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Matthew Edney -  2021

Professor Matthew H. Edney is an internationally renowned map historian and geographer and, most of all, a long-standing and devoted member of the Society for the History of Discoveries. He was born in London where he completed the B.Sc. (hons.) in Geography at University College London (1983). After graduation he continued his education at University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received his M.S. in Cartography (1985) and Ph.D. in Geography (1990).  After teaching at SUNY [State University of New York]–Binghamton in 1990–95, Edney moved to the University of Southern Maine in Portland as faculty scholar in the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education. In 2007 he also became Osher Professor in the History of Cartography.

Professor Edney is a fruitful scholar who is interested in all things related to cartography. As a boy he dreamed of becoming a surveyor; as a trained geographer he has kept his devotion to mapmaking and surveying up to the present. He has made a particularly deep impact on the affirmation of the history of cartography and map history as an academic discipline. As a professor, he has raised generations of students, supporting their love for cartography and exploration. As a colleague, he is always generous and open-minded to new ideas which he gladly shares with others. He is known for his social engagement and promotion of the map as an historical source. Dr Edney maintains a blog - Mapping as Process - where he discusses this study. 

Dr Edney has published and edited extensively. He is prolific writer known for a series of papers and books, his own research interests addressing a variety of topics and concerns. He contributed ‘Defining a unique city: surveying and mapping Bombay after 1800’ for Bombay to Mumbai: changing perspectives (J.J. Bhabha for Marg Publications, Mumbai, 1997). His dissertation was published as Mapping an Empire: The Geographical Construction of British India, 1765–1843 (University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1997). Since moving to Maine, Edney has particularly studied the mapping of colonial New England and North America, including essays on William Hubbard's map of New England (1677) - the first map printed in British America; John Smith's map of New England (1616/17), and John Mitchell's 1755 map of North America that is often called "the most important map in American history." He has an abiding interest in developing conceptual frameworks for mapping and map history, which has matured into a large project; the first part appeared in early 2019 as Cartography: The Ideal and Its History (University of Chicago Press). 

To the wider academic community he is best known as Director of the History of Cartography Project, the position that he officially took over in 2005, after the death of his graduate advisor, David Woodward. In this capacity Edney implemented Woodward's strategy of pursuing – concurrently - the last three of the six-volume series as interpretive encyclopedias. He persuaded the University of Chicago Press both to publish volumes 4, 5, and 6 in full color and to place them online for free public access. As the History of Cartography Project’s Director (effectively starting in August 2004 before his formal appointment), he was responsible for the final editorial tasks associated with Volume Three, Cartography in the Renaissance, and has had overall responsibility for Volume Six, Cartography in the Twentieth Century, and (starting in 2008) for Volume Five, Cartography in the Nineteenth Century. These responsibilities were in addition to his specific work as editor with Mary S. Pedley of Volume Four, Cartography in the European Enlightenment (Chicago University Press, 2020).

Dr Edney has curated numerous map exhibitions, mostly hosted by his home institution the University of Southern Maine. They discuss various aspects of cultural and intellectual history from Shakespeare (“Shakespeare’s Europe”), American history (“The Cartographic Creation of New England” – his first exhibition, produced in conjunction with the 36th Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries, Portland ME, 31 October – 2 November 1996; “Mapping the Republic: Conflicting Concepts of the Territory and Character of the USA, 1790–1900”; “The Historical Development of the Outline of the U.S.A.”; “Mapping Maine: The Land and Its Peoples, 1677–1842”) to depicting the cosmos (“Art of the Spheres: Picturing the Cosmos since 1600”).

Last, but not least, Professor Edney is a devoted member of SHD which he supports and has served for many years. In 2011 he organized and hosted the 52nd SHD Annual Meeting in Portland, Maine. Edney has been an article author in Terrae Incognitae. For his outstanding publications and work Professor Edney was presented, in 2008, by University of Southern Maine, its Faculty Senate Award in the Humanities for Scholarship.Hehas held prestigious fellowships from University of Michigan, Brown University, University of Southern Maine, University of Wisconsin–Madison and State University of New York at Binghamton. 

For his scholarly contributions to the history of cartography and map history, for his contribution to the SHD, and for his outstanding professorship at University of Southern Maine, Matthew Edney deserved to be named a Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Prepared by Mirela Altić

Marguerite Ragnow

Marguerite Ragnow - 2020

The Society for the History of Discoveries honors in 2020 a person who has been an active and distinguished member of our learned society, serving the Society and the academic world.

Dr. Marguerite Ragnow has for many years been curator of the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota.  This specialized library was once directed by Jack Parker, founding member of our Society, and Marguerite has carried on his scholarship with her own.  Many in our Society have come to know her while mining the Library's fabulous collection of primary and secondary sources on the history of exploration, which she works tirelessly to expand while offering guidance to generations of scholars.

At the University of Minnesota, she earned her Ph.D. with Distinction in Medieval History, with a subfield in early modern world trade and minors in Latin and Medieval Studies.  Marguerite is not only the Bell Library's curator; she serves also as a member of the graduate faculties of History, Medieval Studies, and Early Modern Studies at the University of Minnesota, and is co-PI for the Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World -- in these capacities she has advised many students.  A prolific researcher, she has authored a monograph and co-authored and/or edited several books, as well as publishing journal articles.  She received a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and is director of a digital research workshop.

Dr. Ragnow has long been a member of our Society, attending many of its annual meetings with her husband.  She has served in a multitude of Society roles.  As co-chair and then chair of the SHD Student Prize committee, from 2005 to 2014, she was highly active in encouraging student participation in the Society.  From 2007 through 2013, Marguerite was editor of the Society's journal, Terrae Incognitae, responsible for its transition from a realtively informal journal, issued once a year, to a journal associated with the publishing firm Maney (now Taylor & Francis), and issued twide a year.  Since that time, our journal has continued to expand, and to consolidate its presence among its peers.

As Vice President (2015-2017), Marguerite organized the program for the meeting in Newport, Rhode Island, and finalized the local arrangements, filling in for the current president.  She continued to serve as acting president, organizing the meeting and program in Milwaukee.  She served the Society as President for the period 2017-2019.  In 2020 she formally agreed to serve as SHD web content manager, a role she undertook informally in 2016.  Her service continues.

Few of our members have played so large and constructive a role in the life of our Society, and the recognition of Marguerite Ragnow as a Fellow is clearly essential.

For her years of distinguised and invaluable work as Curator of the James Ford Bell Library, her important scholarly contributions to archival research, her special teaching abilities at the University of Minnesota, and her tireless efforts on behalf of the Society for the History of Discoveries, as President, Vice-President, Editor of the Society journal Terrae Incognitae, and as co-chair and chair of the Student Prize Committee, we honor Marguerite Ragnow and name her FSHD -- Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Prepared by Gayle Brunelle and David Buisseret

Barry Gough - 2019

Perspectives on global history held by a Canadian are likely to differ from those of a person of another nationality, although Barry Gough has worked with an impartial mind girded by research in numerous archives and libraries around the world to avoid the bogus and the cant. His love of history, particularly that of the northwest coast of North America, from San Francisco to the Bering Sea, was enriched by intensive study of the papers of the Hudson’s Bay Company then still housed in the London and, above all, of the Admiralty and Colonial Office papers in the old, cold and damp Public Record Office, Chancery Lane. His book The Royal Navy and the Northwest Coast of North America, 1810-1914 – the first of twenty-two titles – was a study in British maritime ascendancy based on his doctoral thesis, written under the demanding guidance of the Rhodes Professor of Imperial History at King’s College London University, Gerald S. Graham. The work appeared in 1971, at a time when naval history and imperial encounters with peoples of the wider world rubbed against the grain: for, while prevailing scholarship seemed to be working toward decolonization, deconstruction, and exposing the horrors of empire, Gough’s efforts seemed to be going in opposite directions.

While amassing materials upon which his first book was based, he collected a reference file “Gunboats and Natives.” Over the next decade, all the while establishing Canadian Studies programs at Western Washington and then Wilfrid Laurier University, he crafted Gunboat Frontier, published in 1984, a novel study of the interaction of British ships-of-war (duly acting on civil authority) and various Indigenous peoples. The focus was on British Columbia but extended to police actions in Puget Sound and Russian America. Earlier experiences were brought to bear on his scholarship. Undergraduate years at the University of British Columbia and master’s studies at the University of Montana had yielded a wider appreciation of northwest coast history. Even before, his boyhood travels gave him on-the-ground knowledge of such disparate places as the Napa Valley, the Columbia River estuary, the Palouse, Clark’s Fork, Lake Windermere, Mount Ranier, Hell’s Gate of the Fraser River, and the Okanagan Valley. Summertime sailing brought a knowledge of navigation, pilotage, and place names. His father, John, was a central force in all of this, and author of The Story of British Columbia, an introduction for young readers to the compelling complexities of a world in which the great cordillera from the Rocky Mountains to the Cascade ramparts and all the inlets and islands offshore proved an irresistible attraction to the young scholar.

Biographical studies of fur traders followed in rapid succession, complementing oceanic efforts. He edited, in two volumes, The Journal of Alexander Henry the Younger, 1799-1814, for The Champlain Society. He wrote First Across the Continent: Sir Alexander Mackenzie, restoring the importance of the study of personality and character in the motivations, in this case commercial and imperial, of the person who against odds made the overland passage to the Pacific tidewater in 1793. In doing so, the young Scot offered the promise of a transcontinental Canadian dominion. Gough continued with the more complex subject for his next biography, the Connecticut colonial soldier Peter Pond, who as an ensign had been with Amherst at the fall of Montreal. Pond went on to become the administrative brains in the founding of the Northwest Company of Canada, besides being a unique and important cartographer of that vast network of rivers, lakes and portages that stretches from Lake Superior to the upper Mackenzie River. The Elusive Mr. Pond: the Soldier, Fur Trader and Explorer who Opened the Northwest revealed a formidable character – ardent, urgent, and imperative – who guided the commercial destinies of individual traders fighting the rivalry of the Hudson’s Bay Company. This biographical pairing – Mackenzie and Pond – disclosed the Canadian challenge that Thomas Jefferson was all too aware of when he arranged for Lewis and Clark to be sent out to the Pacific on their “passage through the garden.” Another biography followed, this one on the quizzical Juan de Fuca, a Greek pilot in the employ of the King of Spain who told Michael Lok in Venice that he had found a Northwest Passage from the far side of the world. Juan de Fuca’s Strait: Voyages in the Waterway of Forgotten Dreams brings the story to the scientific inquiries two centuries later of Captain George Vancouver of the Royal Navy and Juan Francisco Bodega y Quadra of the Spanish navy, the commissioners sent to implement the Nootka Sound convention.

Other works include The Historical Dictionary of Canada (3rd edition in press), Canada (Modern Nations in Historical Perspective series), two books on the War of 1812 on the Great Lakes, and a study of the famed naval historians of modern British history, Arthur Marder, and Stephen Roskill, entitled Historical Dreadnoughts. This last he regards as his gift to the understanding of the arduous profession as pursued by rival historians.

Pax Britannica: Ruling the Waves and Keeping the Peace before Armageddon won the Mountbatten Literary Award in 2015 “for his significant and comprehensively researched contribution to the history of the British Empire over the period 1815 to 1914. Written in a lucid style, this book demonstrates the immensity of global ambition and the controlling influence of the Royal Navy.” His most recent book, published in 2017, is Churchill and Fisher: Titans at the Admiralty, acclaimed for its coverage of the politics of peace and for exposing the severity of war and bitter infighting to secure the building of the new Dreadnoughts, as well as the threats arising from U-boat operations and the abortive Dardanelles campaign.

Gough was Professor of History, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, for 33 years. On his retirement, in 2004, he returned to his native Victoria and his childhood home. There, he renewed his interest in local and regional history. He is Honourary President of the British Columbia Historical Federation and recipient of numerous honours, prizes and awards, including the Robert Gray Medal of the Washington State Historical Society for sustained historical contributions to Northwest History. For civic contributions, in Ontario and British Columbia respectively, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He is Fellow of Kings College London and Archives By-Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge University. Guest lectureships have taken him to Duke, Otago, Singapore, Canberra, Natal, Belfast and other universities. Each provided new windows on an expanding world of scholarship, helping him to shape global history, and imperial and international history in a new guise.

A life member of the Society for the History of Discoveries, Barry has been an article author and a frequent reviewer of books for Terrae Incognitae and is an active member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Society’s journal.

For his many outstanding publications in Canadian and British imperial and naval history; for his fine record of teaching and mentoring students, particularly at the Wilfrid Laurier University; and for his contributions to the scholarly community of imperial, international and maritime historians, we honor Barry Gough and name him Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Sixtieth Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Gainesville, Florida
November 15, 2019

Prepared by Lauren Beck; photo by Tom Sander

Herman J. Viola - 2018

Herman J. Viola, curator emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution, received his B. A. (1960) and M.A. (1964) in history from Marquette University and his Ph.D. in history from Indiana University (1970).  A world-renowned historian, editor, and educator, his scholarly focus for nearly 60 years through public service, publications, and museum exhibits has been the3 exploration of the American West and the American Indian experience from contact to the present time.  Currently, he is the historian on the Citizens’ Coinage Advisory Committee for the U.S. Mint and the senior advisor to the National Native American Veterans Memorial to be opened at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in November 2020.

