Our Meeting Place

As of September, 2014 The New York Map Society will hold our meetings at The New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street, at Central Park West. We will meet in either the Elliott Library or the Adler Study which are across the hall from each other on the sixth floor of the Society.

We all owe a big thank you to our President Emeritus and Board Member Sy Amkraut, without whose help, this move would not have happened.

With the exception of field trips and special events, our regular meetings are on the second Saturday of each month (except June, August and December). Our meetings are open to the public, and there is no charge to attend.

See our Newsletter for other map-related events in the New York City area that may be of interest to members. Contact the sponsoring organization for further details about these events.

Our Next Meeting

Saturday, October 18, 2:30pm

Meeting Place: The New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W 64th St, New York, NY 10025, (212) 874-5210

The Map Thief

In The Map Thief, award-winning investigative reporter Michael Blanding tells the true-life story of a map dealer–turned-criminal E. Forbes Smiley III, who stole more than $3 million worth of antique maps from rare-book libraries around the country. Smiley was ultimately caught in 2005 when an attentive librarian spotted a razor blade he dropped on the floor at Yale University, leading to the ultimate unraveling of his deceptions. Hear Blanding talk about exclusive new information about the case — including the first-ever interview with Smiley himself -- painting a compelling psychological portrait of a man driven by desperation to betray his friends and colleagues and deface the artifacts he loved more than anyone. In addition to talking about Smiley’s thefts, Blanding will also talk about the rare and antique maps he stole, examining what makes them so beautiful, so valuable, and so tempting to steal.

Michael Blanding is a Boston-based investigative journalist whose work has appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, Slate, Salon, Consumers Digest, The Boston Globe Magazine, and Boston Magazine. His first book, The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World's Favorite Soft Drink, was published by Avery/Penguin in 2010. His latest, The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps, was published by Gotham Books in June 2014 and named a New England Indie Bestseller by the New England Independent Booksellers Association. Blanding is currently a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University and a staff writer at Harvard Business School. He has won multiple awards for his writing.

His book will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

To read more about Blanding and his new book, visit the website: Mapthief.

Future Meetings

Saturday, November 8, 2:30pm

Meeting Place: The New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W 64th St, New York, NY 10025, (212) 874-5210

Cartographic Traditions in East Asian Maps

Utilizing maps in the MacLean Collection, this lecture provides some of the particular practices and relationships between text and image in East Asian map making during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It will reveal certain similarities and distinctive differences in the representations of space, both real and imagined, in early modern cartographic traditions of China, Korea and Japan. In addition, as this was a period when Western nations were applying pressure on East Asia to open for trade, religion and diplomacy, the introduction of Western cartographic methodologies during the early modern period of East Asia, along with some of the resulting changes, will also be discussed.

Richard A. Pegg, PhD is currently Director and Curator of Asian Art for the MacLean Collection in Chicago. Dr. Pegg has written and lectured extensively about East Asian Art, martial arts and cartography. His most recently released book is entitled Cartographic Traditions in East Asian Maps, and will be released for sale in September). Like Fred Shauger, our society president, Dr. Pegg will just have recently returned from the IMCoS (International Map Collectors Society) conference in Seoul.

Pegg’s book will be available for purchase and for signing at the event.

Saturday, December 6, 2:30pm

Meeting Place: The New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W 64th St, New York, NY 10025, (212) 874-5210

Christopher Columbus' Book of Privileges, 1502: The Claiming of a New World

John Hessler and Daniel De Simone will discuss their new book, a facsimile edition of the Washington Codex (By John Hessler, Chet Van Duzer and Daniel De Simone), which is a manuscript cartulary brought together by Columbus that contains all of the charters and privileges granted him in his four voyages. The volume also contains two Papal bulls, one of which is the earliest surviving manuscript mention of the discovery of the New World dated 1493.

John W. Hessler is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and curator of the Jay I. Kislak Collection of the Archaeology and History of the Early Americas at the Library of Congress. He is the author of more than 100 articles and books and has written extensively on archaeology, cartography and the environment. His research has been featured in national media outlets such as The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Recently he was the subject of a profile in Discover Magazine. An avid mountaineer, he is a regular contributor to the climbing and exploration journal Alpinist. Hessler’s new book is “Christopher Columbus Book of Privileges: 1502, the Claiming of a New World” (Levenger Press in association with the Library of Congress).

The book will be available for purchase and for signing at the event.

Link to List of Previous Meetings