ANN: Upcoming event! Final IMCoS Map Lecture: Wes Brown, Alzate y Ramirez & the Mapping of New Spain

Katherine Parker's picture

The final event of the IMCoS Map Lectures Series will be Wes Brown speaking on "Alzate y Ramirez & the Mapping of New Spain." This talk will be held on June 30 at 7PM BST. 

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In 1768 Mexican Jesuit priest Don José Antonio de Alzate y Ramirez created a large manuscript map of New Spain (defined at the time as those portions of North America controlled by Spain) which, in a bold move, he sent to the French Royal Academy of Sciences hoping that the learned society would publish it. For centuries, Spain had guarded its geographic knowledge about the New World and rarely allowed information to be published. Alzate’s outrageous breech of protocol resulted in the publication of the only printed map of New Spain using Spanish information in the eighteenth century. The map is rich with new geographic information of the area which would become the western United States. This presentation describes this extraordinary map in the context of the limited knowledge of that region of America at the time.

Wes has been a collector of old maps for over 45 years with a particular interest in the exploration and settlement of Colorado and western North America from the sixteenth through to the twentieth century. His other collecting passion is early world maps up to 1540. Over those years he has been an eager student of the history of maps and mapmaking, a frequent speaker at conferences, and has published numerous articles. He is the founder of the Rocky Mountain Map Society and IMCoS International Chairman.