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Smith Center Publications

Plan de la route de Paris en Bretagne par Dreux et Allencon, 1770. Case MS 5312

Plan de la route de Paris en Bretagne par Dreux et Allencon. 1770. Case MS 5312 (Vault), pg. 83.

Throughout its history, the Smith Center has overseen the publication of numerous scholarly and popular works on the history of cartography. This extensive publication program includes several volumes emerging from the Nebenzahl Lectures, map exhibition catalogs, interpretive slide sets, and the center’s newsletter Mapline.


Mapline is the official co-publication of the Chicago Map Society and the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library. Since 1976 it has been devoted to advancing the knowledge of the history of cartography by reporting events, ideas, and issues in the field. In addition to printing short articles reflecting current research in the field, it functions as a bulletin to announce recent acquisitions to the cartographic collections at the Newberry, and keeps readers informed of the center’s work, publications, and sponsored events. It also contains brief reports on conferences, exhibitions, and societies and lectures beyond the Newberry. For more information, visit the Chicago Map Society’s website.

Submissions, editorial correspondence, and subscription questions may be directed to Madeline Crispell, program assistant at the Smith Center, at

Digital Publications

Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms
An online resource for teaching the geographical dimensions of American History, featuring lesson plans based on supplied images and texts from the Newberry’s collections.

Make Big Plans: Daniel Burnham’s Vision of an American Metropolis
An exhibit created in 2009 to celebrate the centennial of the Plan of Chicago.

Nebenzahl Lectures: Published Collected Lectures

David Woodward, ed. Art & Cartography: Six Historical Essays (1987)
From the 6th series, October-November 1980
A revealing selection of approaches to the study of the historical links between art and cartography.

David Buisseret, ed. Monarchs, Ministers, and Maps: The Emergence of Cartography as a Tool of Government in Early Modern Europe (1992)
From the 8th series, November 1985

—, ed. Rural Images: Estate Maps in the Old and New Worlds (1996)
From the 9th series, November 1988
Follows the spread of estate maps from their origin in England around 1700 to colonial America, the British Caribbean, and early modern Europe, and links them to the social and economic contexts in which they were found.

—, ed. Envisioning the City: Six Studies in Urban Cartography (1998)
From the 10th series, November 1991
Explores how urban points of view have been expressed in city plans from various times and places.

G. Malcolm Lewis, ed. Cartographic Encounters: Perspectives on Native American Mapmaking and Map Use (1998)
From the 11th series, June 1993
Ever since the paper “charte” of the lower Colorado River made for the Spaniard Hernando de Alarcon in 1540, native Americans have been making maps in the course of encounters with whites (the most recent maps often support land claims). This book charts the history of these cartographic encounters, examining native maps and mapmaking from the earliest contacts onward.

Pedley, Mary Sponberg. The Commerce of Cartography: Making and Marketing Maps in Eighteenth-Century France and England (2005)
From the 14th series, October 2001

James R. Akerman, ed. Cartographies of Travel and Navigation (2006)
From the 12th series, October 1996

—, ed. The Imperial Map: Cartography and the Mastery of Empire (2009)
From the 15th series, October 2004
Six critical case studies reveal that the relationship between mapping and imperialism is a rich and complex historical theme, one that reaches across centuries, cultures, and continents.

Richard J. A. Talbert, ed. Ancient Perspectives: Maps and Their Place in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome (2012)
From the 16th series, November 2007

Exhibit Catalogs

Robert Karrow and David Buisseret, with a foreword by Lawrence Towner. Gardens of Delight: Maps and Travel Accounts of Illinois and the Great Lakes from the Collection of Hermon Dunlap Smith (1984)
Six images and eighty captions from the exhibit held at the Newberry.

The Art of Map-Making: Dutch Cartography from the Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution (1985)
This 1985 exhibit sponsored by the Consulate General of the Netherlands provided an overview of early modern Dutch cartography. The catalog lists exhibit items with brief commentary and includes a color illustration of “Groninga Dominim” from Blaeu’s Le Grand Atlas (Amsterdam 1663).

La Salle Tricentennial: 1687-1987 (1986)
A selection of documents and maps relating to LaSalle exhibited at the Newberry. Black and white images accompanied by brief commentary.

Cheryl Hahn and Maureen Flanagan. Measuring a Vision: The Mapping of Chicago’s Waterways (1988)
Introduction and captions to accompany sixteen black and white map images that chart the history of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Maps from the map collections of the Newberry Library and Lewis University exhibited at The Illinois State Museum, May 1988.

David Buisseret. Rural Images: The Estate Plan in the Old and New Worlds (1988)
A selection of sixteen plans and surveyors’ manuals and captions from the exhibit prepared for the Ninth Nebenzahl Lectures.

—. Mapping the French Empire in North America (1991)
An exhibit of 45 manuscript and printed maps tracing the course of French exploration and settlement in North America, with explanatory maps by Tom Wilcockson.

—.Tools of Empire: Ships and Maps in the Process of Westward Expansion (1986)
An exhibition of ship models and maps illustrating European and American expansion.

