26 January 2016

Call for Papers: 2016 Annual Meeting

Call for Papers
2016 Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries

Where: Newport, Rhode Island
When: 22-24 September 2016 with possible tour on 25 September

Theme: The Mariner's Life: At Home, Abroad, and At Sea

Papers, 20 minutes in length, are invited on all aspects of this theme, from navigation to piracy, from sailor's wives to shipwrecks, from slavery to food, shipboard entertainment, and the law of the sea. A featured part of the conference will be the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project and its work locating British ships, including Cook's bark Endeavour, lost off the Rhode Island coast during the Revolutionary War.

The Program Committee welcomes proposals from SHD members, scholars, and independent researchers that address all aspects of geographical discovery and exploration. Preference will be given to those papers that are particularly aligned with the conference theme, but all paper proposals of high quality, regardless of geographic orientation, will be considered.

The audience at SHD meetings is diverse and includes academics and members of various professions. All are especially interested in the processes and consequences of geographical exploration and discovery. Presenters are encouraged to use images (maps, paintings, photographs, etc.). For the benefit of the audience all visuals have to be presented as PowerPoint compatible projections.

Paper Proposals are Due February 15, 2016
  • the title of the presentation 
  • the author’s name and address, including email address and affiliation 
  • an abstract summarizing the paper’s scope and conclusions (maximum of 500 words) 
  • a statement about the originality of the contents of the paper: how much is new, unpublished material, based on research in primary sources, etc. 
  • a statement indicating whether power point or other digital media will be used and whether internet access is necessary for the presentation. 
  • a brief biographic sketch of the author(s) 
SHD welcomes submissions from graduate students and emerging scholars. 

Paper proposals should be submitted as e-mail attachments, with the subject line SHD 2016, to:

Dr. Marguerite Ragnow, Program Committee Chair

Questions? Please contact Dr. Ragnow at ragn0001@umn.edu or 612-624-6895

27 April 2015

Latest issue of Terrae Incognitae

The latest issue of Terrae Incognitae, the journal of the Society for the History of Discoveries, is now online!

The contents of this issue are as follows:


Insulae Americanae by Cornelius Danckerts, 1696

17 October 2014

SHD Members talk about Mapping the U.S.

The "Great American Desert" notation of the
Great Plains from Maj. Stephen Long's expedition.
North Texas PBS station KERA offers an audio interview of three map scholars and SHD members: University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) special collections curator Ben Huseman; Texas Map Society president Gerald Saxon; and Imre Dembardt, Professor of Cartographic History at UTA. Part of their radio series Think with host Krys Boyd, these scholars present a look at how maps relay information about American society as the United States has changed and expanded.

A new issue of the SHD newsletter Terrae Cognita

The latest issue of the SHD newsletter Terrae Cognita has been published here.  You'll find abstracts for the upcoming meeting in Austin, and other member news.  Happy reading!

Uncovering Hidden Text on a 500-Year-Old Map That Guided Columbus

World map of Henricus Martellus Germanus from 1489,
currently at the British Library.
"Uncovering Hidden Text on a 500-Year-Old Map That Guided Columbus" by Gregg Miller at Wired

10 September 2014

Franklin's Lost Expedition Found

Man Proposes, God Disposes by Edwin Henry Landseer, 1864.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Canadian researchers say they have discovered the wreckage of one of the ship's from Captain Sir John Franklin's lost 1845-1846 Arctic expedition, solving one of the major exploration mysteries of the Victorian Era.  Franklin's team was locked in the ice during a doomed expedition searching for a passage through the islands of northern Canada, the famed Northwest Passage.  All of the crew members eventually died.  The remains of the expedition were never found, though numerous search parties were sent out to look for them.  Researchers are not yet sure if they have found the HMS Erebus or the HMS Terror, but they have good views of the wreck under the waters of Victoria Strait, just off King William Island.

11 August 2014

The Ninth Biennial Virginia Garrett Lectures on the History of Cartography

The link below is the announcement and registration brochure for the 2014 Virginia Garrett Lectures on the History of Cartography/Map Fair of the West.