Posts by Polly Kienle

Holiday Family Fun: HUB Trains at the Museum!

Jacob1We look forward to hosting the HO-scale model trains and displays of the HUB Division of the Northeastern Region of the National Model Railroad Association here at the museum on the weekend of December 13 and 14. For over a decade, the hobbyists of the HUB Division have joined us to kick off the holiday season.

Bring the family for Model Train Weekend: 10:00 am to 4:30 pm on Saturday, December 13, 2014 and 12 noon to 4:00 pm on Sunday, December 14, 2014. Admission: $7 per family (non-members); $5 per family (museum or HUB members); $5 per individual.

IMG_3739_smallOur partner for this annual weekend event, the HUB Division, is a venerable club of over 50 years of age. It exists to promote and support the model railroading hobby and offers activities and education for members and the general public in all aspects of model railroading. HUB Division members present workshops on how to make trees, paint model freight cars to make them appear weathered, use rock molds and geodesic foam to create rock formations, and the art of construction and "scenicking" a diorama. Hours of patient work and years of skill development flow into the displays we enjoy each December.

As the history of the the club suggests, HO-scale model trains have been around for many years. The first model trains were twice the size of HO models, too large for hobbyists to set up at home. German firms of the 1920s offered the first home-scale model trains, followed by English models in the 1930s. Americans enthusiasts grew in large numbers in the 1950s, when the twin goals of attention to detail and realism of setting captured the imagination of new hobbyists. Today, HO-scale remains the most popular model train scale in North America and continental Europe. MMK_9207_cropped&compressedModel trains of this type are 1/87th the size of a real train out in the train yard. An HO-scale freight car easily fits into the palm of an adult's hand. HO-scale trains, buildings and scenics are big enough to for hobbyists to easily add detailing that creates realistic railroading layouts. 

For further information about model train weekend, contact the Museum at (781) 861-6559 or at programs@monh.org. For information about the museum visit www.monh.org.

February vacation is right around the corner. Come visit the museum with family and friends:

NTRAK Model Train Show

Saturday, Feb. 14, 10 AM – 4:30 PM and Sunday, Feb. 15, Noon – 4 PM

Join the Northeast NTRAK Modular Railroad Club for a February vacation weekend of fun. Proceeds will benefit both organizations. Admission: $5/individual; $5/family (members of either organization); $7/family (non-members).

Pieces of the Past – Telling Stories with Historic Relics

Wednesday, February 18, 2 PM

Bring family and friends to explore the fascinating stories behind the historic souvenirs in our exhibition. We will start with an exploration of the “Prized Relics: Historic Souvenirs from the Collection” gallery, where we will see pieces of the past saved by heroes and history fans. Then, participants can work together on hands-on activities that engage the imagination. Appropriate for ages 8 through adult. $6/family (members); $9/family (non-members). No registration is necessary for this approximately 1.5 hour program.


Workshop: How to Do History with Online Mapping Tools - Register Now!

MetroBostonDataCommonCalling all lay historians, data fans, and map enthusiasts!

We are rounding out our 2014 lecture series, "Speaking of Maps: An Exploration of Cartography and History," with a free workshop.

Saturday, November 22, 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

How to Do History with Online Mapping Tools

In this workshop, participants will learn how to use online tools to create and consult maps that chart Metro Boston area history. Staff from the MetroBoston DataCommon, a provider of free applications that make it possible to map data, will collaborate with Joanne Riley, University Archivist at UMass Boston, to demonstrate how visualizations of data and space related to our region can help us understand our history. Whether you are interested in exploring demographics, economy, the physical environment, cultural history, politics or more, bring your curiosity and your questions. Our presenters will share examples and point the way to potential uses of digital mapping for your local history research. This workshop is free thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Ruby W. and LaVon P. Linn Foundation. Space is limited; registration is required. Contact: programs@monh.org.

This workshop is offered by representatives of two local resources for historical material and data visualization:

As University Archivist at the UMass Boston library, Joanne Riley coordinates extensive collections that complement those of the Massachusetts State Archives and the John F. Kennedy Library. The university's urban mission and strong support of community service is reflected in the department's collections of records of urban planning, social action, alternative movements, and community organizations. In that context, Joanne oversees the Mass. Memories Road Show project, a long-term project to collect and archive images and oral history related to Massachusetts communities. She is a member of the advisory board of Mapping Thoreau Country, a project that takes of advantage of digital technologies to use historical maps to organize and interpret images, documents, and information related to Henry David Thoreau's travels throughout the United States.

