Chet Van Duzer begins research on the 1587 Urbano Monte Map

December 8, 2017
G. Salim Mohammed
Chet Van Duzer

In a partnership between the David Rumsey Map Center and the John Carter Brown Library, Chet Van Duzer, a renowned History of Cartography scholar, began a three-month research fellowship at the Center.  The fellowship, which allows Chet to spend time both at the Rumsey Map Center and the John Carter Brown Library, is made possible with a gift from David and Abby Rumsey. Chet is an independent scholar who studies medieval and Renaissance maps and is also a board member of the Lazarus Project that focuses on multispectral imaging of cultural heritage objects, leaning on his map expertize. Chet was a presenter at both the opening of David Rumsey Map Center in April 2016 as well as a speaker and the recently concluded Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference on Cartography, held in October 2017. He spoke on Horror vacui and curated a small exhibit currently on display at the David Rumsey Map Center.

Chet Van Duzer Holding up the Urbano Monte Globe virtually

Chet Van Duzer, behind a virtual model of the Urbano Monte using the new augmented reality AR Globe app available here.

Chet will be studying the 1587 Urbano Monte, the world’s largest map of its time – a 60 sheet atlas, digitally assembled for the first time since its making 430 years ago. It is a cartographic manuscript masterpiece, and by definition, one of a kind. Images at full resolution, including a composite as well as a movie showing the georeferenced globe are here.  David Rumsey who purchased the map/atlas through the help of Barry Ruderman, has a blog post on the map. A joint publication by Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps and the David Rumsey Map Center details more about this magnificent map, eons ahead of its time. The map and its 10 feet by 10 feet facsimile print will be on display in an event in late February—during which Chet Van Duzer will speak to his findings. Please e-mail to be included in the center’s mailing list to learn more about that event.

For more on this latest addition to the David Rumsey Map Center’s holdings, check out this recent article by National Geographic.