Among Dr. Viola’s major contributions to history is launching the first internship program for Native Americans at the Smithsonian in 1972.  The program, which encouraged Indians to become tribal librarians, archivists, and historians mentored some 65 inters from 55 tribes.  One of them, Lorraine Bigman (Navajo), became the first accredited Native American librarian; another, George Horse Capture (Gros Ventre), retired as a senior curator at the NMAI.

Dr. Viola began his career as an archivist with the Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the National Archives in 1967 and then, in 1972, became director of the National Anthropological Archives of the Smithsonian Institution, a position he held until his retirement in 1993.  The Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archives traces its origin back to western explorer John Wesley Powell, and has custody of one of the world’s largest and richest archival collections related to North American archaeology and ethnography, indigenous art work, and historical photographs.

Dr. Viola has published and edited extensively, first as assistant editor of the Indiana Magazine of History (1964-1967) and then as editor of Prologue: The Journal of the National Archives, which he launched in 1968.  In addition, he has authored, co-authored, and edited some 50 books according to the Library of Congress Card Catalog.  Among these are Thomas L. McKenney:  Architect of America’s Early Indian Policy, 1816-1830 (Sage Books, 1974); The Indian Legacy of Charles Bird King (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1976); Diplomats in Buckskins (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1981), The National Archives of the United States (New York: H. N. Abrams, 1984); and Warriors in Uniform (National Geographic Society, 2007).  Little Bighorn Remembered:  The Untold Story of Custer’s Last Stand (Times Books, 1999) was selected by both Book of the Month Club and the Quality Paperback Club and was a primary selection of the History Book Club.  His most recent publication, co-authored with Ralph Ehrenberg, is Mapping the West with Lewis and Clark (Levenger Press in association with the Library of Congress, 2015).

Dr. Viola curated several major museum exhibitions.  With Peter Marzio, he co-curated in 1977 and co-wrote the catalog for Perfect Likenesses, an exhibit at the National Museum of American History that compared early 19th-century oil portraits of American Indian leaders by Charles Bird King and Henry Inman to lithographic copies.  It was the first time the paintings and lithographs from one of the country’s most ambitious 19th-century publishing ventures—History of the Indian Tribes of North America (1836-44)—were reassembled to examine the project’s accuracy and historic value.  At the National Museum of Natural History, he curated Magnificent Voyagers:  The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842, which opened in October 1985.  Dr. Viola, a naval veteran himself, welcomed the opportunity to tell the story of the round-the-world naval expedition credited with discovering Antarctica.  After its closing a year later, the exhibit then traveled to Wisconsin, Alaska, and Hawaii.  Dr. Viola also co-authored the exhibit catalog, published by the Smithsonian Institution Press in 1985.  This was followed by Seeds of Change, which opened at the museum in 1991.  The exhibit examined the exchange of plants, animals, and diseases between the “Old” and the “New” Worlds as a result of the Christopher Columbus voyages of discovery.  Dr. Viola also co-authored the exhibit catalog: Seeds of Change:  A Quincentennial Commemoration (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991).  For the National Museum of the American Indian, Dr. Viola curated Patriot Nations, which highlights the role of Native Americans in our nation’s armed forces.  Five copies of the poster exhibit are currently touring the country to raise public awareness of the forthcoming memorial.

In addition to his literary and curatorial work, Dr. Viola has authored a middle school social studies textbook, Why We Remember:  United States History (Addison-Wesley, 1997; Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2007), and he has taught courses on archives, western exploration, and American Indian history and culture for the University of Wyoming at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody and as an adjunct professor at George Washington University, American University, the University of Virginia, and the Catholic University of America.

In addition to his classroom work, Dr. Viola has conducted some 30 summer field trips in the Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone national park, and Grand Teton national park in association with the Smithsonian Institution, the Snake River Institute in Jackson, Wyoming, the Yellowstone Institute with the University of Montana, and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming.  These field trips followed the routes of western explorers, including Lewis and Clark’s epic crossing of the Lolo train over the Bitterroot Mountains on horseback, and portions of the Oregon Trail.

In recognition of Dr. Viola’s lifelong public service and scholarly achievements, Wittenberg University (Springfield, OH) awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1988; and in 20016 he received the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award from Marquette University.

Dr. Viola’s association with our Society has been a long and productive one.  It began with a keynote address, “The Wilkes Expedition,” at the Society’s 27th Annual Meeting in London in 1987, and he organized and chaired sessions, notably “The First Explorers:  The Unrecognized Role of Native Peoples in Discovery and Exploration,” at the 45th Annual Meeting in Cody, Wyoming.

Last, but not least, Dr. Viola has made his mark as a marathon runner.  He started running marathon’s young—at the age of 50!  After completing seven full 26.2 mile marathons, he retired to half marathons, where he is frequently among the top finishers in his age group.  His last competition was this past May at St. Michaels, MD, where he came in second in the above 80 years old group.  Herman is currently training for his next event, the Outer Banks Half Marathon on Veteran’s Day this coming November.  One of his running buddies, Ann Bennett Schoper, reports that “He is a beast!!!” during a race.

Dr. Viola is the son of Italian immigrants who believed strongly in education as the key to achieving the American Dream, and he credits much of his academic and scholarly success to two of his academic advisors, Frank L. Klement and Father Francis Paul Prucha of Marquette University, and to his wife Susan, who not only encouraged him but also accompanied him on his many excursions in search of historical discoveries.

For his contributions to the Society for the History of Discoveries and for his years of public service and scholarship related to the histories of the American West and the American Indian, we honor Herman J. Viola and name him a Fellow of the Society of the History of Discoveries.

Fifty-Ninth Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Golden, Colorado
September 21, 2018

Prepared by Ralph E. Ehrenberg
(Photo of Herman Viola by Marguerite Ragnow Campion, 2018)

Thomas F. Sander - 2015 

Thomas F. Sander was born 70 years ago in Baltimore where he spent his youth and received his undergraduate education.  He attended Loyola University Maryland 1962-1966 and graduated with a BS in Political Science and Sociology. While in college he began to show his budding interest in the military by joining Pershing Rifles which, according to their web site, is “the nation’s premier undergraduate military honor society.”  He also joined Scabbard and Blade whose mission it is to develop military officers.

Tom joined the Army in 1966.  The Army quickly recognized his abilities and from 1970-1972 sent him to American University where he obtained a MA in International Studies, specializing in European Affairs.  In 1984 Tom attended University of North Carolina at Charlotte and obtained a MA in Political Geography. From 1985-1987 he attended the US Army War College where he received a Diploma in National Security.

Tom’s military postings have included Washington DC, Fort Holibird Maryland, Fort Bragg North Carolina, Fort Leavenworth Kansas, Vietnam, Turkey, Germany, England, and the Netherlands.  Tom served in Vietnam for two years from battalion to corps level; he received two Bronze Star Medals. For much of his career he was a Foreign Area Officer (Western Europe). Upon retirement he was awarded the US Army Legion of Merit.  He also received the Netherlands Ministry of Defense Medal of Merit (in Gold) for his over three years of service in that country as a military attaché; he was a key planner of the US participation in the country’s nationwide commemorations of the 50th Anniversary of the end of World War II.

Tom retired from the Army as a Colonel in 1996 after 30 years of distinguished service.  He then started 19 years, and still counting, of volunteering his services to the history of discoveries and cartographic community.  He joined the Society for the History of Discoveries within a year of retiring from the Army, and was on the SHD Council by 2005. In 2006 and 2007 he was Vice-President and arranged the SHD meetings in Portland Oregon in 2006 and Chicago in 2007.  Tom was SHD President from November 2007 to October 2009. He has served the Society as Web Content Manager since 2000; the website’s success as a worldwide “public face” of our Society is due to his work in acting as the sole point of contact for all materials appearing at the site.  In addition, Tom has reached out to other individuals and groups and publicizes the activities of SHD and Terrae Incognitae on various electronic mailing lists.

Tom also is very active with the Washington Map Society.  He served as Vice-President in 2000-2001 and President 2001-2002.  He has been editor of The Portolan: the Journal of the Washington Map Society since 1997.  As editor, Tom changed the thrice-yearly The Portolan from a black-and-white to a multi-colored publication, increasing its size from approximately 40 pages in each issue to 80 pages.  Membership in the Washington Map Society has increased by more than thirty-three percent. Sixty percent of the membership lives outside the Washington Metropolitan area, and fifteen percent live outside the United States.  Many members join just to receive The Portolan, which can be found in over 50 libraries around the world including the British Library in London, Cambridge University Library, Bodleian Library in Oxford, the National Archives in Kew, National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, and Trinity College in Dublin.  The Washington Map Society has honored Tom with a Lifetime Membership Award.

For his service to the Society for the History of Discoveries as an officer, for his numerous years of service as the “public face” of SHD to the general public as SHD Web Content Manager, and for his years of service as publicist of SHD events on the Internet, we honor Thomas F. Sander and name him a Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Fifty-Sixth Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
London, England
July 9, 2015

Prepared by John W. Docktor

Carla Rahn Phillips - 2013

Carla Rahn Phillips, Union Pacific Professor Emerita (since May 2013) in Comparative Early Modern History at the University of Minnesota, is a prize-winning scholar of international stature whose interests encompass early modern European social and economic history and maritime history.  She has written seven books, twenty-six articles in refereed journals, and forty-one book chapters and invited articles. In 2008, King Juan Carlos I of Spain named her to the Royal Order of Isabel the Catholic, the equivalent of a knighthood. Spain’s Royal Academy of History elected her as a Corresponding Member in 2005.  She has held prestigious fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Tinker Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the John Carter Brown Library, and the Huntington Library. Four of her books have received national or international prizes, one of them garnering two awards.

Carla was born in Los Angeles, a seventh-generation Californian whose Spanish ancestors were among the founders and settlers of San Diego, San Gabriel, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara.  Her undergraduate education was also in California, at Pomona College, where she graduated in 1965 with a cum laude B.A. in History and the Cecil Short Prize in Music for performance in choral music.  For graduate work, Carla moved to New York, earning an M.A. in 1966 and a Ph.D. in 1972—both in History—from New York University.  The next year NYU awarded her its Founders’ Day Award for “having achieved a place in the highest bracket of scholastic preferment.”

In 1972, she began her teaching career at the University of Minnesota as an Assistant Professor, progressing to Associate Professor in 1978 and to Full Professor in 1986.  In 1987, she was a Visiting Professor at the University of California, San Diego. In 2005 she became the Union Pacific Professor of Comparative Early Modern History at Minnesota.  During her career, she served the Department of History and the College of Liberal Arts in a variety of positions, including Director of Graduate Studies in the History Department on two occasions. She taught a variety of courses in early modern European history and served as dissertation adviser for eleven successful doctoral students.  In 2006 and 2010, she led a Summer Dissertation Seminar at Minnesota in “The Comparative History of the Early Modern World,” sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Also under the auspices of the Mellon Foundation, she has taught a summer institute in Spanish Paleography several times, most recently at the Newberry Library in Chicago in the summer of 2013.

Her service to the wider academic community is wide-ranging and impressive.  She served on numerous committees for the American Historical Association and in 1996-99 was its Vice President for the Professional Division.  She was General Secretary (chief officer) of the Society for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies in 1984-88 and hosted or co-hosted the society’s annual meeting in Minneapolis in 1986 and 1997.  She was a founding member of the Forum on European Expansion and Global Interaction, served as its president in 1996-98, and hosted its biennial meeting in Minneapolis in 1996. In addition, she was a vice president of the International Committee for the History of Nautical Science in 2009-2012 and has served on the executive committees of The Society for the History of Discoveries, the North American Society for Oceanic History, and the Sixteenth Century Studies Association.  She has served on the editorial or advisory boards of American NeptuneSea HistoryMains’l Haul: A Journal of Pacific Maritime HistoryOxford Companion to World ExplorationOxford Encyclopedia of Maritime HistoryEncyclopedia of the Early Modern WorldArchiv für Reformationsgeschichte/Archive for Reformation HistoryRepertorium Columbianum, and “Minnesota Studies in Early Modern History,” a book series.  She has also been a consultant to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, the Mariners’ Museum of Newport News, the government of Colombia, the International Historical Watercraft Society, the Ocean Sciences Research Institute, the Fort Guijarros Museum Foundation in San Diego, “Project 1992” in St. Augustine, and the Corpus Christi Museum.  Since 1999 she has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain’s Ministry of Culture and United States’ Universities.