The MetroBoston DataCommon is an interactive data portal and online mapping tool that provides a wealth of information about the region’s people, communities and neighborhoods through a wide variety of topics -- from arts and education to the environment and transportation. It is a collaborative project of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and the Boston Indicators Project. The MAPC is a regional planning agency serving the 101 cities and towns of Metropolitan Boston. The Agency promotes smart growth and regional collaboration, and provides a range of analytical, planning, and mapping services to municipalities and community-based organizations in metropolitan Boston. The Boston Indicators Project is coordinated by The Boston Foundation in partnership with the City of Boston and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). Its goals are to democratize access to data and information, to foster informed public discourse and to track progress on shared civic goals.

For further information about the program, contact the Museum at (781) 861-6559 or at programs@monh.org. For information about the museum visit www.monh.org.

Image courtesy of MetroBoston DataCommon.


Lecture: Native American Contributions to the Mapping of North America, 10/4

Long before European explorers and colonists arrived in North America, indigenous inhabitants had already explored and created maps of the vast landscapes of our continent. Come to our lecture to learn how Europeans venturing into unknown territories were dependent on collaboration with Native Americans.

JRS_smallerSaturday, October 4, 2:00 p.m.

Cartographic Encounters: Native Americans in the Exploration and Mapping of North America

John Rennie Short, Professor, Department of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

In this lecture Professor Short will outline the role of indigenous people in the exploration and mapping of North America  Drawing on diaries, maps, and official reports, he will demonstrate how Native American guides, informants, and mapmakers were essential to European and American exploration and mapping in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Professor of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, John Rennie Short is an expert on urban issues, environmental concerns, globalization, political geography and the history of cartography. His Cartographic Encounters: Indigenous Peoples and the Exploration of the New World appeared with the University of Chicago Press in 2009.

Join Hilary Anderson Stelling, Director of Exhibitions and Audience Development, at noon on Oct. 4 for a gallery talk in an exhibition she curated, "Prized Relics: Historic Souvenirs from the Collection." She will trace how fragments of a cherished quilt, gavels made from wood from famous trees, or bits of wood and stone collected on tourists’ journeys all tell us something about their collectors and what places and events they deemed historic.

Mark your calendars for the last program in our Speaking of Maps: An Exploration of Cartography and History series:

Saturday, November 22, 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Workshop: How to Do History with Online Mapping Tools

In this workshop, participants will learn how to use an online tool to create maps that chart Metro Boston area history. Staff from the MetroBoston DataCommon, a provider of free applications that make it possible to map data, will collaborate with Joanne Riley, University Archivist at UMass Boston, to show lay historians, data fans, and map enthusiasts how visualizations of data related to our region can help us understand our history. Whether you are interested in exploring demographics, economy, the physical environment, politics or more, bring your curiosity and your questions. Our presenters will share examples and point the way to potential uses of digital mapping for your local history research. Space is limited; registration is required by November 5. Contact: programs@monh.org.

Both programs are part of a series related to the Museum and Library’s collection of historic maps. They are free thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Ruby W. and LaVon P. Linn Foundation.

For further information, contact the Museum at (781) 861-6559 or check our website: www.monh.org.

Photo courtesy of John R. Short


Lecture: Reinventing the Map

We are pleased to share more information about the first lecture in the fall, 2014, continuation of our Speaking of Maps: An Exploration of Cartography and History series:

Susan cropped_smallSaturday, September 13, 2:00 p.m.

Susan Schulten, Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of Denver

Reinventing the Map

We live in a culture saturated with maps. We have become accustomed to making them instantly and representing virtually any type of data. Technology makes this possible, but our contemporary use of maps is rooted in a fundamental shift that took place well over a century ago. Professor Schulten will illustrate how, beginning in the nineteenth century Americans began to use maps not only to identify locations and represent the landscape, but to organize, display, and analyze information. Through maps of the agricultural data, landscape features, the distribution of slavery, census results, and the path of epidemics, Americans gradually learned to view themselves and their nation in altogether new ways. Don't miss this special lecture by the country's foremost authority on thematic mapping.