David Buisseret, Robert W. Karrow, Jr., and James R. Akerman. Two by Two: Twenty-two Pairs of Maps from the Newberry Library Illustrating 500 Years of Western Cartographic History (1993)
From the exhibit prepared for the 15th International Conference on the History of Cartography, consisting of manuscript and printed maps illustrating the strengths and major themes in the history of cartography.

Martha Pollack. Military Architecture, Cartography and the Representation of the Early Modern European City: A Checklist of Treatises on Fortification in The Newberry Library (1991)
A comprehensive survey and description of 72 works from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; includes an introductory essay by the compiler.

James Akerman and Robert Karrow. Cartographic Treasures of the Newberry Library (2001)
This exhibit, prepared for the 2001 international symposium of the International Map Collectors’ Society and the 14th Nebenzahl Lectures, showcased maps selected for their rarity, beauty, or ability to depict the past, and above all else, to illustrate that there are many answers to the introductory question: What makes a map a treasure?

—. Maps: Finding Our Place in the World (2007)
Companion volume to Field Museum–Newberry Library map exhibition, which explored cultural and historical perspectives on maps and mapping.

Occasional Publications

In 1987 the center began a series of occasional publications with the goal of publishing three types of works: carto-bibliographies and map finding aids, map facsimilies, and moderate-length original studies in the history of cartography. Seven studies have been published.

Noel S. O’Reilly, David C. Bosse and Robert W Karrow, ed. Civil War Maps: A Graphic Index to the Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (1987)
Over fifty maps, arranged by state, provide for local historians and genealogists a graphic index to the 1,006 detailed topographic maps and plans in the official atlas of the American Civil War.

Jonathan T. Lanman. On the Origin of Portolan Charts (1987)
Lanman makes a brief review of the various solutions that have been proposed to explain the origins of these charts of the Mediterranean, which appared at least as early as the late thirteenth century.

Christopher Klein. Maps in Eighteenth-Century British Magazines: A Checklist (1989)
Klein describes and indexes several hundred maps published in the Gentleman’s, London, Political, Scots, and Universal magazines. An introductory essay povides the historical context.

David Woodward. The Maps and Prints of Paolo Forlani: A Descriptive Bibliography (1990)
Woodward’s research in map collections all over the world has brought to light 97 different plates made by Venetian engraver Paolo Forlani, one of the most important figures in sixteenth-century Italian map publishing. Each plate and its known states are described, and 21 are reproduced.

Gerald A. Danzer. Images of the Earth on Three Early Italian Woodcuts: Candidates for the Earliest Printed Maps in the West (1991)
Professor Danzer describes and discusses three woodcuts (ca. 1450-70) in the Biblioteca Classense in Ravenna which contain circular schematic images of the earth that share certain features with several well-known medieval mappaemundi.

Arthur Holzheimer and David Buisseret. The “Ramusio” Map of 1534: A Facsimilie Edition (1992)
This anonymous and rare woodblock-printed map of the Atlantic Ocean was meant to accompany the Summario de la Generale Historia de l’Indie Occidentali…, attributed to Giovanni Battista Ramusio. Holzheimer and Buisseret compare the map with others of the period and explore links to the official Spanish cartography.

Jack Jackson. Manuscript Maps Concerning the Gulf Coast, Texas, and the Southwest (1519-1836): An Annotated Guide to the Karpinski Series of Photographs at the Newberry Library, Chicago, with Notice of Related Cartographic Materials (1995)
An annotated guide to the Karpinski series of photographs at the Newberry Library with notice of related cartographic materials.

Slide Sets

Our slide set series includes 36 titles, each consisting of six images with short descriptions and commentaries. The first five printed sets feature a selection of maps from important printed atlases of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Numbers 6-19 are topical sets selected and commentated by participants in the Center’s Transatlantic Encounters program for college and university faculty, which ended in 1989. Numbers 20-27 were produced in 1989 as a part of the Cartography and History summer institute program funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The final seven sets were produced by participants in “Popular Cartography and Society,” a 2001 summer institute supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Ptolemy, Cosmographia (Ulm, 1482). Examples from the Library’s exceptionally well-colored copy of Ptolemy’s Geography, the great classical text rediscovered in Renaissance Europe.

Ortelius, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Antwerp, 1584). This set offers examples from what is sometimes called the first modern atlas; it includes the exceptionally interesting map of America.

Saxton, Atlas of England and Wales (1579). Includes the map of England and five county maps; interesting not only for its mapping techniques but also as testimony of new national feeling.

Braun & Hogenberg, Civitates Orbis Terrarum (Cologne, 1572-1617). The equivalent for city-plans of Ortelius’s atlas for maps; this set includes examples from the whole of Europe.

Mercator, Atlas (Amsterdam, 1630). Examples from a late edition of the Atlas of Gerard Mercator (1512-1594), known both for his maps and for his projection, in use for centuries.

