Perched on the fourth floor of the Cecil H. Green Library, the David Rumsey Map Center has become a destination for many. The Center, which celebrates its one year anniversary on April 19, 2017 has welcomed over 2,200 visitors and serves as a ‘geogarage’ inspiring new uses for its collection of rare maps, including those featured in books and atlases.
The Rumsey Map Center emphasizes the use of physical materials alongside advanced technology, including two wall-to-ceiling high resolution display walls that create a research and learning environment unlike any other space on campus. The vision for the Center was to be a hub of interdisciplinary scholarship, demonstrating the value maps bring across disciplines. Its well on its way to delivering on that promise as it continues to attract faculty and students from all corners of campus, as well as international scholars and local map enthusiasts.
“The response to the Center has been phenomenal and awe-inspiring,” said G. Salim Mohammed, head of the David Rumsey Map Center. “Faculty from diverse disciplines such as Anthropology, History, Art and Art History, Classics, Religious Studies, Program in Writing and Rhetoric, Theater and Performance Studies and Geophysics have made good use of the Center.” According to Mohammed the programming planned for year two will build on the momentum and success of the past year, and expand opportunities for the Center’s services and resources.
Highlights from the first year, include use by:
Karl Eikenberry, a Stanford professor of practice and former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, introduced his students in America's War in Afghanistan: Multiple Actors and Divergent Strategies to the Rumsey Map Center’s regional resources
Grant Parker, chair of the Classics Department, in his course What is a Map? provided an overview of premodern mapping practices, hands-on research with rare and historic maps, and a chance for students to create their own maps, broadly defined. G. Salim Mohammed, head and curator of the Rumsey Map Center, provided support to Professor Parker and his students.
Eric W. Sanderson, senior conservation ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society, spoke on why historical maps are essential to the future of cities. Image below, Photosphere of Current and pre-1600 Manhattan, from Sanderson's Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City
Historian Richard Talbert, editor of the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, discussed the mapping of Asia Minor during World War I at Stanford’s Eitner Lecture Series. Watch the presentation.
Stanford Master of Fine Arts students used an 18th-century century map of Paris to create a virtual reality film that is viewable on one of the Rumsey Map Center’s Oculus Rifts.
Stanford University Press launched Enchanting the Desert the first interactive digital monograph by Nicholas Bauch, postdoctoral scholar for CESTA and The Bill Lane Center for the American West.
On May 4 at 5:00pm, the David Rumsey Map Center in partnership with the California Map Center will present the first winner of its graduate student essay award. Richard Brown and Paul Cohen will also be speaking that evening as part of the California Map Society Lecture Series at Stanford Libraries. The topic of the lecture will be "Revolution: Mapping the Road to American Independence 1755-1783"
The David Rumsey Map Center, named for its lead donor, San Francisco businessman and avid map collector, David Rumsey, complements Stanford Libraries’ long history of working with cartographic materials. The combined holdings include the David Rumsey Map Collection of some 150,000 maps and their digital surrogates as well as other cartographic collections and materials long held at Stanford, including the Glen McLaughlin Collection of maps of California as an Island, the Dr. Oscar I. Norwich Collection of Maps of Africa and over 10,000 antiquarian maps collected over the years by Special Collections.
For more information about the David Rumsey Map Center visit rumseymapcenter.stanford.edu.