The Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography offers a variety of programs, including lectures, conferences, workshops, seminars, institutes, fellowships, and occasional exhibitions. These activities advance the study of the history of cartography and promote the use of the Newberry’s extensive cartographic collections by a diverse constituency of scholars, teachers, and the general public.
Held every three years since 1966, the Kenneth Nebenzahl, Jr., Lectures bring together scholars from a wide variety of fields for a series of lectures examining emerging themes in the history of cartography and in 2016 the Smith Center celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Nebenzahl Lectures. This November the Newberry Library is hosting the 20th Nebenzahl Lectures on 1919 and the history of cartography.
The Newberry also hosts the monthly meetings of the Chicago Map Society. Founded in 1976, this independent society of map enthusiasts is the oldest map society in North America.
To explore digital and gallery exhibitions at the Newberry, see Exhibitions on the History of Cartography.
The Smith Center frequently organizes summer institutes and seminars for K-12 teachers or college and university faculty, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Summer scholars participating in these programs explore themes in the history of cartography and related fields through programs of lectures, reading, seminar discussion, and research. In summer 2016, the Smith Center hosted an NEH Summer Seminar entitled “Mapping, Text, and Travel” and in summer 2018, the Smith Center hosted the seminar “Reading Material Maps in the Digital Age.” This summer, the Smith Center will host an NEH Summer Seminar aimed at college and university faculty, “Material Maps in the Digital Age. To learn more, visit the page NEH Summer Programs. Center staff also lead workshops in map study under in collaboration with the Newberry’s Programs for Teachers.