Susan Schulten is a scholar who seeks out ways to share her findings with the general public. Her work on nineteenth-century Americans' innovations in the use of maps has appeared in many locations and formats. Her latest book is Mapping the Nation: History & Cartography in 19th Century America (University of Chicago Press, 2012). Copies of this work will be offered for sale after her lecture and the author will be on hand to sign them. In 2013 the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association awarded Mapping the Nation the Norris Hundley Prize for the most distinguished work of history published in 2012 written by a scholar living in the American and Canadian west.

Historical_Geography_Smith_croppedAs a complement to the book, Prof. Schulten has created a website of the same name that allows readers to explore the fundamentally new ways of thinking ventured into by nineteenth-century cartographers. At the site, you'll find high-resolution images of the maps featured in Mapping the Nation - it's a great teaching tool!

Schulten also writes for the New York Times "Disunion" series, which commemorates the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, and on the relationship of maps and history for The New Republic. Curious readers can check out her "Disunion" post on a mysterious map of Louisiana that illustrates the thorny problems confronted by former Massachusetts governor Nathaniel P. Banks, charged with Reconstruction planning for the Gulf region. Among her many other engaging posts at "Disunion" are one on the Civil War work of noted lithographer John Bachman, originator of the "bird's-eye view" map - in a time before aerial photography! - and one on the United States Coast Survey's visualization of the 1860 U.S. slave population, so important in the Union's efforts to communicate its war aims.

Susan Schulten is professor of history and department chair at the University of Denver. She is also the author The Geographical Imagination in America, 1880-1950 (2001). In 2010, she was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation grant for her work on thematic mapping. 

Upcoming programs in this series are:

Saturday, October 4, 2:00 p.m.

John Rennie Short, Professor, Department of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Cartographic Encounters: Native Americans in the Exploration and Mapping of North America

In this lecture Professor Short will outline the role of indigenous people in the exploration and mapping of North America. Drawing on diaries, maps, and official reports, he will demonstrate how Native American guides, informants, and mapmakers were essential to European and American exploration and mapping in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Saturday, November 22, 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Workshop: How to Do History with Online Mapping Tools

In this workshop, participants will learn how to use an online tool to create maps that chart Metro Boston area history. Staff from the MetroBoston DataCommon, a provider of free applications that make it possible to map data, will collaborate with Joanne Riley, University Archivist at UMass Boston, to show lay historians, data fans, and map enthusiasts how visualizations of data related to our region can help us understand our history. Whether you are interested in exploring demographics, economy, the physical environment, politics or more, bring your curiosity and your questions. Our presenters will share examples and point the way to potential uses of digital mapping for your local history research. Space is limited; registration is required by November 5. Contact: programs@monh.org.

For further information, contact the Museum at (781) 861-6559 or check our website: www.monh.org.

Image credits:

Courtesy of Susan Schulten.

Historical Geography, [S.l.], 1888. John F. Smith.  llus. in: Harper's weekly, February 28, 1863. Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, LC-2002624023. This and other maps can be explored at Schulten's website, Mapping the Nation.


Lecture Series: Speaking of Maps: An Exploration of Cartography and History, Fall 2014

Speaking of Maps: An Exploration of Cartography and History, Fall 2014

In the fall of 2014, the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library continues its program series, “Speaking of Maps: An Exploration of Cartography and History." All programs will be free to the public thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Ruby W. and LaVon P. Linn Foundation.

Maps were among the first objects that the Museum collected after its founding in 1975. Our collection holds maps dating from the 17th century to the present. Using this collection as a touchstone, the series reflects current research that helps us value historical cartography. We hope you are as eager as we are to delve into the past worlds historic maps describe and forge paths to the new ones that digital mapping promises to chart.

Mark your calendar with these dates; future blog posts will share more details about the speakers and their topics.

Historical_Geography_SmithSaturday, September 13, 2:00 p.m.