Her scholarship began with her dissertation on the central Spanish municipality of Ciudad Real.  That research developed into her first book, Ciudad Real, 1500-1700: Growth, Crisis, and Readjustment in the Spanish Economy (Harvard University Press, 1979).  Her interest in maritime history began when Jack Parker, curator of the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota, pointed her to a packet of documents regarding galleons built for Spanish naval service.  That developed into her second book, Six Galleons for the King of Spain: Imperial Defense in the Early Seventeenth Century (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986).  The book garnered the Leo Gershoy Prize of the American Historical Association (1987), the Spain in America Prize (first prize) from the Spanish government, and a listing among Choice’s “Outstanding Academic Books.”  A Spanish translation appeared in Madrid in 1991. Next she published two books co-authored with her husband, William D. Phillips, Jr. The first, The Worlds of Christopher Columbus (Cambridge University Press, 1992), received the Spain in America Prize (second prize), and the New York Times reviewed and cited it as a notable book of 1992.  The second was Spain’s Golden Fleece: Wool Production and the Wool Trade from the Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), winner of the Leo Gershoy Prize of the American Historical Association for 1998 and a listing in Choice’s Outstanding Academic Titles, 1998-2002.  A Spanish translation appeared in 2005. Carla’s next solo book was The Treasure of the San José: Death at Sea in the War of Spanish Succession (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007), about a ship sunk by the British that carried what has long been thought (incorrectly) to be the richest treasure ever sunk.  The Professional and Scholarly Publishing division of the American Association of Publishers honored the book with its “Award for Excellence in World History and Biography/Autobiography” in 2007.  The publisher Marcial Pons Historia issued a Spanish translation in 2010. That same year, Carla and William Phillips published their most recent joint book, A Concise History of Spain (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Carla’s interest in maritime history now occupies most of her scholarly energies.  She is finishing a translation and introduction for the Hakluyt Society in the U.K. about a Spanish voyage to the South Atlantic in 1581-84.  She is also involved in various projects with the Maritime Museum of San Diego, where she became the first holder of the “Robert and Laura Kyle Chair in Maritime History” in 2009.  The Museum is currently building a reconstruction of the galleon that Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sailed into San Diego Bay in 1542 — the first European ship to visit San Diego. She chaired the historical advisory committee that planned the construction and volunteers with the build crew whenever she visits San Diego.

For her many outstanding publications in early modern social, economic, and maritime history, for her fine record of teaching and mentoring students, particularly at the University of Minnesota, and for her contributions to the scholarly community of maritime historians, we honor Carla Rahn Phillips and name her Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Fifty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Tampa, Florida
November 1, 2013

Prepared by Carol Urness

Francis Herbert - 2012

Francis Herbert was born under the bombing and “rockets’ red glare” of the German Blitz over London on 25 July 1941.  He was soon evacuated from the city and spent the rest of the war with a widowed relation and her four children, chickens and a garden in Wiltshire near Salisbury Plain.  A grandfather lived nearby and kept bees for natural honey. Those years and subsequent holidays spent around the Salisbury area along with his membership in the Boy Scouts helped to kindle his early interests in nature studies and physical geography.

During his school years, Francis’ fascination with geography, geology, and maps grew, and in secondary school he was attracted to chemistry and physics as well.  At age fourteen, he also joined the school choir and theatrical group. Until recently, he sang in a professional-standard choir that tours widely, and he maintains his love for the arts.

Beginning with a summer job, at age seventeen Francis began in the employment of the British Broadcasting Corporation in its television, then radio, Gramophone and Music Libraries, working with classical, light, and foreign music and stimulating his growing skills in foreign languages and scripts.  Over the course of his life, he has become practiced, and mostly self-taught, in French, German, Swedish, Welsh, Armenian, Russian, and Dutch. After leaving the BBC, Francis became an assistant librarian at the then Northampton College of Advanced Technology (now City University of London) while at the same time earning a certificate in proficiency in the theory and practice of paper and vellum repair at what was the London College of Printing.

Thereafter, his library and museum work with yet different media—cartographic, photographic, artistic, scientific instruments, and explorers’ artifacts—continued by returning to geography; in 1971 he began working in the Map Room of the Royal Geographical Society on Kensington Gore in London, where he remained until his retirement in 2006.  Francis dedicated himself to cataloging, bibliography, and carto-bibliography and became a godsend many times over to scholars and their students and others using the RGS’s collections. In so doing, he vastly upgraded and modernized the RGS Map Room’s reference systems and made them more user-friendly to individual members, other patrons, and outside institutions.  Carefully choosing unique and scientifically-important terrestrial globes in the RGS for conservation was eventually his responsibility, too.

Francis is the author of numerous book chapters and articles on cataloging, bibliography, carto-bibliography, and the history of discovery, exploration, and cartography in various European, Canadian, and American publications.  In retirement, he even now is engaged in editing books, bibliographies, and theses. He also has curated three major exhibitions at the RGS based on its collections to mark the anniversaries of the Hydrographic Office of the United Kingdom (1995), Gerhard Mercator (1995), and Abraham Ortelius (1998).  He was on the editorial boards of The Map CollectorMercator’s World, and MapForum and, from 1976 until 2005, compiled the bibliography for Imago Mundi.  He has served two terms on the Council of the Hakluyt Society in 1996-1999 and 2006-2011 respectively.  As the “author of meticulously researched articles” and “probably the most helpful librarian in the world” among other reasons, in 1995, Francis was the winner of the International Map Collectors’ Society R.V. Tooley Award.  And in 1996, he was given an Honorary Fellowship of the RGS “for his contributions to the Society and to the wider cartographic world as Map Curator and cartographic scholar;” and also earned his Fellowship of the British Cartographic Society.  He is truly internationally renowned not only for his knowledge and skills, but also as a person of good humor, and a notorious punster.

Francis joined the Society for the History of Discoveries in 1991.  He has presented at an annual meeting of the Society and has served as a Council member, Vice President/President-Elect/Program Chair, and in 1997-1999 as President.  He also was valiantly instrumental in bringing the Society’s necktie to fruition and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Terrae Incognitae.

For his technical and historical scholarship and other contributions to bibliography, carto-bibliography, map curatorship, and the history of discovery, exploration, and cartography, for his invaluable well-informed and affable assistance to countless individuals and institutions in these and related fields, and for his energetic leadership in the SHD, Francis Herbert herewith is made FSHD—Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Fifty-third Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Pasadena, California
September 28, 2012

Prepared by Dennis Reinhartz
(Photo by David Webb)


Dennis Reinhartz - 2011 

Dennis taught history at both the secondary school and college level before joining the history department at The University of Texas at Arlington in 1973.  He spent thirty-five years at UTA before he retired, progressing through the ranks of assistant, associate, full professor, and now professor emeritus. One of the most popular teachers at UTA, Dennis attracted students to his classes, where he challenged them to open their minds to new ideas, think critically, and learn to express themselves orally and in writing.  He supervised numerous theses and dissertations and was one of the most sought-after faculty members for M.A. capstone exams.

It was at UTA that Dennis developed his interest in discoveries and explorations as well as cartographic history.  His interest developed as a result of the gifts of Jenkins and Virginia Garrett (both Fellows of the Society for the History of Discoveries) to UTA’s Special Collections as well as encouragement from friends and scholars R. V. Parry, David B. Quinn, William McNeill, David Woodward, Brian Harley, and Helen Wallis to mention a few.

Dennis joined SHD in 1980 at the urging of Woodward and Robert S. Martin, and attended his first meeting in Madison, Wisconsin.  From this first introduction to SHD he was hooked. He has served SHD in various leadership capacities, first as a Council member in the 1980s and later as Vice President/President-elect, chairing the programs in Vancouver, Washington, in 1991, and Miami, Florida, 1992. He was President in 1993-1995, when the Society met at Mackinac Island, Michigan, and Arlington, Texas.  This past year in Santa Fe he led the optional tour for SHD members and helped chair local arrangements. He has made numerous presentations at SHD annual meetings and has published numerous book reviews and articles in Terrae Incognitae.

His contributions to SHD are only a small part of what he has accomplished.  He has served as president of many organizations, both professional and a vocational, such as the Texas Map Society, Friends of the University of Texas at Arlington Library, Arid Lands Studies Association, Western Social Science Association, Rocky Mountain Association for Slavic Studies, and the Southwestern Association for Slavic Studies.  He has also been a consultant for the United States Holocaust Museum, Department of Justice, National Geographic, American Way magazine, and for several court cases involving cartographic issues. He has been a strong and effective advocate for creating ways to educate the general public about the importance of history and maps. Toward this end he has curated exhibitions, spoken to countless community groups, and trained K-12 teachers on how to interpret and use maps.

Dennis is perhaps best known for his work on Herman Moll, culminating in the monograph The Cartographer and the Literati: Herman Moll and His Intellectual Circle, and his work on Spanish entradas and mapping of the American Southwest.  In the latter category, he has edited and contributed chapters to numerous books, including Mapping of Empire: Soldier-Engineers on the Southwest FrontierThe Mapping of the Entradas into the Greater Southwest, and The Mapping of the American Southwest.  With his wife Judy, he co-authored Geography Across the School Curriculum, an important book on how to integrate geography and maps into the classroom.  His most recent book will be published later this year, Map Art.  Moreover, he has published more than one hundred articles in scholarly journals, encyclopedia, and proceedings and more than one hundred fifty book reviews.

For his scholarly contributions to the historiography of explorations, discoveries, and cartographic history, for his active leadership of and involvement in SHD, for his outstanding record as an inspiring teacher, mentor, and role model for undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Texas at Arlington, we honor Dennis Reinhartz and name him a Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Fifty-second Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Portland, Maine
September 23, 2011

Prepared by Gerald D. Saxon

John Logan Allen - 2010

This year’s honoree, John Logan Allen, Emeritus Professor of Geography at the University of Wyoming and the University of Connecticut, is one of our country’s foremost authorities on the discovery and exploration of the American West.  During a distinguished academic career spanning more than 40 years he has introduced two generations of scholars and students to the geographical lore of the West and the exploratory process through publications and lectures.

Our honoree’s interest in western history and exploration began early.  John was born in Laramie, Wyoming on December 27, 1941. His grandfather, a former supervisor of the Shoshone National Forest who had moved to Cody, Wyoming when Buffalo Bill was still alive, sparked his interest with stories about mountain men and government hunters he had known, and he pointed out sites of nineteenth century trapper rendezvous during their travels together across the high plains of Wyoming and in the Central Rockies.  Summer vacations were spent retracing sections of the Lewis and Clark trail or tracking the various routes of John Charles Fremont with his father. And from his mother, a librarian who had taken western history courses at the University of Wyoming, John developed a love of western literature.

John attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie where he earned a BA degree in International Affairs (1963), and a MA in Political Science (1964).  Influenced by a geography teacher, he then enrolled in the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he obtained his PhD in 1969 and completed a National Science Post-Doctoral Fellowship two years later.  His dissertation, which reconstructed the contemporary geographical knowledge of the American Northwest on the eve of the Lewis and Clark expedition, was published as Passage through the Garden: Lewis and Clark and the Image of the American Northwest.  It was republished in paperback in 1991 in time to serve as the basic reference work for the research sparked by the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.  Historian William H. Goetzmann described Passage Through the Garden as one of the three best books on Lewis and Clark, while Stephen E. Ambrose considered it “a seminal work.”

John’s other major publication is North American Exploration (1997), a remarkable three-volume work on the description and interpretation of the geographical discovery and exploration of North America that he conceived, assembled and edited.  It contains contributions from more than 20 leading authorities, including many SHD members. He also wrote two books for young adults, Jedediah Smith the Mountain Men of the American West (1991) and Explorers and Discoverers from Ancient Times to the Space Age, another three-volume work (1998).  In addition, John has prepared some 50 book chapters and articles, and numerous book reviews devoted to geographical discovery and exploration.  A sample reflects the scope and vision of his scholarship: “An analysis of the exploratory process” (Geographical Review, 1972), “The Garden-Desert Continuum: Competing Views of the Great Plains in the Nineteenth Century” (Great Plains Quarterly, 1985), “Horizons of Romance: Invention of the Romantic Tradition of the American West (Journal of Historical Geography, 1992), “Cabot to Cartier: Early Exploration of Eastern North America, 1497-1540” (Annals of the Association of American Geographers 1992), and “Jefferson, von Humboldt, and Zebulon Pike: Explorations into America’s Interior” (Essays on the Bicentennial of Zebulon Montgomery Pike, 2007).

John’s professional writing is not limited to the field of discovery and exploration.  His interest in maps, politics and the environment found expression in a series of popular student atlases for college courses that he began in 1991.  These include the Student Atlas of World Politics and Student Atlas of World Geography, which are in their ninth and seventh editions, respectively.  He is also the author of Atlas of Economic Development (1996); Atlas of Environmental Issues (1997); Atlas of Anthropology (with Audrey Shalinsky) (2003); and Atlas of World Events (2005).  A Student Atlas of American History is in preparation.  If this was not enough to keep him busy, he served as editor of Annual editions: Environment for 23 years.

John’s teaching career began as an instructor at the University of Connecticut in 1967 where he went on to become founding head of the Department of Geography and director of the Graduate Program in Geography.  Retiring in 2000 after 33 years at the University of Connecticut, John returned home to the University of Wyoming, where he served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography until his second retirement in 2007.  The University of Connecticut recognized him with an Outstanding Teacher Award in 1987.

From the beginning of our Society, one of its main purposes has been to stimulate and encourage interest in the history of geographical exploration beyond the academic community.  John has contributed significantly to this objective. He has been a lecturer at the Larom Summer Institute, Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming, for the past 18 years; a historian/interpreter for the Ambrose-Tubbs, Incorporated Lewis and Clark Tours; and a Scholar-in-residence at the National Lewis and Clark Trail Interpretive Center in Great Falls, Montana.

As a nationally recognized expert on Lewis and Clark, he was especially active during the National Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Celebration (2003-2006), presenting over 30 invited papers.  Additionally, he was on the advisory boards of the National Lewis and Clark Council, the National Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls, Montana, and the planning committees of the American Philosophical Society and the Missouri Historical Society.  He also served on the editorial advisory board of the Lewis and Clark Journals and the Maximilian Diaries for the University of Nebraska Press, and curated or co-curated major exhibitions at the Library of Congress, the University of Virginia, the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana, and the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon.  In one of his most interesting projects, he was an advisor to Florentine Films for the PBS Documentary Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, produced by Ken Burns.  Its accompanying website includes a “Living History” section, which begins with a print and audio interview of our honoree.  John continues to carry a heavy lecture schedule, most recently describing the forgotten explorers of the early fur trade at the annual Fur Trade Symposium, held at Three Forks, Montana.

