welcome to

The Society for the History of Discoveries

geographical discovery, cultural encounter, voyages of exploration,  maps and cartographic history,

About the Society

The Society for the History of Discoveries was formed to stimulate interest in teaching, research, and publishing the history of geographical exploration and its impact. Founded in 1960, the Society includes members from several academic disciplines as well as archivists, non-affiliated scholars, and laypersons with an interest in history.  We are open to all with an interest in the subject.

Society History

The Society is fortunate to have captured the reminiscences and reflections of several founding and early members.  These essays provide a personal link back to the past and describe people, places and events in the establishment and development the Society.
Please click below for these stories.

Student Prize

The Society for the History of Discoveries announces its 2020 Student Prize for best student research paper in the history of geographic discoveries. Founded in 1960, the purpose of the Society is to stimulate teaching, research, and publishing in the history of geographical exploration. We now call for research papers on voyages, travels, biography, history, cartography, the technologies of travel, the impact of travel and cultural exchange, and other aspects of geographic discovery. The primary purpose is to enlighten the reader about some aspect of the geographic exploration of our physical world.

Annual Meeting

Each year, our annual meetings bring together scholars from across the globe to explore issues related to the history and impact of geographical exploration and cultural exchange and interaction.   Learn more about how you can join us!

George A. Smathers Library

Gainesville, Florida

  • Site of the 2019 SHD Conference
  • One of the largest university library systems in the USA
  • Named for US Senator George Armistead Smathers, 1951-1969
  • Dean:  Judith C. Russell

Government House

St. Augustine, Florida

  • Site of a government building since 1598
  • Managed by the University of Florida
  • Official governor’s residence from ca. 1710-1812
  • Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • Cultural Center and Museum

Holiday Inn University Center

Gainesville, Florida

  • 2019 SHD Conference Hotel
  • Free parking; shuttle service
  • Free WiFi
  • Restaurants on site
  • Fitness Center; outdoor pool

and their Society Journal

Terrae Incognitae is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal published for the Society for the History of Discoveries by Taylor & Francis.  The aim is to examine the history and impact of geographic exploration and cross-cultural interaction around the globe.  Each issue includes an expansive book review section.  Recent articles have ranged from the use of DNA technology to track the movement of chickens and thus populations in pre-historic Oceania to the role of the Order of Christ in furthering 16th-century Portuguese expansion; from the significance of inter-cultural adoption or rejection of clothing for understanding cross-cultural interaction to Marco Polo’s influence on cartography.

The journal welcomes comparative and interdisciplinary studies as well as those focused on a particular time or place.

Information for Contributors

We welcome contributions to Terrae Incognitae.  All information concerning article submission can be found on our publisher’s web site:

It was the discoveries that provided data for geographers, which allowed them to make sense of the various places in the world with their varying cultures and environments. ” Sanford Bederman, SHD Fellow

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