Susan Schulten, Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of Denver

Reinventing the Map

We live in a culture saturated with maps. We have become accustomed to making them instantly and representing virtually any type of data. Technology makes this possible, but our contemporary use of maps is rooted in a fundamental shift that took place well over a century ago. Professor Schulten will illustrate how, beginning in the nineteenth century, Americans began to use maps not only to identify locations and represent the landscape, but to organize, display, and analyze information. Through maps of the environment, the distribution of the institution of slavery, the census, epidemics, and even their own history, Americans gradually learned to view themselves and their nation in altogether new ways.

JRS_smallerSaturday, October 4, 2:00 p.m.

John Rennie Short, Professor, Department of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Cartographic Encounters: Native Americans in the Exploration and Mapping of North America

In this lecture Professor Short will outline the role of indigenous people in the exploration and mapping of North America. Drawing on diaries, maps, and official reports, he will demonstrate how Native American guides, informants, and mapmakers were essential to European and American exploration and mapping in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

MetroBostonDataCommonSaturday, November 22, 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Workshop: How to Do History with Online Mapping Tools

In this workshop, participants will learn how to use an online tool to create maps that chart Metro Boston area history. Staff from the MetroBoston DataCommon, a provider of free applications that make it possible to map data, will collaborate with Joanne Riley, University Archivist at UMass Boston, to show lay historians, data fans, and map enthusiasts how visualizations of data related to our region can help us understand our history. Whether you are interested in exploring demographics, economy, the physical environment, politics or more, bring your curiosity and your questions. Our presenters will share examples and point the way to potential uses of digital mapping for your local history research. Space is limited; registration is required by November 5.  Contact: programs@monh.org.

Image credits:

Historical Geography, [S.l.], 1888. John F. Smith.  llus. in: Harper's weekly, February 28, 1863. Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, LC-2002624023. This and other maps can be explored at Schulten's website, Mapping the Nation.

Courtesy of John Rennie Short.

Courtesy of MetroBoston DataCommon.


Lecture: Map and Chart Publishing in Boston in the Eighteenth Century

David Bosse, Librarian and Curator of Maps at Historic Deerfield, explores “Map and Chart Publishing in Boston in the Eighteenth Century,” at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library, Saturday, June 7 at 2 pm. The lecture is free thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Ruby W. and LaVon P. Linn Foundation.

For much of the 18th century, map publishing in America was a financially precarious undertaking. The same held true in Boston, where individuals from many walks of life ventured into commercial mapmaking. Bosse's lecture will explore the work of several Boston mapmakers during an era of ad-hoc publishing.

Map Osgood-Carleton DP3DBThe image to the right shows the 1798 first edition of Osgood Carleton's map of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, held by our Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives. Carleton, a veteran of both the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War and one of the few Americans trained in military engineering and mapmaking, established himself as a leader among American mapmakers of the post-Revolutionary period. From his shop on Oliver's Dock in Boston, he published navigation and mathematics textbooks as well as maps of Boston, Massachusetts, the District of Maine, New Hampshire, the United States, nautical charts, and a marine atlas, in addition to running a school for navigation, mathematics, and cartography.

Map Osgood-Carleton DP4DBCarleton's "Accurate Map of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts" was the first official map of the new state, an idea he proposed to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1794. Massachusetts sorely needed this instrument to monitor and stimulate settlement, commerce, and development of transportation networks. (Previous regional mapping projects on this scale dated back to the 1750s, such as the map discussed in our earlier blog post.) Because the new Federal government was unable to provide support and the Commonwealth was also short on cash, Osgood funded this large-scale project through the support of many individual subscribers. The complex undertaking became frought with problems when not all Massachusetts towns were able to complete accurate new surveys of the lands within their bounds.

for monitoring and stimulating settlement, commerce, and development of transportation networks; as well as for delineating public lands available for sale. With a relatively weak Federal government unable to provide support and themselves short on cash, states had to come up with creative models for funding these labor intensive projects.
- See more at: http://www.bostonraremaps.com/catalogues/BRM1315.HTM#sthash.jss8KTvy.dpuf

To hear more about Carelton's "Accurate Map," as well as other tales of Boston cartographers, please join us and our speaker on Saturday, June 7th. David Bosse is Librarian of Historic Deerfield and the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, and curator of maps at Historic Deerfield. He formerly served as curator of maps at the Clements Library of the University of Michigan, and assistant map curator at the Newberry Library, Chicago. His research on the early American map trade has appeared in Mapping Boston (MIT Press, 1999), the journal Cartographica, and in the online journal, Coordinates.