John’s association with our Society dates from 1966, when John K. Wright, one of the intellectual leaders of the American Geographical Society, invited John and his wife Anne to attend the only annual meeting that SHD held at the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, where many of the early Army explorers of the West were trained.  Since then, John has served on our council, contributed book reviews to Terrae Incognitae, and presented papers at annual meetings.  All who attended our 2004 meeting at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center and Yellowstone National Park in Cody and Mammoth, Wyoming, remember with fondness the two outstanding field trips that he led that retraced the routes of mountain men John Colter and George Drouillard in the vicinity of the Grand Tetons, and geologist Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden and other early government explorers in Yellowstone.

For his pioneering work on the Lewis and Clark expedition, his masterful trilogy on North American exploration, and a lifetime of scholarly contributions to our field, we honor John Logan Allen, and name him FSHD – Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Fifty-first Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Santa Fe, New Mexico
September 13, 2010

Prepared by Ralph E. Ehrenberg

Peter van der Krogt - 2009

This year, the Society for the History of Discoveries honors one of its most distinguished scholars of cartographic history.  Peter van der Krogt, head of URU-Explokart Research Program for the History of Cartography of the Faculty of Geosciences at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, is a leading world authority on terrestrial globes and historical atlases.

Born Petrus Cornelis Jozef van der Krogt on January 15, 1956 in Delft, he received all of his education in The Netherlands.  He studied physical geography and cartography at Utrecht University and earned his first degree in 1981. Continuing his interest in cartography, along with how globes are produced, his Ph.D. dissertation offered a systematic description and study of all the globes published in the Low Countries (his Ph.D. degree was from Utrecht University in 1989).  A second part of his study was later completed, and published in English, as Globi Nederlandici: the production of globes in the Low Countries (Utrecht: HES, 1993).  Each globe is put into its context: cartographic, geographic, iconographic, and historical.  This book is far more than an illustrated bibliography, and has been described as a modern ground-breaking study in globe description; it was welcomed with international appreciation and recognition.

Another important book, co-compiled by Peter, is Bibliografie van de geschiedenis van de kartografie van de Nederlanden. Bibliography of the history of cartography of the Netherlands (Utrecht: HES, 1993), a vital aid for those interested in Dutch cartography.  From 1988 to 2006 he co-edited (and partly compiled) the 7 volumes of the Atlas Blaeu – Van der Hem of the Austrian National Library: an illustrated and annotated catalogue (‘t Goy – Houten: HES & De Graaf).  To a reprint of Joan Blaeu’s Atlas Maior of 1665 (Cologne; London: Taschen, 2005 [etc.]) Peter provided an introduction and new texts in which he explained the cultural and historical aspects of its maps.  For Abraham Ortelius and the first atlas: essays commemorating the Quadricentennial of his death (‘t Goy – Houten: HES, 1998) he was again a co-editor. His latest co-editorship has been to honor his former Utrecht University department head in Mappae antiquae: liber amicorum Günter Schilder: essays on the occasion of his 65th birthday (‘t Goy – Houten: HES & De Graaf, 2007).

Peter has a long-time commitment to Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici: New Edition.  The original standard 6-volume reference work for scholars, cataloguers, and bibliographers was compiled by Professor Cornelis Koeman, and by others under his direction, at Utrecht University (Amsterdam: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1967-1971; vol.6 Alphen aan den Rijn: Canaletto, 1985). When it became necessary to update this vital research tool Peter was selected for the task, and started another multi-volume series in a completely new arrangement.  Three volumes of the award-winning new edition have been published since 1997, and the fourth will appear at the end of 2009. Those who appreciate what Peter has accomplished with this project all express profound admiration for his work.

In addition to his formidable books Peter has published dozens of scholarly monographs, articles, and reviews in Dutch- and English-language journals.  Among these, his works appear in Caert-ThresoorCartographica HelveticaDiscovery! (Journal of the Christopher Columbus Philatelic Society)Der GlobusfreundImago MundiKartografisch TijdschriftThe Map CollectorMercator’s WorldDe Nederlandsche LeeuwNederlandse Historiën, and The Portolan (Washington Map Society).

This award presented by the Society for the History of Discoveries is only the latest he has received to recognize his scholarly achievements.  In 2002, he was given the Sir George Fordham Award for Cartobibliography, presented triennially by the Royal Geographical Society, and was based chiefly on his Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici.  Three years later Peter received the IMCoS-Helen Wallis Award and, the same year, the 2-part volume III of Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici (2003) was nominated for the Fourteenth Award of ILAB-LILA Prize for Bibliography.

Along with his academic duties at Utrecht University, Peter serves on the Board of Directors of Imago Mundi and, since 2007 (after 25 years on its Editorial Board), he is now one of the ‘Friends’ of Caert-Thresoor, the Dutch journal for the history of cartography.  He is on the Honorary Advisory Board of MapForum, is Vice-President of the International Society for the Study of Globes, and on the Editorial Review Board of The Portolan.  We would be remiss if we did not state that Peter is the list-owner of ‘MapHist’, the e-mail discussion group whose primary focus is the history of cartography.

Being a European member of our society has not precluded Peter from attending many of our Annual Meetings when he has presented papers and, in 2001-2002, he served on Council.  Peter was the head of the exploratory committee for the SHD’s proposed 2005 Annual Meeting in The Netherlands.

You would think that Peter would take time off to sleep yet, besides everything else, he is very heavily involved in myriad hobbies.  Among these are genealogy, the history of Delft, license plates, and Christopher Columbus monuments: indeed, he has traveled far and wide to locate and photograph these last to be seen on his web site (  If that is not enough, Peter collects map t-shirts from around the world.

For his remarkable scholarly contributions to the study of the history of maps and globes, particularly Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici, his extensive work on the Blaeu atlas, his academic achievements at Utrecht University, and for his service to all map historians through maintaining ‘MapHist’, we honor Peter van der Krogt as FSHD, Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Presentation Ceremony: July 17, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark

Fiftieth Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Raleigh, North Carolina
October 12, 2009

Prepared by members of the Honors
Committee:  Sanford Bederman, David
Buisseret, and Arthur Holzheimer (with
profound gratitude for the help provided
by Günter Schilder and Francis Herbert)

Ralph E. Ehrenberg - 2008

This year’s honoree for Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries, Ralph Ehrenberg, not only is an internationally acclaimed scholar, but was an exemplary archivist and administrator at two of the world’s most important cartographic collections — the National Archives and the Library of Congress.  Ralph has also authored, co-authored, or edited more than a dozen books and monographs as well as numerous essays, articles, exhibition catalogs, and bibliographies devoted to the history of cartography and geographical exploration. It is no exaggeration to say that our honoree has assisted and facilitated the research of just about every cartographic scholar of our era, and few individuals can rival his enthusiastic, selfless efforts to educate the public about the historical significance and inherent value of maps and cartographic records.

Encouraged by his mentor and friend Herman R. Friis, then Director of the National Archive’s Polar Archives and SHD’s fifth president, Ralph became a member of the society shortly after he joined the National Archives’ staff in 1966.  During the ensuing years, he has served wherever needed to promote and advance the goals and objectives of the Society: as Secretary-Treasurer, Council Member; Vice-President, President, and Program Chair. Who can forget the Society’s 45th annual meeting held at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, with its spectacular field trips to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park?  In addition, Ralph has been a long-time member of the editorial board of Terrae Incognitae, the Society’s scholarly publication.

Throughout his distinguished career, Ralph has been at the forefront of efforts to make resources relating to the study of geographical exploration and discovery more accessible to the public and to the scholarly community through finding aids, microfilm reproductions, and most recently digital imagery.  For example, at the National Archives in 1973 he co-organized and chaired the first national conference on historical geography held in the United States. Howard University Press later published the papers from this conference under the title Pattern and Process: Research in Historical Geography.  Concurrently, he initiated the preparation and publication of a series of cartographic reference aids, including one that he wrote that focused on geographical exploration and mapping in the 19th century.  Similarly, he was the primary author of the illustrated Guide to Maps and Charts in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress which was published in 1996 and is now available on the Internet.

While at the National Archives, Ralph introduced an innovative 105mm microfilm program for preserving and reproducing historical maps.  The program was adopted by the National Archives of Canada, the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris, and the Library of Congress, and subsequently became the national standard through the efforts of the National Microfilm Association’s Committee on Map Microfilming Standards, which Ralph chaired from 1975 to 1985.

With the advent of the Internet, Ralph established a state-of-the art electronic map scanning program in the Geography and Map Division to provide core historical map collections to the public on the Library’s webpage.  He also began the preparation of electronic maps for Congress through a Geographic Information Systems facility he established at the Library. To supplement Congressional appropriated funds for the acquisition of rare maps, the publication of bibliographies and newsletters, and the creation of the electronic scanning program and GIS facility, he established two national Geography and Map Division support groups — the Philip Lee Phillips Society and the Center for Geographic Information.  Thanks to these initiatives by Ralph and the funds and equipment subsequently raised and donated, historians and other researchers can now download thousands of rare cartographic treasures from the Library’s website, such as William Clark’s 1805 manuscript map of the American West. In addition, visitors to the Library’s Great Hall can view Martin Waldseemüller’s 1507 majestic world map of discovery and exploration, whose acquisition Ralph initiated.

As part of his effort to bring the cartographic treasures of the National Archives and Library of Congress to public attention, Ralph has been an avid supporter and proponent of exhibits. Whenever someone had an exhibit idea that could include maps or geography that person’s first call was to Ralph, and invariably he became a member of the planning team, which meant an enormous commitment of his time.  Nonetheless, Ralph curated or assisted with several of the most significant exhibits about exploration and discovery ever mounted at the National Archives, Library of Congress, and Smithsonian Institution, ranging from the mapping of the North American Plains to the history of geologic mapping. My favorite, as you might guess, was “Magnificent Voyagers: The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842,” a three-year traveling exhibition that opened at the Smithsonian Institution in 1985, for which Ralph was the inspiration for a stunning wall of charts created by the great Pacific explorer Charles Wilkes.

Ralph is proud of his small-town origins and of Minnesota, where he was born on October 14, 1937.  He grew up in the rural community of Waconia where he attended public school and spent summers on the nearby farms of relatives. It was family stories about Indian visitors at the end of the nineteenth century and the ancient Indian mounds that then dotted the landscape of Carver County that sparked Ralph’s early interest in history.
Following high school in 1955, Ralph enlisted in the U. S. Navy, as he says, “to film the world.”  After serving as an aerial photographer at the U. S. Naval Air Station in Atsugi, Japan and on board the aircraft carrier USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), he attended the University of Minnesota, where he earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees in history and geography.

While working part-time at the University of Minnesota Hospitals, our former Navy enlisted man met Theresa Nelson, the daughter of a Navy captain.  Ralph and Tess were married in the Moravian Church in Waconia on June 15, 1963. Their union produced three children — Philip, Diane, and Lisa — and six grandchildren.  Because Tess has always been at Ralph’s side, whether it is leading study tours, welcoming national and international visitors into their home, or assisting him with his professional commitments, she is as well known to society members as our honoree.

Somehow, despite all his domestic and professional obligations, Ralph found time to publish several monumental works.  These include The Mapping of America ( with Seymour Schwartz), the acclaimed cartographic survey of North America, now in its second printing; Scholars’ Guide to Washington, D.C. for Cartography and Remote Sensing Imagery, published by the Smithsonian Institution in 1987, and Mapping the World, recently published by the National Geographic Society.  As Barbara McCorkle, herself a Society Fellow, wrote in her review, the maps described in the book were drawn from 24 institutions in 9 countries, “reflecting a mind thoroughly familiar with cartographic materials and sources.  The National Geographic Society may have conceived of the idea for this monumental work, but it was Ralph Ehrenberg who carried it out brilliantly.”

Ralph, of course, has received many honors and awards, including a month-long Scholar in Residence appointment at the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.  In addition to his work with the Society for the History of Discoveries, Ralph has also served on several major advisory councils and boards of related professional organizations, including the International Map Collector’s Society, the United States Board on Geographic Names, which he chaired for one term, and the Federal Geographic Data Committee.  He is a founding member of the Washington Map Society, and served two terms as its President. Ralph also established the archives of the Association of American Geographers in 1968 and co-founded the Association’s Committee on Archives and Association History.

For his years of dedicated and enthusiastic service to our Society, for his outstanding and continuing contributions to the field of cartography, and for his excellence as a scholar, cartographer, and educator we are pleased to honor Ralph E. Ehrenberg by naming him the 2008 Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Forty-ninth Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Arlington, Texas
October 6, 2008

Prepared by Herman J. Viola
(Photo by Diane Ehrenberg Prinz)

Sanford Bederman - 2007

The Society for the History of Discoveries was founded in 1960 by a small group of scholars interested in all aspects of geographical discovery and exploration.  Sanford H. Bederman, known to all of us as Sandy, was among those who found the Society an intellectual home, and he joined in its infancy, in 1965.

