The World in Maps: Exhibition Opening Lecture
“From Dati to d’Anville: Early Modern Europe and the Birth of the Atlas”
Jim Akerman is Director of the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography and Curator of Maps at the Newberry Library, Chicago, where he has worked for 37 years. He received his PhD (Geography) from the Pennsylvania State University in 1991. His early research and publications concerned the history of the atlas. More recently his work has focused on forms of popular and commercial cartography, travel and transportation mapping in the United States, and more broadly the place of mapping in civic and political culture. In addition to his contributions on these subjects to academic journals, collections of essays, and three volumes of the History of Cartography, he has edited or co-edited six collections of scholarly essays, including Cartographies of Travel and Navigation (Chicago, 2006), The Imperial Map (Chicago, 2009), and most recently, Mapping Nature across the Americas (Chicago, 2021), with Kathleen A. Brosnan. Grants from private foundations and the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities have supported the creation of three major web resources and seventeen summer seminars and institutes for teachers, graduate students, and college and university faculty. His most recent exhibition at the Newberry Library, Crossings: Mapping American Journeys closed on 25 June of this year.
Following the lecture, all are invited to the exhibition opening reception from 5pm to 7pm