Social half-hour with refreshments begins at 5:30 pm followed by the lecture at 6 pm.
The Nile’s origin was a mystery to the ancient Greeks; the mystery continued to intrigue Europeans for centuries, intensifying in the 19th century, when Nile explorers sought fame for themselves and glory for their nations. At home, people were captivated by the “race for the Nile” in the same way that Americans engaged in the 1960’s “space race” with the Soviets.
This illustrated talk features European maps of Africa from the 16th-19th centuries featuring the Nile River and the European quest to solve the mystery of the Nile’s origin. From his extensive collection, Mr. Kaufman shows how, over time, cartography reflects various changing theories and discoveries surround the African Nile River system until Victorian explorers solve the mystery. In examining these maps, he looks at the fabled river’s intrepid and colorful explorers.
Don Kaufman has collected over 300 European maps of Africa, travelled extensively in Africa and has lectured on the Nile as it is portrayed in maps to the New York Map Society, the Explorer’s Club, and various universities. He has an MA in African Studies from St. John’s University and a knowledge of Swahili from New York University. In 1980, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society.
Meetings are open to the public. We do, however, ask for a $5 donation from non–Map-Society members to help support program costs, which are covered by members’ annual dues.