When Sandy does something, as one of his colleagues has described it, “he’s a dynamo.  He puts his teeth in and goes!” And go he did. His service to the Society is long and deep.  Between 1987 and 2006 he served variously as Vice-President/Program Chairman, President, Secretary-Treasurer, and Executive Secretary.  In his capacity as Program Chairman, at the meeting in Minneapolis in 1988, he organized a memorable session to honor Hildegard Binder Johnson, distinguished Society member, fellow Africanist, and outstanding woman geographer in the days when that was still a rarity.  As a Council member in 1984-1985 and again 1995-1996 he helped steer the Society to reach its stated goals, and he has for fifteen years been one of the judges for the SHD Student Prize Essay Competition. As Secretary-Treasurer he edited the Society’s annual newsletter 2002-2006 and changed it from ordinary to original by renaming it Terra Cognita, a nice play on the title of our annual journal Terrae Incognitae.

As anyone who has worked with Sandy can testify, he is not only indefatigable but collegial.  He can zero in on a crucial point succinctly but never adversarially, making pertinent suggestions and additions to questions which come his way.  His incisive mind, forthright approach to problems, and warm personality made it always a joy to work on a committee with

Sandy’s active involvement in our Society is but one part of his scholarly life.  He began his college studies as a history major with a minor in geography, but soon realized where his real interest lay, and once he made the decision to be a geographer, there was no looking back.  He was an enthusiastic advocate of his discipline. As a teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota, where he obtained his Ph.D., one of his students was so inspired by Sandy’s teaching that he changed his major, eventually becoming a geography professor himself.  He had an undergraduate psychology major in his exploration course who changed her major to geography, later earned the Ph.D., became a distinguished cartographer, and now is an authority on women explorers. Other former students who became professors have instituted their own courses in geographical exploration.  While scrolling through the numerous entries under Sanford H. Bederman in Google, I came upon a statement from another former student, now a professor at Central Washington University, reporting on the many courses she took from her “favorite professor, Sanford H. Bederman.” His enthusiasm was not only infectious, it was effective.

Sandy is not only an inspiring teacher, he is a prolific author with articles in the major geographical journals on African, urban, and agricultural geography, articles on discovery and exploration in Terrae IncognitaeImago MundiMercator’s World and elsewhere.  One colleague has written that Sandy’s 1989 TI article on the 1876 Brussels Geographical Conference will remain a standard for years to come.  He was sought out for his perceptive book reviews. For over six years, 2000-2007, he was Section Editor for the Oxford Companion to World Exploration, being responsible for most of the entries relating to Africa, Australia, and woman explorers, as well as many others.  The list of papers he has presented at professional association meetings—ten of which he gave at SHD annual meetings—is long, varied, and impressive.

Does this sound like a very full plate?  It has not been enough for Sandy. In addition to all the work he has done for our Society, he has long been active in the Association of American Geographers, and served as president of its Southeastern Division from 1977-1979, and he was elected to the National Council, the governing board of the AAG in 1988.  Sandy has also lent his expertise and time to non-professional projects, working on a local planning commission, serving on a library planning committee, on PTA, and several other civic activities. And in his “retirement” he has been teaching classes to inquisitive and eager retired professionals at Senior University of Greater Atlanta.  He has offered courses on the geography of Africa, weather and climate, and, naturally, exploration and discovery. One year saw 160 students enrolled in his course on geographical exploration.

While Sandy began his academic career in 1959 as an instructor at Georgia State University in Atlanta, from which he retired after thirty-four years as Professor Emeritus in 1993, this did not limit his teaching.  He held visiting positions at the London School of Economics, the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, and Queen Mary University in London, and he was visiting professor at the University of Oregon and the University of Georgia.  During his career, he was awarded both a National Science Foundation and a Rockefeller Foundation research grant. He has traveled widely, for research to Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Morocco and just for fun to Canada, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Ireland.

Sanford H. Bederman was born on May 2, 1932, in Cincinnati, Ohio, grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1953 and, after a sixteen month stint with the Army Signal Corps in Heidelberg, Germany in 1954-1955, returned for graduate work to Louisiana State University, from which he earned his Master’s degree in Geography in 1957. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1973.  He took not only a degree from Minnesota. He took a wife. Sandy likes to say he picked Jolayne up on a train, and there is a grain of truth in that, because they did meet on the train to Minneapolis from Chicago, where they had both spent the weekend. They have just celebrated forty-seven years together. Their son David, whom many of us in the Society remember marveling at as he raced through Princeton, the London School of Economics, the University of Virginia Law School, and the University of London where he received his Ph.D., is now Professor of International Law at Emory University in Atlanta, author of seven books, and an authority on Admiralty Law.  He and his wife, Lorre, have one child, Annelise, who is now in the 11th grade.

For his years of dedicated service to our Society, and for his outstanding professional accomplishments, it is fitting that we honor Sanford H. Bederman and name him FSHD – Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Forty-eighth Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Chicago, Illinois
November 12, 2007

Prepared by Barbara McCorkle
Photo (2014) by Katherine Hinson

Carol Urness - 2007

The Society for the History of Discoveries honors in 2007 a person who has been an active and distinguished member of our learned society since 1964.  She was Vice President and President of SHD from 1985 through 1988. When Professor Urness retired in 2001 she was the Curator of the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota.  Following in the footsteps of her mentor, John Parker, she carved a meritorious career in teaching, scholarship, and service to her profession, her university, and to our organization.

Carol was born on April 8, 1936 in Wilmington, California.  When she was four the family moved to Lamberton, Minnesota, where she obtained her public school education.  All of her academic degrees were earned at the University of Minnesota – BA in English (1957), MA in Library Science (1960), and the Ph.D. in Russian History in 1982.  Her ongoing research in her specialty, Russian expansion across Siberia to the Pacific Ocean, for which she is an acknowledged authority, not only involved toiling in the James Ford Bell Library; she visited archives in Paris, Belfast, Copenhagen, Oxford, and London, and she also traveled to the Kamchatka Peninsula in far eastern Russia.

While she was studying for her MA in Library Science, Carol worked at the University of Minnesota Library.  She became the Assistant Curator of the James Ford Bell Library in 1964, partly as a result of her research for a historical novel about the Willoughby and Chancellor attempt to discover a Northeast Passage from England to Asia.  When John Parker retired, she replaced him in 1991 as curator, retiring in 2001. Her history and cartography courses at the University of Minnesota, especially her graduate seminar titled “Expansion of Europe,” required students to do research with historical documents, where they learned to read (and translate) early handwritten texts.  Carol has always said that the students and the books were her greatest joys. She reads French, German, Spanish, Russian, Norwegian, and Latin. In her honor, and in respect for her devotion to teaching, the Associates of the James Ford Bell Library established the Carol Urness Writing Award to be given annually to students at the university.

Carol’s first book, A Naturalist in Russia: Letters of Peter Simon Pallas to Thomas Pennant, was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 1967.  Her book, Bering’s Voyages: The Reports from Russia. A translation and edition of the writings of Gerhard Friedrich Muller (University of Alaska Press), appeared in 1986, and her dissertation, Bering’s First Expedition: A re-examination based on eighteenth-century books, maps and manuscripts (Garland Press) in 1987.  Four other works, The Olaus Magnus Map of Scandinavia, 1539 (1999), Portolan Charts (1999), Waldseemuller’s Globe and Planisphere (1999), and the Worlds of Ptolemy (2000) all were published by the James Ford Bell Library.  She has written articles for Terrae Incognitae and Mercator’s World, and has penned four chapters for books, all relating to Russian activities in the Pacific region.  From its inception, Carol served as a consultant for the Oxford Companion to World Exploration, which was published in early 2007.  She further prepared a number of articles for this important literary contribution.

Carol is presently finishing The Journal of Midshipman Chaplin: A Record of Bering’s First Kamchatka Expedition, to be published by Aarhus University Press in Denmark, and she collaborated on a book for the Minnesota Historical Society.  It is Minnesota on the Map: A Historical Atlas, to be published in late 2008.  One of Carol’s most meaningful efforts was A Book for Jack, a sensitive paean to John Parker that she edited, and which was published in 1991 by the Associates of the James Ford Bell Library on the occasion of his retirement.

In addition to her serving as its President, The Society for the History of Discoveries is especially beholden to Carol Urness for her single-handed efforts in making the prize essay contest an important element in the society’s mission.  As chair of the Annual Prize Essay Committee since it began in 1992, she has nurtured student scholarship related to the history of cartography and to exploration and discovery, and saw to the publication of meritorious essays in our journal, Terrae Incognitae.  Over the years, she provided advice for winners of the competition who came from the ranks of geography, history, anthropology, archaeology, and museology.

Carol has remained remarkably busy since she retired.  She needed space for her book collection, so she found a place in a small commercial center in northeast Minneapolis, and became the proprietor of Corner Books, which also fronts as her office.  She quickly was known as the “unwilling bookseller,” and her bookshop became a tourist destination. She says that she does not want to sell any of her volumes, and is sad when she does. She once remarked “that a woman came in to my store and bought three books, and I almost had a stroke.”  For those who know Carol, this is not hyperbole.

Our honoree has been an avid naturalist for fifty years.  She has birded in Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Venezuela.  When she was doing research in the old Soviet Union, she found time to be a birder. Her favorite place to observe avian friends, however, is on the land she owns in Isanti County in Minnesota.  Not only have birds been of interest to her, she has branched out to study ferns, mushrooms, trees, and wildflowers. Her current passion is dragonflies. As a natural progression of her interests, Carol has taken up a new hobby – watercolor painting.

For her years of distinguished and invaluable work as Curator of the James Ford Bell Library, her important scholarly contributions to understanding Russian activities in 18th-century East Asia and the Pacific, her special teaching abilities at the University of Minnesota, and her tireless efforts on behalf of the Society for the History of Discoveries, as Vice President and President, and especially as the long-time chairman of the Student Prize Essay Committee, we honor Carol Urness and name her FSHD – Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Forty-eighth Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Chicago, Illinois
November 12, 2007

Prepared by Sanford H. Bederman
(Photo of Carol Urness by Ed Dahl, Newfoundland, 1997)

David Busseret - 2006

The Society for the History of Discoveries honors this year a man who is a leading scholar of French history, West Indian history, the history of cartography, and geographical exploration and discovery.  He is the author, co-author, or editor of thirty books, over sixty articles, book chapters, and pamphlets, and numerous reviews that have appeared in major journals such as The American Historical ReviewThe English Historical Review, Journal of Modern HistoryImago MundiLa Revue Historique, and Terrae Incognitae.  David Buisseret earned his Ph.D. degree at Cambridge University in 1961 with a dissertation titled “Sully and the Development of a National Administration of France, 1598-1610.”  He taught at the University of the West Indies (Mona Campus) from 1964 until 1980; from 1980 to 1995, he was Director of the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library in Chicago; and from 1995 until his retirement in 2006 he held the first Jenkins and Virginia Garrett Professorship in Southwestern Studies and the History of Cartography at the University of Texas at Arlington.

David Buisseret was born on December 18, 1934 in Totland Bay, Isle of Wight, England, and, after an early education at Woodbridge School in Suffolk, he won a scholarship to Corpus Christi College at Cambridge University.  His education was interrupted by National Service between 1953 and 1955, during which he served in the British army in Egypt, afterward training as a pilot in the RAFVR. After the military, he entered Cambridge and received his degree in history in 1958.  During the next three years, he was a Donaldson Research Scholar at Cambridge, which allowed him to complete his doctoral dissertation.

It is impossible to list in this citation all the books David Buisseret has penned, but, to say the least, they cover a variety of topics over a wide period of time.  His first book in 1969 was his dissertation on Sully. Also in 1969, he published the first edition of Historic Jamaica From the Air (a later edition has been released).  He published Historic Architecture of the Caribbean in 1980, Henry IV in 1984, and Historic Illinois from the Air in 1990.  In 1992, he edited Monarchs, Ministers and Maps: The Emergence of Cartography as a Tool of Government in Early Modern Europe (this is the title of a major exhibit held at the Newberry Library).  Another edited volume published in 1998 was Envisioning the City: Six Studies in Urban Cartography.  The Mapmakers’ Quest: Depicting New Worlds in Renaissance Europe was published in 2003.  Articles in journals and book chapters are even more varied:  “The Irish at Paris in 1603” (Irish Historical Studies, 1964) is an example.  David Buisseret writes as fluently in French as he does English, and his list of publications is studded not only with articles in French, but also about French activities in Europe and the Caribbean.

Being named Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries is only the latest honor that David Buisseret has received in his career.  The Institut de France in Paris in 1972 awarded his first volume of Sully’s memoirs its premier médaille.  In 1977, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he received the Centennial Medal of the Institute of Jamaica in 1979, and, in 1993, he was appointed Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French government.

Our honoree married Patricia Connolly in 1961 in Chicago, Illinois, and they are the parents of two girls, Kate and Claire, and three boys, Timothy, Mark and Paul.  Because she has attended almost all of the society’s annual meetings, members of the society know Pat almost as well as they do David.

In addition to an impressive publication record, David Buisseret has served as a consultant in architectural and historical matters for the Barbados Conservation Association; he has been a member of the Jamaica National Trust Commission, a member of the Chicago Maritime Society board of directors; he served as editor of The Jamaican Historical Review (1968-1980), and was on the editorial boards for the Columbus Encyclopedia (1988-1991), and Exploration of North America (1988-1992), funded by the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH).