This talk is part of the Museum's 2014 lecture series: “Speaking of Maps: An Exploration of Cartography and History.” Starting in September, we will have three more map-related programs in this series related to the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library’s collection of historic maps:

Saturday, September 13, 2 PM
Reinventing the Map
Susan Schulten, Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of Denver

Saturday, October 4, 2 PM
Cartographic Encounters: Native Americans in the Exploration and Mapping of North America
John Rennie Short, Professor, Department of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Saturday, November 22, 10 AM – 12:30 PM
Workshop: How to Do History with Online Mapping Tools
Registration is required; click here for more information.

For further information, contact the Museum at (781) 861-6559 or check our website: www.monh.org.

Sources:

David Bosse, "The Boston Map Trade of the Eighteenth Century." In: Alex Krieger and David Cobb, eds., with Amy Turner. Mapping Boston (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1999), p. 51.

For more information on the Carleton map, click here and here.

Image credits:

An Accurate Map of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts…, [1798].  Osgood Carleton (1742-1816).  Boston, Massachusetts.  Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives, 75.19.  Photograph by David Bohl.

Detail, An Accurate Map of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts…, [1798].  Osgood Carleton (1742-1816).  Boston, Massachusetts.  Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives, 75.19.  Photograph by David Bohl.


Lecture: Historical Maps and Digital Visualizations - Tools for Genealogists

From sixteenth-century maps depicting the location of Irish clans to maps of DNA test results showing ancient migration patterns, family historians use maps in many ways to tell the story of their ancestries. No longer content to use maps for reference, modern genealogists create maps employing a variety of software products and social media to research and share their ancestries.

MMHP4571Melinda Kashuba of Shasta College explores the wide range of maps family historians employ to research and document their families’ story in her lecture, “Organizing Wonder: Using Maps in Family History Research,” Saturday, April 12 at 2 pm at the museum. The lecture is free thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Ruby W. and LaVon P. Linn Foundation.

After the lecture, Ms. Kashuba will offer an informal discussion with interested audience members.

Melinda Kashuba holds a PhD in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles.She is a popular lecturer and author of Walking with Your Ancestors: a Genealogist’s Guide to Using Maps and Geography plus numerous articles in genealogical magazines and other publications. Her specialties include nineteenth and twentieth century American records and maps. She performs genealogical research for clients and is a member of the National Genealogical Society, the Association of Professional Genealogists, California State Genealogical Alliance, and the Shasta County Genealogical Society.

This talk is part of the Museum's 2014 lecture series: “Speaking of Maps: An Exploration of Cartography and History.” This spring and fall, we are offering a series of programs related to the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library’s collection of historic maps. Click here to see the most up-to-date topics, speakers, and dates and here to read a recent post about the series.

For our final spring map lecture, we will welcome David Bosse, Librarian and Curator of Maps, Historic Deerfield, to the Museum & Library on Saturday, June 7. His 2 p.m. presentation will be on: Map and Chart Publishing in Boston in the 18th Century.

For further information, contact the Museum at (781) 861-6559 or check our website: www.monh.org.

Image credit:

Courtesy of Melinda Kashuba


Spring Gallery Talks: "A Sublime Brotherhood"

3.23  SC010T1_compressedWe have added some spring gallery talks in A Sublime Brotherhood: 200 Years of Scottish Rite Freemasonry in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction to our programs roster.

The talks will be held at 2 p.m. on: Saturday, March 22; Saturday, April 26; Saturday, May 17; Saturday, July 26.

"A Sublime Brotherhood" was curated by Aimee E. Newell, the Museum's Director of Collections, in celebration of the bicentennial of the Northern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite's founding. The exhibition features keystone documents, such as the Francken manuscript (pictured here). You will also see richly decorated ritual objects, like a colorful and intricately carved lectern, and personal items, such as astronaut John Glenn's Scottish Rite ring

Come and learn about the Scottish Rite's French roots, its founding in America two centuries ago and its evolution into one of the most popular American fraternal groups during the 1900s. Among other features of the exhibition are photos, costumes, and Scottish Rite items, many of which have never previously been on view.

