Library’s Conservation Division on the science behind the preservation and encasement of the Waldseemüller Map of 1507. An Open House of the Geography and Map Division—featuring a display of cartographic treasures from Waldseemüller’s time—will be held on the afternoon of Oct. 7.
For more information and the program schedule go to: http://blogs.loc.gov/maps/2016/09/celebrating-the-carta-marina/
Hope to see some of your there.
John Hessler, FRGS
Curator, Jay I. Kislak Collection of the Archaeology and History of the Early Americas
Specialist in Modern Cartography and Geographic Information Sciences
Geography and Map Division
Library of Congress
Full Bio: http://blogs.loc.gov/maps/author/jhes/