WWW-Virtual Library: History
Map History / History of Cartography: THE Gateway to the Subject

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Map History

Discussion Lists

  • ISHMap-list (2014- )

  • MAPHIST FORUM (2012-14)

  • MapHist list (1994-2012)

  • Other discussion lists

  • ISHMap-list (2014- )

    The ISHMap-list, the discussion list of the International Society for the History of the Map, was launched 1 January 2014 as a public list (having served for the Society alone since March 2011). As a discussion list, it is the successor to the MapHist list (1994-2012).

    'This list is open, free and inclusive'. Messages are posted to subscribers once accepted by the list moderators, who 'will be anxious to forward all relevant postings to the subscribers within one day at the latest'.

    The list Archive is publicly accessible, but the list of subscribers is not made available.

    MapHist Forum (2012-14)

    The MapHist Forum replaced the MapHist discussion list in January 2012. It ceased to function in late 2014.

    MapHist list (1994-2012)

    In January 2012 the Map Hist email discussion list was closed, and was replaced by the web-based MapHist Forum (which itself closed at the end of 2014).

    Arrangements are being made (February 2012) to preserve and provide access to the list's long Archive.

    For the time being, the comments below are being left here.

    The Map History discussion list is THE place to be if you want to know what is going on in the subject. It currently has over 1000 subscribers

    MapHist is lively and, like any other online forum, mixes the serious with the trivial. It is easy to join [or leave] and nobody minds if you just listen in and see what is going on. It is certainly the easiest way to keep in touch with the subject.

    If you are not sure about joining MapHist, or want to see what sort of discussions is has, you can can read the messages without being a member. Just go to the public Archive (on which see more below).

    For general information about the list, go to the MapHist HOMEPAGE.

    Subscribing to the list:
    Go to the Mailman MapHist page and fill out a form.

    Once you have joined, the address to send messages is <maphist@geo.uu.nl>.

    Remember! When you reply to a MapHist message you are replying to the WHOLE list! If you want to write back privately to the author, select 'Forward' not 'Reply'

    List of Subscribers to MapHist:
    A password-protected list of the MapHist members is accessible once you have subscribed.

    The MapHist Archive:
    The Archive from January 2002 onwards is accessible via the Mailman MapHist page, or directly here. It is arranged in monthly files. You can sort by 'Thread', i.e. by discussion topic, 'Subject' (an alphabetical list of the message headings) or by Author or Date.

    You can search the entire archive, for word(s) in the heading and the full message text, by entering the following formula into Google, with your own search term at the end, e.g., for Mercator [note the space before the search term]:

          site:http://mailman.geo.uu.nl/pipermail/maphist/ mercator

    The cumulative CD-ROM for the early proceedings, from March 1994 up until the end of 2001, is no longer available.

    Illustrations on MapHist:
    The MapHist homepage includes a separate 'Illustration Page', featuring images of some of the items discussed.

    The MapHist list was established in 1994 (by David Cobb) and exists to exchange views and information on any aspect of early cartography. In February 2002 the list moved from Harvard University to the Faculty of Geographical Sciences of Utrecht University. The current list-owner is Peter van der Krogt < peter(at)maphist.nl > [NB. You need to replace (at) with the @ symbol]. In September 2005 MapHist moved from the Majordomo to Mailman listserv.

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    Other discussion lists

    By Subject

    By Title

    To search for other lists, the following are recommended. They look for quality rather than quantity:-

    Information about Archives of past messages is given below when available. If you want to avoid the overfilled email inbox that inevitably follows joining lots of lists, a periodic check of the archive allows you to follow proceedings without being a subscriber. In some cases you have to login to see the Archive

    amcircle (ANZMapS)

    The Australian and New Zealand Map Society runs an email list, amcircle, "a group interested in the creation, appreciation, dissemination and archiving of maps".


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    AWMC-Announce (Ancient World Mapping Center)

    A private subscription list to keep interested individuals informed about Center developments, e.g. with the Barrington Atlas Updates - see also 'Early Epochs'.


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    Body Part Maps (anthropomorphic maps)

    "A discussion list for anthropomorphic maps [started October 2003]. These maps were created by configuring the body of a god or goddess on the face of the earth. The name of each part of that body became the name of the area or feature underneath that part.

    Examples include the Blackfoot indian map of Napi in Alberta, Canada; the Phoenician map of a male body (probably Hermes) in Asia minor; and the map of a female body (probably Aphrodite) in northern Africa."


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    Canada (Carta)


    The archive is for subscribers only

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    The Society of Cartographers Listserv. "You may find this a useful way of communicating with cartographers worldwide". Website

    Publicly accessible archive (since 2001 - though access denied when checked in December 2006)

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    Current Maps (Maps-L)


    Publicly accessible archive (1993 onwards, but you have to login)

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    Discovery & Exploration mailing list


    Publicly accessible archive (since August 2003)

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    GBHGIS (Great Britain Historical Geographical Information System)


    Publicly accessible archive (since February 2003)

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    German-speaking world (D-A-CH)


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    LIBER GdC (European map curators)

    Discussion list for the Groupe des Cartothécaires de Ligue des Bibliothèques Europeènnes de Recherche (LIBER) | Map Expert Group, on matters relating to progress in mapcuratorship in Europe. This was re-launched in August 2010, with archives available from that date onwards only. [NB the list was discontinued in July 2012].


    Publicly accessible archive

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    Map Dealers (maptrade)

    Website - see also for publicly accessible archive. [NB the list was discontinued in February 2008].

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    Ordnancemaps (UK)

    A discussion group devoted to Ordnance Survey maps.

    Website - see also for publicly accessible archive (since January 2001)

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    Road maps (Roadmaps-L)


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    Spanish-speaking world (Mercator)


    Publicly accessible archive (since February 1999 - but you have to login)

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    Surveying History

    "For the general discussion of the history of the science of surveying. All periods are on the table, with particular emphasis on 18th Century surveying. Topics include instruments and makers, surveyors, instruments, techniques, maps, and more."

    Website - see also for publicly accessible archive (since February 2005)

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    United Kingdom (lis-maps)

    Website - see also for the archive (since September 1998), which you can search but have to be a subscriber to view.

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