David Buisseret was elected Vice President (1989-1990), and President (1991-1992) of the Society for the History of Discoveries, and from 1982 to the present-day he has been the editor of the society’s journal, Terrae Incognitae.  Editing twenty-four annual volumes of Terrae Incognitae to most people would be a full-time job, but during this time period, he has written articles and books, taught classes, served a variety of organizations in a number of capacities (including the job as Secretary-Treasurer of the Texas Map Society), and in 2000, he was appointed the Chief Editor of the forthcoming Oxford Companion to World Exploration, which will appear in 2007 and consist of almost 1,000 pages.  It is doubtful that anyone else in the SHD has ever been as fruitfully busy as David Buisseret.

For his superb scholarly contributions to the study of both seventeenth-century French history and Caribbean history, his work as Director of the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library, his long, ongoing and distinguished record of publications on early modern France, his publications regarding the history of cartography, his tireless work on behalf of the SHD as an officer, and his twenty-four years as editor of its journal, Terrae Incognitae, we honor David Buisseret, and name him FSHD – Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Forty-seventh Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Portland, Oregon
September 8, 2006

Prepared by Sanford H. Bederman

Louis De Vorsey - 2005

The Society for the History of Discoveries is honoring this year one of its most distinguished luminaries.  Dr. Louis De Vorsey is the author or co-author of fifteen books, and he has contributed chapters to thirty-three other volumes.  In addition to his superb scholarship, Lou has admirably served the Society for the History of Discoveries as Vice President/President from 1979 to 1982. He was chairman of the Local Arrangements Committee for the annual meeting in Athens, Georgia in 1981; he co-chaired the Local Arrangements Committee for the annual conference in Savannah, Georgia in 1991; and he co-edited (with John Parker) in 1985 the Society’s publication, In the Wake of Columbus: Islands and Controversy.

Our honoree was born on April 6, 1929 in Newark, New Jersey, and attended public schools in nearby Lyndhurst.  He holds the BA degree from Montclair State University, New Jersey (majoring in social studies), the Master of Arts in geography from Indiana University, and the Ph.D. degree in geography was conferred in 1965 by the University of London (UK).  After completing his studies at Indiana University in 1954, he entered the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport News, Rhode Island, where he was commissioned as an ensign.  He qualified as a photo/radar navigator with the Navy’s Heavy Photographic Squadron 61.  While on active duty he served in Japan, Okinawa, Thailand, Guam, and Alaska.  One of his most interesting reserve assignments was with the Naval History Division in Washington, D.C. where he worked on a volume titled The American Revolution, 1775-1783: An Atlas of 18th Century Maps and Charts (1972).  He currently holds the rank of Commander, USNR-Retired.

Lou began his teaching career at East Carolina University where he served from 1962-1965.  The years 1965-1967 were spent at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.  For the next twenty-one years he taught at the University of Georgia in Athens, where he was promoted to professor in 1973, and retired in 1988 as professor emeritus of geography.  Throughout his career, he held visiting professorships at the universities of British Columbia, Victoria, Mount Allison, and New Brunswick in Canada, and at the University of Miami in Florida.

Lou’s list of publications in the fields of exploration and discovery and the history of cartography is impressive.  In addition to In the Wake of Columbus (1985), he authored The Georgia-South Carolina Boundary: A Problem in Historical Geography (1982), The Indian Boundary in the Southern Colonies, 1763-1775 (1966), The Atlantic Pilot (1974), De Brahm’s Report of the General Survey in the Southern District of North America (1971), and the award-winning Keys to the Encounter: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of the Age of Discovery (1992).  One of his most important contributions was editing and enlarging the 3rd edition of William P. Cumming’s The Southeast in Early Maps (1998).  In addition to books, he has penned over forty articles, with some of his most important essays being published in Imago MundiThe Map CollectorMercator’s World, and The Portolan.

In addition to his books on historical geography and the history of cartography, Lou has focused his research for at least twenty-five years on maps produced by indigenous Indians.  In 1978, he published “Amerindian Contributions to the Mapping of North America” in Imago Mundi; in 1992, his article “Native American Maps and World Views in the Age of Encounter” appeared in The Map Collector; this year, at the International Map Collectors’ Society symposium held in Denver, Colorado, he presented “The Role of Native American Maps in the Discovery and Exploration of North America”; and at the SHD annual meeting in Cody, Wyoming in September, 2004, he read “The Role of Native Peoples in the Exploration of the Southeast.”

No one in the discipline of geography is more respected than Louis De Vorsey in regard to litigation concerning both sea and land boundaries.  He has appeared as an expert witness in five original actions before the U.S. Supreme Court.  He was a witness for the United States in three cases, and represented Georgia and Massachusetts in the others.  He conducted research for the U.S. Department of State in connection with the U.S.-Canada seaward boundary dispute in the Gulf of Maine.  This case was adjudicated by the International Court of Justice at The Hague in the Netherlands where Lou served as one of three Geographer Legal Consultants to the U.S. Litigation Team.

Lou married Rosalyn Dennis in 1960 in Weybridge, Surrey (Ros’s home town).  They had met in 1959 when he was a student at University College, London.  Ros and Lou have three children: Megan (43), Kirsteen (40), and Kevin (38), and proudly dote on Sophia Elena Johnson, their only grandchild.

Being named a Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries is only the latest honor Louis De Vorsey has received.  The Association of American Geographers in 1975 gave him its Honor Award for Meritorious Contributions to the Field of Geography, and in 1983, he was presented the Honor Award in Applied Geography by the same professional society.  In 1980, the University of Georgia Research Foundation presented him its medal for Research Creativity in the Social Sciences.  One of his favorite (and least expected) honors was received in 1998 when he was elected to the Lyndhurst High School Academic Hall of Fame.

For his excellent scholarly contributions to the study of geographical exploration and discovery and the history of cartography, for his path-breaking work in both early American Indian mapping and forensic geography, and for his tireless efforts on behalf of our learned society, we honor Louis De Vorsey, and name him FSHD – Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Forty-sixth Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Williamsburg, Virginia
October 8 2005

Prepared by Sanford H. Bederman
(Photo of Louis De Vorsey by Ed Dahl, Labrador, 1997)

Read the De Vorsey Tribute 

Barbara McCorkle - 2004


When the Society for the History of Discoveries was founded in 1960, it was hoped that the society would attract, among others, librarians and curators responsible for the source materials for this field, but few could have imagined the breadth and scope of contributions made by the person we honor today.  There are curators and librarians who quietly and competently look after their materials, and there are those who achieve that and then succeed in making outstanding contributions to the wider community. Had the founders of the SHD had an ideal person in mind, it is hard to imagine it might have been anyone more qualified and distinguished than Barbara McCorkle.

Barbara became aware of the society in its early years when she accompanied her husband, Ozzie Backus, a professor of history at the University of Kansas, to several SHD annual meetings.  In 1972, Ozzie and Tom Smith were in charge of local arrangements for that year’s annual meeting in Lawrence; upon Ozzie’s untimely death, Barbara assumed his responsibilities and soon became a society member.  Since then, she has attended more of the society’s annual meetings than all but a handful of living members, and the success and vibrancy of the society over the past three decades owes much to her outstanding service.

Those of you who were SHD members in the 1980s will especially remember the friendly and engaging annual newsletters, a vehicle of communication she revitalized, making us all aware of one another’s activities and making new members immediately feel that they were part of the family as news of their own activities was circulated and responded to by others.  Barbara served as Secretary-Treasurer for twelve years, from 1979 to 1990.

During her tenure in that position, she also quietly undertook many important tasks that most of us would not have been aware of, such as the “automation” of the entire membership “database” —all on 5-by-8-inch cards when she began; all “in the computer” when she finished.  This happened around 1982, thanks partly to her early ownership of an IBM personal computer.

Barbara has also contributed to the success of the SHD by chairing sessions at the annual meetings, serving on the Student Essay Prize jury, as well as various behind-the scenes activities such as the important negotiations required to move the society’s journal in 1990 to an arrangement that gave us more direct control of the publication (and saved us money).  She had already been involved in high finance on the society’s behalf when she put some of the society’s funds into a money-market account, and opened an offshore bank account with Barclay’s Bank in London.

For sixteen years, from 1979 to 1995, Barbara compiled the annual “Recent Literature in Discovery History” for the society’s journal, Terrae Incognitae.  Until that time, the journal had carried book reviews and a section titled “Other Publications Received.”  This essential bibliographical aid continues to be published annually in Terrae Incognitae.

Barbara clearly had much room in her professional agenda for the society, but her contributions ranged well beyond that.  Her distinguished career as a map curator at Yale University was recognized by the Honors Award of the Map and Geography Round Table (MAGERT), American Library Association in 2000 for outstanding lifetime achievement and major contributions to map librarianship.

From its inception in 1988 until 1994, Barbara edited the newsletter of the International Society of Curators of Early Maps, bringing to this task the same flair she had shown with the SHD newsletter. She was active in several map-related organizations (the American Library Association and the Special Libraries Association among them).  She also taught courses on such topics as the history of cartography and on the use of maps as historical documents (the last one as recently as May 2003 at the Beinecke Library at Yale University).

Undoubtedly the single work with which she made her greatest mark and for which she will be best and longest remembered (and repeatedly thanked) is her scholarly carto-bibliography—only in its size and beauty comparable to a coffee-table volume—titled The Printed Maps of New England, 1513-1800 and published by the John Carter Brown Library in 2001.

Her publications include a catalogue, titled America Emergent, to accompany an exhibition of maps and atlases in honor of Alexander O. Vietor (her predecessor at Yale); articles in The Map CollectorMercator’s World, and Meridian; a major chapter in Mapping Boston (1999); an index to Map Collector’s Circle; and many shorter articles, book reviews and conference and other reports.  Although she was always enthusiastic and positive about her work as a map curator, her retirement from Yale University in 1993 must have been a liberating event in some sense since the rate of her publications rose markedly thereafter.

In addition to the position she held as the Curator of the Map Collection at Yale University from 1979 to 1993, Barbara was also the curator of historical maps at the University of Kansas in Lawrence (1968-1974), and a reference librarian at Purdue University (1976-1979).

Barbara was born on 9 September 1920 in New York City and spent her childhood, through high school, in New Haven, Connecticut.  She received her B.A., cum laude, from Hunter College, New York City, in 1942 (Phi Beta Kappa), and, later in life, in 1968, earned her M.L.S. from Emporia State Teachers College (now Kansas State University at Emporia).  Throughout the years from 1950 to 1970, she continued her education by completing courses in geology, English literature, Russian language and literature, and Polish language at the University of Kansas.

Since 1977, Barbara has been working on a comprehensive carto-bibliography of the maps in eighteenth-century English and American geographies, with financial support from several agencies.  Her research has taken her to more libraries in North America and overseas than many of us may ever visit in our lifetimes.

Modest as always about her professional achievements, Barbara once wrote in an e-mail: “In my opinion, my greatest accomplishment is to have contributed six wonderful children to the world!”

For her unfailing support and long-time vital service to the Society for the History of Discoveries, her contributions to map curatorship, carto-bibliographical studies, to the history of cartography, and for her friendship and generosity, we honor Barbara Backus McCorkle and name her FSHD — Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Forty-fifth Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Cody, Wyoming
September 10, 2004

Prepared by Ed Dahl
(Photo of Barbara McCorkle by Ed Dahl, 1988)

Arthur Holzheimer - 2004

Arthur Holzheimer is a most knowledgeable collector of early printed world maps, maps of the Old World discovery of the New, and maps of the subsequent American discovery of the Trans-Mississippi West. For over four decades he has unselfishly and unflaggingly shared his extensive expertise, collections, other resources, and friendship with scholars and teachers of the history of discovery, exploration, and cartography and their students, fellow collectors, and many others, and in the process, he has gained their profound respect and gratitude. That is why to bestow this honor on him from the Society for the History of Discoveries is wholly fitting.

Art was born on 17 March 1932 in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from Highland Park High School in that suburb of Chicago in 1950 and from Stanford University in 1954. He met his future wife, Janet Ann Givel, on a blind date at an Indiana University football game in 1957, and they were married two years later. They have two daughters, Laura (b. 1963) and Ellen (b. 1966).

It was during his years in the investment business that Art first became interested in antique cartography. As a business partner was redecorating his office, in part with old maps, Art quickly became more fascinated with them than his partner, for they seemed to bring together his own varied interests in art, history, and geography. This attraction led Art to the source of his partner’s maps and into a lifelong collecting relationship and friendship with the prominent Chicago map dealer Kenneth Nebenzahl. With regard to the old maps, Art recalls that it was “love at first sight!” Initially and usually receiving them as presents for birthdays and other holidays, he just collected those that appealed to him, particularly those with family connections or artistic allure. But gradually, and especially after his early retirement in 1985, he came to concentrate on maps of the world, discovery and exploration, and the American West as well and to associate more fully with The Newberry Library in Chicago.

Art and Jan’s generous support for greater public access to and understanding of historical cartography really began when for Art’s fiftieth birthday his father established a map purchase fund at The Newberry Library. Since then, their giving has come to include establishing a fellowship at the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography at The Newberry Library, founding the Maps and America lecture series (now in its sixteenth year) in conjunction with the American Geographical Society Collection at the Golda Meier Library of the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, sponsoring the J.B. Harley Fellowship at the British Map Library in London, creating a new fellowship at the History of Cartography Project at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, and much else. Art also continues freely to lend his maps to numerous major exhibitions across the United States.

