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Member Benefits

Membership in the WMS is open to individuals and organizations (such as libraries and universities) and there is no prerequisite for joining other than an interest in maps. Nearly all membership benefits are fully accessible to our members around the world through the exclusive, “members-only” section of our website, including speaker events and our acclaimed journal.

The WMS is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization run by member volunteers, and every dollar raised through member dues and donations is used to promote our mission of supporting and promoting map collecting, cartography and the study of cartographic history.

The WMS offers several annual membership options, including an introductory rate of $25 for a one-year membership for first-time members who choose to receive their Portolan journals digitally, as well as a special rate of $20 per year for students enrolled in school.

Become a Member

The Journal of the Society, The Portolan

This thrice per year, heavily illustrated, full-color journal contains well researched articles on cartography, book reviews, recent publications, and the news of the Society. It is considered to be the premier journal of cartographic interest published in the U.S.

The WMS offers two membership options – one with printed issues mailed to the member and the other with only digital copies of the journal.

All members receive access to a digital repository of ALL past issues of The Portolan – more than 100 issues.

View sample issues of The Portolan

Lecture Series

The WMS attracts world-class speakers presenting interesting and informative lectures on the many and diverse facets of the world of maps.

Monthly lectures are offered in two formats:

1) Online Zoom meetings

2) In-person lectures in a variety of venues in the Washington, D.C. area when health and safety considerations permit

All members receive access to a digital repository of videos with more than 50 past speakers from the last 6 years of lectures.

View sample lecture

Support for the Walter W. Ristow Prize

This prize, which includes a $1,500 cash prize, is awarded annually by the WMS for an outstanding academic research paper on cartographic history.

This competition is aimed at students in the field including undergraduates, graduate students and first-year post-doctoral students.

The winning paper is published in The Portolan.

Field Trips

For those who live in or travel to the Washington, DC area, we offer exclusive field trips to visit map-related events, collections and exhibits.

These field trips often include behind-the-scenes access and expert guest speakers.

Membership Directory

Our membership directory allows our members to make connections with other map enthusiasts around the world.

Our diverse membership is comprised of people from 19 different countries, with varied backgrounds and cartographic interests, and serves as a great resource for sharing knowledge.

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