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Explore the Depths of the Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress

  • Thursday, October 27, 2022
  • 3:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • In-Person & Zoom

Three separate events arranged in association with the Library of Congress Philip Lee Phillips Society and open to all map societies, in person and/or virtually

Presentation 1:
From Farmsteads to Supercomputers: Mapping the Electoral Demographics of the United States, 1812-Present
John Hessler, Specialist in Computational Geography and Geographic Information Science and Curator of the Jay I. Kislak Collection of the Archaeology and History of the Early Americas, Library of Congress
In person at Library of Congress, Madison Building, Mumford Room (LM Sixth Floor), 3:00 PM ET and Virtual, 3:00 PM ET/2:00 PM CT/ 1:00 PM MT/Noon PT

Presentation 2:
Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division, Special Display, Tours and Reception
Visit with curators, explore the collection and enjoy refreshments with other map enthusiasts and friends
In person only at Library of Congress, Madison Building, Geography and Map Division Reading Room (LM B02), 4:30-6:00 PM ET

Presentation 3:
“Will Work for Maps”: A History of the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Special Map Processing Project
Laura McElfresh, Cartographic Metadata Librarian, University Libraries, University of Minnesota
In person at Library of Congress, Madison Building, Mumford Room (LM Sixth Floor), 7:00 PM ET and Virtual, 7:00 PM ET/6:00 PM CT/ 5:00 PM MT/4:00 PM PT

Hessler Summary:  The mapping of the complex electoral makeup of the United States has a long history stretching from the earliest Census and population tabulations at the beginning of the Republic, to the present. From the first simple counts of citizens, enslaved peoples and immigrants, to the use of supercomputers for the drawing of Congressional districts, the numbers, maps and methods have always been controversial. This talk will survey the history of early electoral mapping and present an introduction to the modern computational methods being used to understand the electoral demographics of the United States.

McElfresh Summary:  (Based on a recent Journal of Map and Geography Libraries article co-authored with Paige Andrew and Linda Musser.) After World War II, the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division acquired large quantities of military-related maps through the U.S. Army Map Service and similar agencies, resulting in many duplicate or otherwise expendable cartographic materials. To manage this surplus, G&M founded its Special Map Processing Project, recruiting hands-on staffing assistance from geography students, faculty, and librarians. In return for their labor, Project participants selected surplus “duplicate” maps for their home institutions, thus strengthening, enlarging, and sometimes “seeding” map collections throughout the United States and Canada. Ms. McElfresh will review the Special Project's origins, structure, impacts, and outcome.

Planning to attend?   

Registration is required for each presentation, whether you are attending in person or virtually. Registration links for each event will be forwarded in early October.

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