The Richard A. Gleeson Library Associates of the University of San Francisco honored Art as a map collector, donor, and benefactor with their prestigious Sir Thomas More Medal in 1991. He however firmly believes that his greatest rewards come through the contacts he makes in exposing people to the wonders of maps and through his giving and personal collecting. For Art, collecting, erudition, generosity, and congeniality have always gone hand-in-hand.

Art is a founder of the Phillip Lee Phillips Society supporting the activities of the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress and the current co-chair of its Steering Committee. He is also a founder of the Chicago Map Society and a member of the International Map Collectors Society, the Washington and Texas map societies, and the Advisory Committee of the Miami Map Fair. He has been a member of the Society for the History of Discoveries since 1984 and has served twice on its governing council.

For his contributions to the history of discovery, exploration, and cartography, to The Newberry Library, to the academic excellence of the University of Wisconsin, and more, and to our own learned society, we honor Arthur Holzheimer and name him FSHD—Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Forty-fifth Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Cody, Wyoming
September 10, 2004

Prepared by Dennis Reinhartz

Virginia Garrett - 2003

When Virginia and Jenkins Garrett were honored by the Richard A. Gleeson Library Association of the University of San Francisco with their celebrated thirty-first Sir Thomas More Medal in June 1998, it was in much deserved recognition of them not only as companionable collectors of maps, books, and other valuable documents, but more importantly as unselfish donors and benefactors.  Through their generosity and leadership for more than a half century they have influenced so many of our students and us across the humanities and social sciences and will continue to do so for generations to come.

Born Virginia Williams in Fort Worth, Texas on 26 November 1920, she has been interested in maps since early childhood.  She was first drawn into their complexity in the late 1920s when she navigated for her father, using road maps, on then all-day journeys to visit her grandparents in Marlin, Texas near Waco. Her serious collecting started somewhat later.

Virginia Garrett graduated from North Side High School in Fort Worth in 1937, and went on for comptometer (proto-computer) instruction at the Burroughs Training School.  After graduation in 1938, she worked in the Auditing Department of the Continental Oil Company in Fort Worth until 1941.

At church, the Rosen Heights Baptist Church on the North Side of Fort Worth, Virginia met the minister’s son, Jenkins Garrett, whom she eventually married on her birthday in 1941, when he was a young attorney and Federal Bureau of Investigation agent serving in California.  They lived in California until 1943 and then returned to Fort Worth. They have three children: Dianne (b. 1943), Donna (b. 1945), and Jenkins, Jr. (b. 1947).

Her own cartographic interests plus her husband’s collecting of books, manuscripts, and other Greater Southwestern materials inspired Virginia to begin seriously collecting antique printed maps of Texas, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Greater Southwest, dating from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries.  She also developed an interest in atlases from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She still remembers purchasing her first map in a Paris Left Bank bookstore in the late 1950s, after which she and Jenkins entered into the idyllic situation of complementary collecting.

Throughout their collecting days, the Garretts always made their materials readily available to researchers, especially young scholars and students.  In this important vein, in 1974 they donated a collection of some 10,000 items on Texas and the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848 to the Special Collections Division of the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.  In 1990, Virginia donated her collection of 400 atlases to UTA, followed by a broadly representative and in-depth collection of over 900 maps on 1 October 1997 as the foundation of the Virginia Garrett Cartographic History Library.  The Garretts also helped to secure major funding from the Sid W. Richardson Foundation of Fort Worth, among others, to make this a world renowned cartographic research collection, today numbering more than 7,000 maps, 1,400 atlases and geographies, and several thousand supporting volumes relating to the discovery and exploration of North America, the Greater Southwest, and Mexico.  Virginia Garrett’s gifts have further contributed to the founding of undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of cartography, discovery and exploration, the Center for Greater Southwestern Studies and the History of Cartography, a Ph.D. program in Transatlantic History, and the biennial Virginia Garrett Lectures on the History of Cartography, as well as the creation of the prestigious Jenkins and Virginia Garrett Endowed Chair in Greater Southwestern Studies and the History of Cartography at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Even in retirement, the Garretts continue their unflagging support of the University of Texas at Arlington and Tarrant County College.  Virginia has a special interest in instructional outreach programs to the public schools of Texas like UTA’s Cartographic Connections that utilize old maps.  She also is internationally recognized as a knowledgeable and caring collector through her membership in and support of the Phillip Lee Phillips Society, of the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress, the International Map Collectors’ Society, the Texas Map Society, of which she is a founder, and the Society for the History of Discoveries.

For her contributions to the history of cartography and discovery and exploration, to the academic excellence of UTA and TCC, and to our own learned society, we honor Virginia Garrett and name her FSHD – Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Virginia Garrett, 91 years old, loving family member, distinguished map collector and philanthropist, died on April 21, 2012, in Fort Worth.

Forty-fourth Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries

New Orleans, Louisiana

October 24, 2003

Prepared by Dennis Reinhartz

Jenkins Garrett - 2003 


There are two kinds of people in this world: givers and takers.  Jenkins Garrett is a “giver,” there is no doubt about it. Garrett has played significant roles in higher education in Texas, in various civic affairs in the Fort Worth-Arlington-Dallas metroplex, and in building and later donating one of the largest private collections of Texana to a public university in his home state.  To understand Jenkins Garrett, however, one must first know something about his background.

Jess Jenkins Garrett was born on December 14, 1914, in Caldwell, Texas.  He was the youngest offspring of Jesse and Sudie Garrett. Jenkins’ father was a successful attorney, but at age 35, in 1921, he reoriented his life to the ministry, and he moved his family to Fort Worth where he attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He accepted a pulpit in Fort Worth, which he held for thirty-two years. As a result, Jenkins Garrett spent most of his formative years in that city. Garrett graduated high school in 1931. He was a good, but not exceptional student. He was, however, extremely active in outside activities, such as the debate club, honor society, and school government.

Garrett entered The University of Texas at Austin in September 1931 at the age of sixteen.  His career goal was to become an attorney. While at the university Garrett became immersed in campus life, participating in the activities of the Baptist Student Union and the YMCA, joining the debate team and Tejas Club, and being elected to the Judiciary Council and president of the Student Association.  He graduated in 1937 with an A.B. in liberal arts and a degree in law.

It was at UT where Garrett’s interest in history was piqued.  He was a junior at the time and needed another history class for his degree plan.  His advisor suggested that he take Walter Prescott Webb’s class “History of the United States since 1865,” and because it fit into his schedule, he agreed to register for it.  This one class was to change his attitudes toward history forever and, in the process, light a fire in him to read, understand, and ultimately collect history books, manuscripts, broadsides, sheet music, post cards, and other sources.  What impressed Garrett most about Webb were his ideas that history was “high adventure” and the story of people and their impact over time. He also stressed the importance of Texas to the development of the West and the U.S. as a whole.  Webb’s class opened Garrett’s eyes about the relevance of the past, and, for the first time, he started reading Texas history for pleasure and insight.

Garrett left UT in 1937 to pursue a master’s in law at Harvard.  He received his degree in 1939, having studied with Felix Frankfurter among others on the Harvard faculty.  Upon returning to Fort Worth, Garrett secured a position with the law firm of Walker, Smith, and Shannon. When war with Germany and Japan seemed imminent in the summer of 1941, Garrett tried to join the Navy.  His inability to distinguish colors, however, caused him to fail the physical. Still wanting to serve his country, Garrett joined the FBI and served on the West Coast throughout most of the war. He also married Virginia Williams of Fort Worth in late 1941 and began raising a family in California.  Shortly before the war ended, Garrett returned to Texas and became the regional counsel for the War Production Board located in Dallas. The Dallas office regulated the flow of material to businesses in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Arkansas.

After many years as house counsel for the various businesses of the Leonard brothers in Fort Worth, he and his partner opened their own practice in 1965, and this change provided Garrett the freedom to not only practice law, but also to pursue personal investment opportunities.  His investments in the areas of homebuilding, printing and newspaper publishing, savings and loans, and aggregate rock and the lime business (to mention only a few areas), helped to make him a modestly wealthy man.

Garrett used his financial resources to support a number of worthy causes and personal interests, none with more vigor and zeal than collecting.  Garrett began collecting in earnest in the late-1950s after meeting Fort Worth book dealer Nancy Taylor, who convinced him to purchase first editions and association copies of the books he was interested in.  Garrett’s interest in collecting Texas history and materials reflecting the history of the U.S. War with Mexico, 1846-1848, evolved and eventually intensified to the point where he labeled it a “disease.” By the mid-to-late 1960s, collecting became a passion and one of his consuming interests.  It was at this time that Garrett’s initial collection was broadened to include materials in any format that reflected the rich history of Texas.

Garrett is very proud of the collections he built and fervently believes that the collector’s role in the research process is pivotal.  He has said, “The collector, by function, saves the written word from destruction, thereby preserving the recorded ideas and knowledge of both the past and present for the users to enjoy, to assimilate, to interpret, and to record.  It is akin to the supplier who furnishes selected marble and tools for the sculptor.”

Garrett admits that his primary reward as a collector is to see his work of many years used and appreciated.  To this end, Garrett donated his Texas and Mexican War collection to The University of Texas at Arlington Library in 1973-1974, where it became the impetus for the university to build an outstanding Special Collections area.  At the time of the initial donation, the Garrett Collection, which consisted of more than 10,000 items, was the largest Texana collection in private hands. Since the establishment of the Garrett Collection at UTA, the Garretts have continued to support the library with additional donations of historical materials, providing assistance in fund raising, and helping with outreach efforts to promote the library to a wide and diverse audience.

In addition to his accomplishments for UTA, Garrett has left an indelible mark on his city, state, and nation.  He is perhaps best known for his service to higher education in Texas. For example, Garrett served on the Board of Trustees, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1960-1968; Governor’s Committee on Education Beyond the High School Level, 1963; Board of Trustees, Tarrant County Junior College District, 1966-1971; and the UT System Board of Regents, 1969-1975.  The University of Texas at Austin named Garrett a Distinguished Alumnus in 1995. He has also received numerous awards for his collecting pursuits and philanthropy, including the Philanthropic Award of the Texas Library Association, 1991; Sir Thomas More Medal of the University of San Francisco’s Gleeson Library, 1998; and the Award of Excellence in Preserving History sponsored by the Texas Historical Commission, 2003, just to mention a few.

Garrett is well known in Fort Worth for his civic activities and his work as a lawyer, and has been recognized for his many accomplishments.  Among the awards he has received are the Association of Texas Colleges and Universities’ Mirabeau B. Lamar Award, 1981; Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s B. H. Carroll Award, 1985; North Fort Worth Historical Society’s Tad Lucas Life Achievement Award, 1987; Tarrant County Bar Association’s Blackstone Award, 1988; Golden Deeds Award of the Fort Worth Exchange Club, 1990; and the Good Scout Award presented by the Boy Scouts’ Longhorn Council, 1996.  Jenkins Garrett is active in numerous professional and historical organizations, and has served as president of the Tarrant County Junior Bar Association, Texas State Historical Association, Philosophical Society of Texas, Texas Map Society, and other groups.

Garrett has made significant contributions in writing and publishing, with perhaps his most important work being his massive bibliography entitled The Mexican-American War of 1846-1848: A Bibliography of the Holdings of the Libraries, The University of Texas at Arlington, published by Texas A&M University Press in 1995.  This work has become a “must have” for libraries, scholars, and collectors interested in the Mexican War.

Garrett and wife, Virginia, live in Fort Worth and continue to dedicate their lives to their family, church, community, and collecting interests.  They have three children and four grandchildren.

Jenkins Garrett has been a stalwart member of the Society for the History of Discoveries, and faithfully has attended and participated in our annual meetings.  For his outstanding work in book collecting, his philanthropic record, and his most important role in establishing the Garrett Collection at the University of Texas at Arlington and its associated academic activities, we are honored to name him FSHD-Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Forty-fourth Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
New Orleans, Louisiana
October 24, 2003

Prepared by Gerald D. Saxon


Norman J.W. Thrower - 2002

When Professor Norman Thrower retired in 1990 from his faculty position in the geography department at the University of California, Los Angeles, no one who knew him believed that he would ease up from his incredibly active academic regimen.  They were correct, because in 1999, he was presented the Constantine Panunzio Award for being the most productive emeritus professor in the nine-member campus of the University of California.

Not only has he been productive, Norman Thrower has been highly honored. Being elected Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries is only the latest distinction he has received in his more than forty-year career as a scholar-teacher.  He was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in 1962. In 1993, he received the Cross 1st Class of the Orden del Merito Civil from H. M. King Juan Carlos of Spain. The International Map Collector’s Society presented him the Helen Wallis Award in 1997, and the following year, the Association of American Geographers gave him its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Born in England in 1919, Professor Thrower had an early interest in art, and as a young boy won several prizes for his work.  During World War Two, he served in India, and after passing an examination for training in the Survey of India, he was assigned to Simla in the Himalayas.  After the war, he joined the Directorate of Colonial (later Overseas) Surveys. Desiring an academic experience, he was accepted at the University of Virginia, where in 1953, he received the BA degree in geography.  He then moved to the University of Wisconsin, earning the Ph.D. degree in geography in 1958. His dissertation concerned cadastral survey systems, and later was published by the Association of American Geographers as Original Survey and Land Subdivision: A Comparative Study of the Form and Effect of Contrasting Cadastral Surveys (1966).  While a student in the United States, he studied with this country’s most distinguished and imaginative cartographers: Armin Lobeck, Richard E. Harrison, Erwin Raisz, and Arthur Robinson.

