Historical Map Society of British Columbia

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Historical Map Society of British Columbia

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  • Map Society of British Columbia

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The Historical Map Society of British Columbia is the oldest map society in Canada, founded in 1976 in response to a call by Dr. Richard Ruggles, head of the Department of Geography, Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. An enthusiastic group, we immediately undertook a series of lectures on “The Mapping of British Columbia” for the Continuing Education Departments of the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria. This was followed by another series on Map Collecting in 1978. In April, 1985, at the Annual General Meeting, the society changed its name from Historical Map Society of British Columbia to Map Society of British Columbia. In 1988 members loaned 156 maps and 2 atlases from their personal collections for an exhibition, The World of Antique Maps, to aid the Eye Care Centre. From 1981 to 1992 the Society produced a series of historical map reproductions. This was ceased when we embarked on our most ambitious project, a carto-bibliography of maps of the British Columbia area up to 1871, the year this colony joined the confederation of Canada. We now have about 3,000 maps listed on our fledgling website. In September, 2004, the Society decided to change its name back to Historical Map Society of British Columbia.

The Historical Map Society of British Columbia continues to hold monthly meetings from September to June with speakers from the membership, or visiting scholars, such as Commander David Waters, Professor Kazutaka Unno, David Buisseret, Francis Herbert, Andrew David, and Andrew Cook. Although we are located here on the west coast of Canada, we are interested in maps of the world, past, present, and future. We have enjoyed talks about explorers, including Cook, Vancouver, the Spanish, and Drake; early Chinese maps; Japanese maps of the Tokugawa era; Ptolemy; the Vinland Map; Mercator; surveying instruments; Calligraphy; hydrographic charts; and the great British mapmakers.


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