NEH Summer Programs | Newberry

NEH Summer Programs

Rand McNally travel maps. Wing Modern MS Bx. 5, Fl.#66 RMcN Series 5 Fl.#67.

Rand McNally travel maps. Wing Modern MS Bx. 5, Fl.#66 RMcN Series 5 Fl.#67.

The Smith Center frequently hosts summer seminars and institutes exploring topics in the history of cartography. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, these programs bring in graduate students, college faculty, or K-12 school teachers for several weeks of intensive research and group discussion. Participants balance classes—which include an extensive reading schedule and guest lectures from scholars—with original research in the Newberry’s extensive collections.

The Newberry Library’s Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography is pleased to announce its 2019 NEH Summer Seminar for College and University Faculty, “Material Maps in the Digital Age.” The four-week seminar, led by James Akerman (The Newberry Library) and Peter Nekola (Luther College), will focus on the practice of critically reading and teaching from original map documents, informed by the most recent cartographic scholarship. In many ways, reading historic maps is more productive in the digital age. However, the visual qualities of digital map documents do not displace the need to understand them as material objects. These issues will be at the heart of Material Maps in the Digital Age, a course of reading, discussion, map study, and research immersed in the Newberry’s extensive and renowned collection of historic map documents and other humanities materials. This seminar will be mindful of how map research in the humanities, and map literacy itself, is being transformed by the challenges and opportunities posed by the digital revolution.

Applications are encouraged from college and university faculty in all disciplines. A limited number of spaces are also available for full-time graduate students in the humanities. Successful applicants will receive a stipend of $3,300 to help defray travel and housing expenses. The deadline for applying is March 1, 2019. For more information on the seminar, program faculty, stipend and housing information, and how to apply, please go to the Reading Material Maps website: Or contact the Smith Center Program Assistant Madeline Crispell at

Past summer programs have included “Envisioning America in Maps and Art,” “Mapping and Art in the Americas,” and “Developing Cartographic Literacy.”

Past NEH Summer Programs