Norman Thrower joined the geography faculty at UCLA in 1957, and with the exception of the years he spent on sabbatical and research leave, he remained there until retirement.  During that time, he authored, co-authored, and edited eleven books and over 150 other contributions on cartography and geographical discoveries. In addition, he chaired ten doctoral and seventeen MA committees.  Several of his students have themselves earned distinguished careers in their chosen professions.

Of the many books he has written, perhaps his best known is Maps and Man (1972), enlarged as Maps and Civilization: Cartography in Culture and Society (1996), published by the University of Chicago Press, and since 1999 in its second edition.  It is considered to be the premier one-volume history of cartography. This book will be re-published shortly in both a Spanish and Japanese edition.  His other major books (several which he edited), The Compleat Plattmaker: Essays on Chart, Map, and Globe Making in England in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (1978); The Three Voyages of Edmond Halley in the ‘Paramore’, 1698-1701, published by the Hakluyt Society in 1981; Sir Francis Drake and the Famous Voyages, 1577-1580 (1984); A Leaf From the 1619 French Edition of the Mercator-Hondius World Atlas (1985); Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: A Longer View of Newton and Halley (1990); and A Buccaneer’s Atlas: Basil Ringrose’s South Seas Waggoner (with Derek Howse) (1992), all have received high praise from the academy.

He has written chapters for some of the most prestigious volumes in the discipline of exploration and discovery, and his articles have graced the pages of the major journals in his field.  Such titles as “The Art of and Science of Navigation in Relation to Geographical Exploration Before 1900” (The Pacific Basin, 1966), “Edmond Halley and Thematic Geo-Cartography” (Annals, Association of American Geographers, 1969), “Edmond Halley: The Man, his life, his Scientific Achievement” (Studies in Eighteenth Century Culture, 1987), “William H. Emory and the Mapping of the American Southwest Borderlands” (Terrae Incognitae, 1990), and “Longitude in the Context of Cartography” (The Quest for Longitude, 1996) are only a few examples of his superior scholarship.  In recent years, Professor Thrower has developed a strong interest in Samuel Pepys, and his article, “Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) P.R.S. and the Royal Society,” will be published early in 2003 in Notes and Records of the Royal Society.

If teaching and research were not enough to consume all of his time, his service to his profession, university, and the State of California is meritorious.  From 1975 to 1981, he was President of the Sir Francis Drake Commission of the State of California, and from 1989 to 1992, he was Director of the (Columbus) Quin-centenary Program at UCLA.  For six years beginning in 1981, he served as Director of the Clark Library at UCLA, and during that time, he was a major force in the university when it acquired a very rare set of Sir Joseph Bank’s Florilegium.  Further, the UCLA Center for Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Studies was founded during his tenure as Director of the Clark Library.  He was President of The Society for the History of Discoveries in 1973-1975, and in 1979, he was the founding President of the California Map Society.  Although “retired” for more than a decade, Professor Thrower still teaches courses in the geography department at UCLA.

In addition to being a legendary scholar and teacher, Norman Thrower is a genial friend who loves to tell long, wonderful stories.  Those who attend annual conferences consider their time with him a high point of the meeting. Norman J.W. Thrower is a loyal member of our learned society, and it is honored to name him FSHD – Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Forty-third Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
October 26, 2002

Prepared by Sanford H. Bederman

John Parker - 2002

In 1960 the International Congress on the History of Exploration was held in Lisbon to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator.  John (Jack) Parker, Thomas Goldstein, and Vsevolod (Steve) Slessarev met at that congress where they discussed forming an organization which would encourage the study of the history of geographical discoveries.  In their minds they envisioned a group that would welcome to its membership book and map dealers and collectors, curators and librarians, faculty in geography, history, and related fields, graduate students, and independent scholars.  The Society for the History of Discoveries resulted from this conversation. The story of its founding has been recounted by John Parker in his memorial to Thomas (Thom) Goldstein in Volume 33 of Terrae Incognitae.  The principles set by the founders have been followed from the beginning to the present, a period of more than forty years.  As Jack put it so well, “By listening to all sides of issues, we become better scholars.”

John Parker carried the burden of the office of Secretary-Treasurer of the Society for the History of Discoveries for the first eleven years of its existence.  He recorded the memberships, kept and balanced the bank accounts, edited and distributed the newsletter, and in general served as the glue to keep the SHD together.  Although the organization was much smaller in those early years, it was also more fragile, and could have been damaged by inactivity or neglect. Jack promoted the society and the participation of members in it.  The SHD Newsletter provided a welcome and essential means of communication for members who eagerly awaited the reports of activities of other members, just as they do today. The high standard John Parker set as Secretary-Treasurer, now Executive Secretary, has been continued throughout the life of the Society.

Professor Parker was born in 1923, and was raised in Nekoma, North Dakota.  He graduated from Jamestown College in 1947. In 1949, he completed his studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan with an MA in history.  From 1949 to 1952 he was instructor of history at the University of North Dakota. Continuing his studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, he received the MA in Library Science (1953) and his Ph.D. (1960).  While a student there he worked at the William L. Clements Library. In 1953, he and his wife, Patricia, moved to Minneapolis where he began his career as the first curator of the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota, a position he held until his retirement in 1991.  The Parkers have two daughters, Jackie Cherryhomes and Sarah Parker. Through his teaching in the History Department and the School of Library Science at the University of Minnesota, John Parker brought attention to books written by geographers and travelers. For many years he taught the Expansion of Europe seminar that features books, maps, and manuscripts in the James Ford Bell Library.  In the Library School he taught a Descriptive Bibliography course on rare books, in which students used the books of European travelers who went beyond the borders of Europe to Africa, America, Asia, and the arctic regions during the period from 1400 to 1800. He served on numerous graduate committees for students in history, library science, and related fields.

Professor Parker is an outstanding writer and editor.  The revision of his Ph.D. dissertation was published as Books to Build an Empire (Amsterdam: N. Israel, 1965).  As a memorial to James Ford Bell, he edited the substantial book Merchants & Scholars: Essays in the History of Exploration and Trade (University of Minnesota Press, 1965).  He wrote a book for young readers titled Discovery: Developing Views of the Earth from Ancient Times to the Voyages of Captain Cook (New York: Scribner, 1972).  His magisterial study of Carver’s manuscript and printed accounts of travels in North America is titled The Journals of Jonathan Carver and Related Documents, 1776-1770, and was published by the Minnesota Historical Society in 1976.  As Curator of the James Ford Bell Library, he established a beautifully designed and carefully researched series of books and pamphlets based on rare materials in the library.  One of the recent volumes in this series is Sir Walter Raleigh’s Speech from the Scaffold, which he translated and edited with Carol A. Johnson (Minneapolis: Associates of the James Ford Bell Library, 1995).

John Parker served as President of the Society for the History of Discoveries in 1980-1981.  He presented three papers at meetings, and has three publications, plus many book reviews, in Terrae Incognitae.  His articles are: “Original Sources and Weighty Authorities: Some Thoughts on Revisionism and the Historiography of Discovery,” (13, 1981, 31-34); “The Columbus Landfall Problem: A Historical Perspective,” (15, 1983, 1-28); “Willard Glazier and the Mississippi Headwaters Controversy,” (7, 1975, 53-63).  He is currently a member of the Council of the Society and serves on the editorial board of Terrae Incognitae.

For his pioneering work as Curator of the James Ford Bell Library, his outstanding career of scholarship, and his many contributions to the Society for the History of Discoveries, it is an honor to add to his list of titles: colleague, friend, founder, and now a new one: FSHD – Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Forty-third Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
October 26, 2002

Prepared by Carol Urness

David Beers Quinn - 2001

The difficulty of encapsulating David Beers Quinn’s contributions to the history of discovery and settlement has been amply demonstrated by three festshrifts* that only partially accomplished that goal.  A better measure is the extent to which history has been altered by his research and publications during the past six decades.

Little in David Quinn’s background portended his alteration of the recorded past.  As an Irish youth who through age fourteen attended only a one-teacher school, his first interest was in geography, and he might have devoted his career to that subject had the opportunity been offered at Queen’s University, Belfast, from which he graduated in 1931.  Instead, in graduate school at the Institute of Historical Research and King’s College, London, his attention was drawn to the history of early Tudor administration in Ireland, in which he received a doctorate in 1934. For the next five years as lecturer at University College, Southampton, he taught mostly colonial history, and upon returning to his alma mater in Belfast in 1939 he developed a course in Irish history, then little studied at the college level.  Soon, however, his attention was drawn to Sir Humphrey Gilbert and English exploration of North America. On that subject historians still relied chiefly on the works of Richard Hakluyt, nearly four hundred years old. Quinn’s initial research in archives and libraries made the young professor increasingly dubious of uncritical reliance on Hakluyt, and, in his own words, “I kept finding things which added bits and pieces to the accepted story.” Those discoveries opened for David Quinn a new passion: the sources, always the sources.  He was only thirty-one when the Hakluyt Society published his two-volume documentary, The Voyages and Colonising Enterprises of Sir Humphrey Gilbert (1940).  He carried his penchant for research to University College, Swansea, where from 1944 until he moved to Liverpool University in 1957 he broadened his interests to include other explorers, especially Walter Raleigh.  The Hakluyt Society’s publication of Quinn’s two-volume work, The Roanoke Voyages, 1584-1590: Documents to Illustrate the English Voyages to North America under the Patent Granted to Walter Raleigh in 1584 (1955), provided a landmark in the study of English exploration by making conveniently available sources that subsequently produced an avalanche of articles and books as North America approached the quadricentennial of earliest European colonization of the New World.  More than any historian of his generation, Quinn uncovered new pieces of evidence, exposed them for other researchers through publication, and reinterpreted exploration and settlement in the light of new information.

David Quinn’s research and writing soon branched into other scholarly directions, in each of which he made significant contributions.  He sought to understand the North American natives encountered by Europeans, and he published Sources for the Ethnography of Northeastern North America to 1611 (1981).  Upon his rediscovery of the long-hidden John White watercolors in the British Museum during World War II, he recognized their significance to history and ethnography.  He did not rest until, with the help of Paul Hulton, he oversaw their reproduction and annotation in a distinguished two-volume edition, The American Drawings of John White (1964).  After 1948 Quinn conducted personal inspections of North America, walking the lands and sailing the waters explored by his fellow Englishmen centuries earlier.  Based on greater familiarity with those lands and waters, he accelerated his publications, especially of original sources and narratives written for scholars, such as The English New England Voyages, 1602-1608 (1983).  In his dedication to Clio, Quinn generously shared his passion and knowledge with colleagues and educational institutions both in Europe and America.  He was a visiting professor at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, University of Michigan, and other institutions, and he was a Distinguished Fulbright Fellow and also a Fellow at the National Humanities Center.  He has received many academic honors, and upon his acceptance of the first John Carter Brown Medal, he was described as “the pre-eminent authority on the history of early European exploration of North America.”  Meanwhile, until his retirement from Liverpool University, he shepherded an impressive number of young men and women into the study, research, and writing of the history of overseas discovery and exploration.

But Professor Quinn’s influence has not been limited to academe.  He incorporated his documentary discoveries in books written for a wider lay readership.  For example, he collaborated with others in the production of popular editions, such as W. P. Cumming and R. A. Skelton in The Discovery of North America (1971) and Cumming in The Exploration of North America (1974).  He has ever been ready to insist upon accuracy and credibility in commemorations of historic events.  He was a major participant in the Drake Quadricentennial in California and the Roanoke Quadricentennial in North Carolina, and for the latter, produced “Set Fair for Roanoke,” a distillation of four decades of intimacy with the Elizabethans.

Our understanding of European expansion has been radically altered and advanced during David Quinn’s six decades of mining original sources and making them available to scholars in print.  No one could have expressed that mission better than he did in his address before the American Historical Association in 1986. In that address, simply titled “Reflections,” he said, “I have thought of myself very much as a historical work horse, clearing the way through documentary tangles for others to follow.”  For the ore that he mined, which was refined and turned into shelves of articles and books by other historians, not all of whom acknowledged their debt to the miner, David Quinn stands as a giant among specialists in the history of discovery and exploration. His rank among his contemporaries rises even higher when we acknowledge his own narrative works—represented in the impressive Quinn bibliography—that incorporate new interpretations and understanding based on the sources, always the sources.  Beyond Hakluyt, the single most recognizable name in bibliographies of early English expansion is “Quinn, David Beers.” We are honored to add to his many honorifics the designation “FSHD” — Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

*The three festshrifts are:

K. R. Andrews, N. P. Canny, and P. E. H. Hair (editors), The Westward Enterprise: English Activities in Ireland, the Atlantic, and America 1480-1650. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1978.

H. G. Jones (editor). Raleigh and Quinn: The Explorer and His Boswell. Chapel Hill: North Caroliniana Society, 1987.

Cecil H. Clough and P. E. H. Hair (editors). The European Outthrust and Encounter The First Phase c. 1400-c.1700: Essays in Tribute to David Beers Quinn on His 85th Birthday. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1994.

Forty-second Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Denver, Colorado
September 8, 2001

Prepared by H. G. Jones

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