Early Modern Ship-types 1450-1650, commentary by Roger Smith. Details from early modern European maps to show the development of ship-types from the galley to the West Indiaman.

Sixteenth-century Images of North America: The Woodcuts of Andre Thevet, commentary by Roger Schlesinger. Plates from Thevet’s Singularitez and Cosmographie, offering images of sixteenth-century Canada.

Cartographic Images of the World on the Eve of the Discoveries, commentary by Gerald Danzer. Examples of mostly fifteenth-century European maps showing how the world was visualized before the Discoveries.

The New World in Maps: The First Hundred Years, commentary by John Day. Sets out some leading stages in the European perception of the world after 1492, ending with the Wright-Molyneaux map of 1599.

Defoe’s World Mapped: English Horizons in 1720, commentary by J. Kenneth Van Dover. A study in the growth of carographic ideas in early eighteenth-century England, using the work of Defoe and Moll.

France and Brazil in the First Century of Contact: The Lure of Brazilwood, commentary by Gayle Brunelle. Details from printed and manuscript maps, 1519-1613, showing the importance of logwood.

Fortified Towns of New France, commentary by Daniel Scalberg. Plates from the Library’s early eighteenth-century “Cartes Marines,” to show the development of Quebec, Montreal and Louisbourg.

The Image of the Indians in Early French Atalases and Travel Accounts, commentary by Mathé Allain. Details chosen from French work (1542-1640) to illustrate the lifestyles of the Indians.

Theatres of Cruelty: Wars of Religion, Violence and the New World, commentary by Tom Conley. Plates, mostly from Thevet and de Bry, relating New World cruelties to the origins in the Old World.

Missionaries in Sixteenth-century New Spain, commentary by Jerry Williams. Plates chosen to illuminate the nature of the religious contact between Christian missionaries and the natives of Meso-America.

John White’s America as Represented in the Engravings of Theodor de Bry, commentary by Charlotte Reiter. Plates from de Bry’s India Occidentalis, chosen to show the lives of the Virginia Indians.

The Image of Strangers: Indian Impressions of Europeans in Their Own Media, commentary by Robert Garfield. Indian impressions of whites, with their “guns and swords, hats and pants, tools and books.”

European Explorers’ Images of North American Indian Cultivation, commentary by James P. Krokar. Plates mostly from Champlain and de Bry to show the crops and cultivation methods of the North Americans.

Renaissance Survey Techniques and the Mapping of Raleigh’s Virginia, commentary by Michael G. Moran. Plates showing seventeenth-century English survey instruments and techniques, and their operations.

Nineteenth-century Images of the World for American School Children commentary by Jeffrey C. Patton. A cross-section of cartographic views that colored the image of the world for millions of nineteenth-century American school children.

Cartography of the Mexico-United States Frontier, commentary by Antonio Rios-Bustamante. A selection of maps illustrating the contrasting persepctives Mexicans and Anglo-Americans had of their common frontier region during the mid-1800s.

Map-Making Misconceptions and the Quest for a Water Route to Asia through the Great Lakes, commentary by Jack H. Haymond. Six representative printed maps that portrayed what sixteenth- to eighteenth-century explorers believed to be feasible water routes from the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes to the Pacific.

Representing the Republic: Cartographic Discourse in the U.S.A. 1865-1900, commentary by John Rennie Short. Plates illustrating the explosion of cartographic activity and changing social landscape of the U.S. after the Civil War.

The John Smith Map of Virginia: Derivations & Derivatives, commentary by Laurie Glover. Plates exploring the myths and realities of John Smith and his maps of the New World.

Fact and Legend in the Catalan Atlas of 1373, commentary by Doris Dwyer. A look at this marvel of medieval mapmaking and the diversity of traditions represented in the atlas.

El Golfo de Mexico: Sixteenth & Eighteenth Century Views of the America’s Sea, commentary by Margaret Villanueva. Six manuscript maps showing the changing views of the U.S. and Mexican borders and their geography, focusing on the inclusionary nature of “national” borders.

The Ottoman Presence in Southeastern Europe, 16th-19th Centuries: A View in Maps, commentary by James P. Krokar. European views of the Turkish “threat.”

Romantic and Modernist Images on Twentieth Century Iowa Official State Highway Maps, commentary by Daniel Block.

Gregorio Dati’s Sfera and Geographical Education in Fifteenth-Century Florence, commentary by Raymond Clemens.

Abstracting Africa: Thematic Mapping and British Imperialism, 1870 - 1930, commentary by Jon Hegglund.

Hiding and Highlighting Power in Eighteenth-Century North American Maps, commentary by Andrea Foroughi.

Map Promotion in Early Modern Europe, commentary by Christine Petto.

Going Places?: Gender and Map Use on 20th Century Road Maps, commentary by Christina Dando.

Mapping Chicago - Making Chicago, commentary by Robert Churchill.

Cold War Cartography in Popular Magazines. Commentary by Antony Oldknow and Cyndy Hendershot.

Defining Independent Central America (1821-1950): A Cartographic Inquiry. Commentary by Jordana Dym.