WPC Map Society News

Thank you for visiting our web site. Would you like to be on the WPCMS email list? Do you have questions about an old map? To send us a message, please use the Contact link in the WPC Map Society drop down menu above, or you can scroll to the bottom of this page. Some upcoming events involving or of interest to WPC Map Society members are listed below.

  • Saturday, 24 March 2018 – Library of Virginia, Richmond.
    The Fry-Jefferson Map Society announces it’s next workshop – John Smith’s Map of Virginia and It’s Many Derivatives – on March 24 at 10:00-11:30 am at the Library of Virginia.  We hope you will plan to join us.

    Captain John Smith published a map of Virginia in 1612 to accompany a booklet entitled “Map of Virginia.” As engravers made changes to the copperplate from which the map was printed, several states of the map entered into circulation. It became the “mother” map of Virginia, influencing European mapmakers as they printed maps of the colony for inclusion in atlases. As a result, multiple derivatives entered the book market. Cassandra Britt Farrell, the Library’s senior map archivist will explore the differences between the states of Smith’s map of Virginia and its many derivatives, including the fascinating images displayed on these pictorial maps. Participants will learn about the individuals who copied Smith’s map and the variety of atlases and books in which these maps are included. Virginia Discovered and Discribed by Captayn John Smith is still a valuable reference for historians, anthropologists, and arc haeologists—it identifies the location of Algonquian settlements and demonstrates the English translation of Indian settlements.

    The Fry-Jefferson Map Society hosts this workshop.
    $20 Fee for Nonmembers
    $15 – Semper Virginia Society Members
    FREE – Fry-Jefferson Map Society Members
    To register visit: https://goo.gl/EYvEAd
    Dowload a copy of the flyer here: http://www.lva.virginia.gov/involved/img/Mar24FryJeffWorkshop.pdf

    For more information about this event or how to become a member, contact the Library of Virginia Foundation at 804.692.3813 or e-mail dawn.greggs@lva.virginia.gov.

  • An updated history of the 1807 Price-Strother map of North Carolina is available on line in the Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts (aka the MESDA Journal). Much has been written about colonial era maps of North Carolina, but the very first state map published from actual surveys has received woefully inadequate attention. This article attempts to rectify that injustice. Quoting Jonathan Price’s eulogist“It is believed that neither the public utility and vast importance of the [map], nor the difficulty in executing it, have ever been reflected on by one in a thousand.” Why don’t you become one in a thousand? It’s real easy. Just follow this link

If that doesn’t satisfy your map history appetite, you will find supplementary information about the Price-Strother map in the following blog posts:
Petitions, loans, legislative stuff
Map advertisements and reviews
P-S map mentioned in contemporary letters
Jonathan Price’s stirring letter to the University trustees
Finally, you’ll find a brief story about Jonathan Price’s Plan of the Town of New Bern right here.

    • Please have a look at the WPCMS’s North Carolina Map Blog, where topics related to North Carolina’s cartographic history are being discussed. Would you like to contribute a blog entry? That would be awesome! Please use the contact form below to inform us of your interest.


    • Jonathan Crowe authors a superb general map blog, The Map Room.


    • Gary W. Thompson’s presentation in June 2014 at the State Library provided an overview of the history of the North Carolina-South Carolina boundary that determined how North Carolina got its shape. Information was provided on the research and survey work performed to complete the recent task of reestablishing the boundary. For those of us who couldn’t make it, many thanks to the NC Archives for making it available on their YouTube channel.



    • Mike McNamara’s outstanding research on the 1737 Moseley/Cowley manuscript map of North Carolina, A New and Correct Map of the Province of North Carolina: The Discovery of a 1737 North Carolina Manuscript Map, is available on line in the Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts.


  • Henry Taliaferro’s superb, scholarly research on the Fry-Jefferson map has been published in the Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts, and is available on line. Congratulations to Henry for this outstanding contribution to cartographic history, and to Gary Albert for an equally outstanding job of editing and on line layout.


  • I have a bit of GREAT NEWS to help satisfy your philanthropic urges via any or all of the following 3 great choices….
    • The UNC-Chapel Hill Library has established The Cartographic History Fund to support acquisition, conservation, and associated educational programs in the Library’s North Carolina Collection and Rare Book Collection. The wonderful staff at the Wilson Library have hosted many of our map society events. You can contribute by mail or on line. You can mail your donations or direct any questions to:

      Peggy Myers, Director of Library Development 239 Davis Library – Campus Box 3900 Chapel Hill, NC 27514-8890 Tel: 919-843-5651 Send a message to Peggy Myers

      If you prefer to make your UNC donation on line, here are some instructions to get you started…

      Go to this web site: http://giving.unc.edu/gift/lib/  Click the “Search Funds” tab.Enter CARTOGRAPHIC in the keyword search field and click “Search“. The search results will return The Cartographic History Fund. Enter the amount of your gift in the “amount” window, then click the  “plus sign” in the green box to the right of that window.  The remainder of the process is self-explanatory.

    • The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), located in Old Salem, has been a wonderful host for several WPCMS meetings. You can show your support by joining at the level of your choosing. Join on line here. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to direct your donation to MESDA’s Cartographic Arts Fund, please use snail mail (there is not yet a mechanism to direct on line donations to a specific fund). Make a check payable to MESDA-Cartographic Arts Fund and mail it to:

      Robert Leath – MESDA

      924 South Main Street

      Winston-Salem, NC 27101

      The fine people at MESDA have been actively conserving, displaying, and adding to their superb collection of maps. The Cartographic Arts Fund will support those endeavors and map-related educational programs such as the superb series of Mapping the Early South seminars.

    • Donations to the Geography & Map Division, via their friends group, the Philip Lee Phillips Map Society of the Library of Congress, are also an excellent means of supporting the preservation of cartographic history. You can join by using the “Join or Donate Online” button on the Phillips Society Membership Options web page. If you prefer to mail a check, use the “Membership Form” button on the same page to print the form to mail with your donation.  Past issues of the PLPS newsletter, as well as the Occasional Papers series, are accessible on line from the PLPS Publications web page.
  • If anyone has an interest in organizing and/or hosting an event for the William P. Cumming Map Society, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We welcome comments or questions.

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