Our readers may be interested in the publication that accompanies "A Sublime Brotherhood," co-authored by Newell and other Museum staff. To learn more about the book and how to order it, read our previous post.

For further information, contact the Museum at (781) 861-6559 or check our website: www.monh.org.

Image credit:

Francken Manuscript, 1783. Henry Andrew Francken, Kingston, Jamaica. Collection of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library, SC 010. Photograph by David Bohl.


Lecture: What Map Was Used by the British Officer Who Led the Retreat from Lexington and Concord?

Map of the Most Inhabited Parts of New England JeffreysIt's spring of 1775, and the Province of Massachusetts Bay is rebelliously defying the laws Parliament has passed to coerce the local Assembly to obey His Majesty, King George III. Instead of offering reimbusement for the tea destroyed in Boston Harbor back in late 1773, the country people outside of Boston have formed an illegal assembly which is turning the once-loyal town militias into an army of insurrection! What is a Regular Army officer to do? Imagine yourself in the position of Brigadier General Percy, commander of the 5th Regiment of Foot, stationed in Boston in 1774 to keep the King's peace. How can you make a strategic, tactical or even logistical assessment of the surrounding landscape? Are there maps available that provide the level of detailed information about the countryside required by your duties?

Join Matthew Edney, Osher Professor in the History of Cartography at the University of Southern Maine, as he explores these fascinating questions in a free lecture at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library. On Saturday, March 15 at 2 pm, his topic will be: General Hugh, Earl Percy's Use of the Map of New England During the American Revolution. Edney delves into the evidence provided by the revealing annotations made on a personal copy of this map by Hugh, Earl Percy, a distinguished career officer in the British Army and commander of its 5th Regiment of Foot. (Our image is of the Museum & Library's print of this map; the print annotated by Percy is held by the Osher Map Library at the University of Southern Maine.) Percy led the relief column that saved the retreating British forces at the Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. This presentation will be a particular treat, as our museum is located just yards down the road from Lexington's Munroe Tavern, where Percy set up a temporary field headquarters on April 19th. A variety of other maps available in the period outline the distinct kinds of geographical knowledge possessed by the British military in Boston in 1774-1775 and will be also be examined in the lecture. This program is free to the public once again thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Ruby W. and LaVon P. Linn Foundation.

Matthew_edneyMatthew Edney studied for a B.Sc. in geography at University College London before moving to the U.S.A. for graduate work in geography, cartography, and the history of cartography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He taught at the State University of New York at Binghamton for five years before moving to USM in 1995, at which time he declared himself a willing refugee from GIS and digital mapping. USM has allowed him to focus on his specific interests in map history, which have steadily expanded from the history of surveying technologies and their role in nineteenth-century European state formation and imperialism to encompass the wider practices and performances of map making in Europe after 1600, and more particularly in the British Atlantic World, 1650-1800.

On the same Saturday, March 15, we've planned a 12 noon gallery tour of "Journeys and Discoveries: The Stories Maps Tell" in anticipation of Matthew Edney’s lecture at 2 PM. Polly Kienle, Public Programs Coordinator, will focus the tour on some of the Revolutionary War-era maps from the Museum’s collection. While London mapmakers published views of the American colonies and towns where British soldiers and colonists fought for territory, other maps of North America reflected power struggles between European nations as well as Native American nations’ lessening influence on the continent. Click here to read a related past post from our blog.

Melinda Kashuba of Shasta College will join us on Saturday, April 12, at 2 p.m. for the series' second talk. Her topic will be: Organizing Wonder: Using Maps in Family History Research. After the lecture, the presenter will offer an informal discussion with interested audience members.

For our final spring map lecture, we will welcome David Bosse, Librarian and Curator of Maps, Historic Deerfield, to the Museum & Library on Saturday, June 7. His 2 p.m. presentation will be on: Map and Chart Publishing in Boston in the 18th Century.

For further information, contact the Museum at (781) 861-6559 or check our website: www.monh.org.

