Mapping Colonial New England in Manuscript and Print

Mapping Colonial New England in Manuscript and Print
An illustrated talk with Professor Matthew Edney,
Faculty Scholar Osher Map Library

Tuesday, September 26, 2023
5:30 – 8:30 pm

You are invited to our Fundraiser to benefit preservation of the Tate House, generously hosted by Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education. Guests will have the opportunity to privately view rare historic maps and globes from the library’s collections guided by Professor Matthew Edney, Osher Chair in the History of Cartography. Professor Edney will cap off the evening with an entertaining and informative talk, “Mapping Colonial New England in Manuscript and Print.” This illustrated lecture will explore the complex interplay involved in the mapping of colonial New England among politicians, administrators, military officers, scholars, land owners, and the public on both sides of the Atlantic.

The event features a wine and cheese reception with expansive views of Portland from the 7th floor of Glickman library followed by map and globe viewing, and culminates with the mapping lecture and a dessert reception.

Supporters can buy raffle tickets online or in person to win one of two reproduction prints (click on the “Tickets” button below). The first is A Plan of Ancient Portland (then known as Falmouth) ~ Circa 1688 ~ With Additions of Later Points of Historic Interest by Ray Gailey. Engraved by James H. Gallagher and published by R. H. Gailey in 1946, this map comes in a handsome period-style frame and depicts early Portland, South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, and the island of Casco Bay. The second is “Night,” a charming and whimsical engraving by William Hogarth. First published in 1738 as part of a four-part series, The Four Times of Day, “Night” is a caricature depicting the chaos-filled city streets of London after dark. This print comes with a $100 gift certificate that can be used toward framing.

  • 5:30-7:00 Wine and cheese reception and viewing of Osher Map Library Exhibit

  • 6:00 – 7:00 pm Private viewing of OML’s colonial manuscript and printed maps, and premier historic globe collection

  • 7:00 – 8:30 pm Illustrated talk by Prof Edney with dessert reception on the 7th floor 7th floor of the Glickman Library with expansive views of Portland

Tickets $75 per person



About the lecture:

The regional mapping of colonial New England entailed a complex interplay of mapping in manuscript and print for several sets of politicians, administrators, military officers, scholars, land owners, and the public on both sides of the Atlantic. This illustrated lecture uses several case studies to explores some of the reasons for mapping the English colonies in New England, between 1630 and 1765, and why some manuscript maps ended up being printed: William Wood’s 1634 “experimental” map; William Hubbard’s 1677 map, the first map printed in North America; the map in Cotton Mather’s Magnalia Christi Americana (1720), maps for colonial boundary disputes; and William Douglass’s ill-fated wall map of 1753. The lecture draws on the holdings of the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education at the University of Southern Maine, the Maine Historical Society, the rare book libraries at Harvard, Brown, and Yale universities, the Library of Congress, the British Library, and the National Archives of the United Kingdom.

About the speaker:

Speaker imageMatthew H. Edney was born and raised in the United Kingdom. He read geography at University College London (B.Sc. hons. 1983) and then cartography (M.S. 1985) and geography (Ph.D. 1990) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He came to the University of Southern Maine in 1995 to serve as faculty scholar in the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education, in which role he has long focused on studying the history of mapping of Maine and New England. He was appointed to the Osher Chair in the History of Cartography in 2007. In 2005, he had also appointed director of the History of Cartography Project at UW, for which he edited, with Mary Pedley, Cartography in the European Enlightenment (Chicago, 2019), Volume Four of The History of Cartography. Prof. Edney’s research has increasingly focused on the unique circumstances underpinning the movement of maps among users and consumers, especially in tracking which maps were printed and which were not. He will be speaking on aspects of this current work as they relate to colonial New England.


We will also auction a facsimile of a rare antiquarian map by Cyprian Southack of Casco Bay from 1720. Please visit our online auction to bid on this special item.



Sep 26 2023


5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

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