Why there are sea monsters lurking in early world maps?

That’s the playful moniker Dory Klein of the Boston Public Library uses for the creatures found in centuries old maps. She’s an education and outreach assistant at the library’s Norman B. Leventhal Map Center.“In the Medieval and Renaissance period in Europe, people didn’t really know what was out there,” Klein says. “So your corpus of knowledge came from folklore and the Bible. And so in that world, monsters could very well be real and they were just part of this supernatural landscape. Background to the popular twitter hastag #MapMonsterMonday –  http://short.pri.org/QizxeAC


Call for Papers – ANZMapS Annual conference

Encircled by sea: mapping coastal communities of Australia and New Zealand.

The 44th annual conference of the Australian and New Zealand Map Society will be held in Wollongong, New South Wales, September 7 – 9, 2016.

Encircled by sea, Australia and New Zealand share a common history of exploration and settlement along the coastal fringes. The 2016 conference will explore the European discovery and gradual mapping and settlement of Australia and New Zealand and the significant role explorers, surveyors and cartographers have played in shaping and documenting the changing landscapes over more than 200 years. The conference program also acknowledges the 400th anniversary of the landing of Dirk Hartog in his vessel the Eendracht off the coast of Shark Bay, on 25 October 1616.

Call for papers

Papers will be considered relating to any historical or contemporary aspects of coastal mapping of Australia and New Zealand from the earliest European discoveries through to the gradual surveying and settlement of coastal cities, towns and communities along our coastlines over the past 400 years.

Papers on general historical or contemporary mapping of Australia, New Zealand and the surrounding region will also be considered as providing context and breadth to the conference program.

Please send proposals for 30 minute papers of no more than 300 words to Maggie Patton (maggie.patton@sl.nsw.gov.au) by Monday May 4, 2016. Please include affiliation details.

Further details

NLA exhibition Celestial Empire – featuring early Chinese city plans and mapping

Celestial Empire: Life in China 1644-1911

National Library of Australia, Canberra. Dates – 2 January – 22 May 2016.

See exquisite and precious objects from the National Library of China. Marvel at drawings and plans for Beijing’s iconic palaces from the Yangshi Lei Archives, listed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in 2007 and never before seen in Australia. Beautiful maps, books and prints come alive in ornate detail.

Further information on the exhibition website


Welcome to our new website!

Welcome to our new website. We hope we have made it easier for you to find the information you need! We have also added some new features including online payment for membership and back issues of The Globe. You can also register to receive the latest news and participate in the online forum. Tell us what you would like to see added or improved and send us your suggestions for Map of the Month.

We welcome your feedback 

The Library of Congress has launched a new blog

A Whole New Blog | Library of Congress Blog

World’s Revealed: Geography & Maps at the Library of Congress will highlight cartographic objects from the Library’s collections that “sometimes go beyond what usually ends up in exhibits and in textbooks and bring to the forefront uncataloged objects that have never before been placed online.”

The Library’s Geography and Map Division contains more than 6 million maps in addition to a wide array of atlases, globes, raised relief models, archives, a vast collection of digital data and a GIS research center. The blog will explore the past, present, and future of maps and mapping, including sharing latest finds and new acquisitions.