Image credits:

“A Map of the Most Inhabited Part of New England…,” 1755. Cartography by Bradock Mead, alias John Green, (ca. 1688-1757). Published by Thomas Jefferys (c. 1719-1771), London, England. Van Gorden-Williams Library and Archives, 055-1755

Courtesy of Matthew Edney


Speaking of Maps: An Exploration of Cartography and History - Our New Lecture Series

A Plan of the Action at Bunkers Hill 1775We are pleased to announce the Museum's new lecture series: “Speaking of Maps: An Exploration of Cartography and History.” In the Spring and Fall of 2014, we will offer a series of programs related to the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library’s collection of historic maps. Click here to see the most up-to-date topics, speakers, and dates. All programs are free to the public once again thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Ruby W. and LaVon P. Linn Foundation.

Maps were among the first objects that the Museum collected after its founding in 1975. Our collection holds maps dating from the 17th century to the present. Using this collection as a touchstone, the series reflects current research that helps us grasp the value of historical cartography. In addition, we don't want to miss the oppportunty to explore the new digital technologies that are changing the nature of maps and enhancing our ability to create them. We hope you are as eager as we are to delve into the past worlds historic maps describe and forge paths to the new ones that digital mapping promises to chart.

Here are the first four programs in the series. Three focus on the use and production of maps in the 1700s, when North America was a theatre where conflict between great European powers played out and colonists suddenly stepped onto the stage to change the course of history. Our image above shows a strikingly detailed map of the British "intrenchments" during the siege of Boston (April 1775-March 1776). This map will be on view in the "Journeys and Discoveries: The Stories Maps Tell" gallery through April 5 - don't miss your chance to see it and many more fascinating witnesses to history. The second half of our maps lecture series will commence in September, 2014 - stay tuned!

On Saturday, March 15, at 2 p.m., Matthew Edney, Osher Professor, History of Cartography, Univ. of Southern Maine will present a talk entitled: General Hugh, Earl Percy's Use of the Map of New England during the American Revolution. How did British officers know the landscape of New England at the start of the revolution, whether strategically, tactically, or logistically? This lecture considers the evidence provided by the annotations made on Hugh, Earl Percy's personal copy of the standard map of New England, together with the variety of maps available in the period, to outline the distinct kinds of geographical knowledge possessed by the British military in Boston in 1774-1775.

On the same Saturday, March 15, we've planned a 12 noon gallery tour of "Journeys and Discoveries: The Stories Maps Tell" in anticipation of Matthew Edney’s lecture at 2 PM. Polly Kienle, Public Programs Coordinator, will focus the tour on some of the Revolutionary War-era maps from the Museum’s collection. While London mapmakers published views of the American colonies and towns where British soldiers and colonists fought for territory, other maps of North America reflected power struggles between European nations as well as Native American nations’ lessening influence on the continent.

Melinda Kashuba of Shasta College will join us on Saturday, April 12, at 2 p.m. for the series' second talk. Her topic will be: Organizing Wonder: Using Maps in Family History Research. From sixteenth century maps depicting the location of Irish clans to maps of DNA test results showing ancient migration patterns, family historians use maps in many ways to tell the story of their ancestries. No longer content to use maps for reference, modern genealogists create maps using a variety of software products and social media to research and share their ancestries. Join Melinda Kashuba and explore the wide range of maps family historians employ to research and document their families’ story. You may be inspired to start mapping your own family's journey. After the lecture, the presenter will offer an informal discussion with interested audience members.

For our final spring map lecture, we will welcome David Bosse, Librarian and Curator of Maps, Historic Deerfield, to the Museum & Library on Saturday, June 7. His 2 p.m. presentation will be on: Map and Chart Publishing in Boston in the 18th Century. For much of the 18th century, map publishing in America was a financially precarious undertaking. The same held true in Boston, where individuals from many walks of life ventured into commercial map-making.  This lecture explores the work of several Boston mapmakers during this period of ad-hoc publishing.

For further information, contact the Museum at (781) 861-6559 or check our website: www.monh.org.

Image credit:

A Plan of the Town of Boston with the Intrenchments & c..., 1777. Surveyed by Thomas Hyde Page (1746-1821). Printed by William Faden (1749-1836). Van Gorden-Williams Library and Archives, 073-86.  Photograph by David Bohl.