|Special Collections Division
the University of Texas
at Arlington Libraries
Vol. XV II* No. 1 * Spring 2003
The theme of the Third Biennial Virginia Garrett Lectures in the History of Cartography, which was held in the UTA Central Library on October 4, 2002, was "The Third Coast: Mapping the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea." There were approximately 150 people in attendance, coming from many different states. The Virginia Garrett Lectures in the History of Cartography was established in 1998 as a biennial series to explore topics in cartographic history.
The speakers at the 2002 lectures looked at ways in which maps and their related imagery have depicted the environment, geography, peoples, habitats, and political realms of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean region. Two University of Texas at Arlington professors were featured: David Buisseret, the Jenkins and Virginia Garrett Endowed Chair in Greater Southwestern Studies and the History of Cartography, and Richard Francaviglia, Director of the Center for Greater Southwestern Studies and the History of Cartography. Buisseret spoke on "The European Mapping of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, 1500-1800" and Francaviglia spoke on "Cannibals and Cartographers: The Role of Supposition in Mapping the Gulf of Mexico."
Other speakers included J. Barto Arnold, with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University, who spoke on the use of maps in archaeological discovery, particularly the excavation of La Salle’s ship La Belle off the Texas coast near Matagorda Bay, and Louis De Vorsey, Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of Georgia, who spoke on the use of maps in legal cases concerning the precise boundary of the Gulf of Mexico.
There was also a panel discussion, moderated by Dennis Reinhartz, Professor of History at UTA, on the cartography of the Gulf coast at a time of conflict between the Spaniards and the French in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Two independent scholars, Jack Jackson of Austin and Robert Weddle of Bonham, both of whom have written extensively on the subject, were able to show that there had been some collaboration between the two parties and clearly demonstrated that the increase in the number of maps at that time was due to political considerations.
In addition, there was an exhibit of eighty-two maps, atlases, and geographies dating from 1508 to 1900 depicting the region. This exhibit was curated by Kit Goodwin, Cartographic Archivist, and designed by Pratap Mandapaka, Exhibits Designer; both are staff members in Special Collections. Goodwin also compiled a 48-page gallery guide to accompany the exhibit. At the December 2002 Libraries’ staff meeting, both Goodwin and Mandapaka received "Applause" awards for their work on the exhibit.
On October 5 a joint meeting of the Texas Map Society and the Philip Lee Phillips Society (the support group for the Library of Congress’ Map and Geography Division) was held at the UTA Libraries. That was followed by a reception and dinner at the newly remodeled and expanded Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth.
The Third Biennial Virginia Garrett Lectures on the History of Cartography were the most successful to date with an outstanding group of speakers and a record number of attendees. Consider saving the date of October 1, 2004, to attend the Fourth Biennial Garrett Lectures.
Picture Gallery: Scenes from the Garrett Lectures
Left to Right: Marvin Applewhite, Holt Vaughn, Virginia Garrett, Shirley Applewhite, and Jenkins Garrett.
Garrett lecturer David Buisseret (left) and Dennis Reinhartz (center) listen intently
to a presentation.
Richard Francaviglia (left) talks with
John Hebért, chief of the Library of
Congress's Map and Geography Division.
Jack Jackson (facing camera) talks with Max Lale about a point he made during his panel discussion at the lectures.
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