In the 3rd session of the 1st cycle Dialogues between literature and science: the measurement and representation of the world, we will talk about the figure of the cartographer and navigator Juan de la Cosa (Santoña, between 1450 and 1460-Turbaco, 1510), known for having participated in seven of the first trips to America and for having drawn the oldest map of the American continent that is preserved.

He had a leading role in the first and second voyages of Christopher Columbus to the Antilles and in 1499 he participated as a senior pilot in the Alonso de Ojeda expedition to the coasts of the South American continent. On his return to Andalusia he drew his famous world map and shortly after he embarked again towards the Indies, this time with Rodrigo de Bastidas. In the following years he alternated trips to America under his own command with special commissions from the Crown, including a mission as a spy in Lisbon and a participation in the Junta de Pilotos of Burgos of 1508. In 1509 he undertook what would be his last expedition to take possession of the coasts of present-day Colombia. La Cosa died in an armed confrontation with indigenous people before being able to serve as chief sheriff of Urabá (excerpt from Wikipedia).

María Antonia Colomar is a retired historian and facultative of the Archivo General de Indias, of which she was deputy director. 2017 National Prize of the Spanish Geographical Society for their contributions to the history of cartography. Among other topics, he has been interested in the relationship between Juan de la Cosa and the Casa de Contratación.

Javier Tazón is a novelist and author of a tetralogy about the sailor and cartographer of Santoña, Juan de la Cosa: El cartógrafo de la reina (Memorias de Juan de la Cosa) (2010), Las rutas del Norte (2011), El mapa perdido (2014) and La estela del cartógrafo (2017).

The dialogue will be moderated by the GEHC member Carme Montaner.

The session will take place next Wednesday, November 20, at 7:00 pm, at the Archivo de la Corona de Aragón (Palacio de los Virreyes; Carrer dels Comtes, 2; Barcelona).

The entrance is free with pre-inscription to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the 2nd session of the 1st cycle of Dialogues between literature and science: the measurement and representation of the world, we will talk about the expedition that the Academy of Sciences of Paris carried out in Ecuador for the measurement of a degree of latitude during the first half 18th century. On the table was the controversy between Newton's followers, who considered the Earth flattened by the poles, and the defenders of the French posture, who claimed that the flattening was in the equator. The novel theory of gravity faced geodetic measures and Cartesian reasoning defended in Paris.

The expedition was led by the French astronomer Louis Godin along with Charles-Marie de la Condamine, Pierre Bouguer and Joseph de Jussieu. They were accompanied, on behalf of the Spanish crown, by the navy officers Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa. Between 1736 and 1739 they established the geodetic network necessary for the measurement of a section of meridian. Between 1739 and 1743 they carried out astronomical measurements at the extremes. Throughout the project the expeditionaries had to face the harshness of the environment and work, they were often misunderstood by the locals. Nor did the important dissensions among the members of the expedition help, which appeared from the beginning and culminated in the return of many of them separately. Others stayed in American lands for having founded family, for finding a job, for not having resources to return or for dying, naturally or violently.

Antonio Lafuente is a CSIC researcher and author of the study Los caballeros del punto fijo: ciencia, política y aventura en la expedición geodésica hispanofrancesa al virreinato del Perú en el siglo XVIII (1987), pioneer in the analysis of the expedition cited and, in general, of the institutionalized scientific development from the century of the lights.

Juan Vergara is the author of the novel Meridiano Maldito (2011), finalist, in the narrative section in Spanish, in the XV edition of the literary prizes Ciutat de València.

The dialogue will be moderated by the GEHC member Joan Capdevila.

The session will take place next Wednesday, November 13, at 7:00 pm, at the Archivo de la Corona de Aragón (Palacio de los Virreyes; Carrer dels Comtes, 2; Barcelona).

The entrance is free with pre-inscription to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the 1st session of the 1st cycle of Dialogues between literature and science: the measurement and representation of the world, Lluís Reales, scientific journalist, interview Ramon J. Pujades, an expert in portolan charts and member of GEHC, from whom we have extracted some interesting notes:

The portolan chart or "navigation chart" was designed to serve as a navigation tool, but would end up revolutionizing the whole way of perceiving, representing and managing the space of societies ...

...the Catalan culture transformed it (the models of north-western Italy) into an own product...

The Catalan charts came to be sold in places as far away as Alexandria or Flanders...

... monumental maps, beautifully decorated with great abundance of gold and miniature ... the famous Catalan Atlas of 1375, elaborated by the Mallorcan Jewish Cresques Abraham, was given by the infant John (future John I) to the king of France. extracted from the narration of Marco Polo

Gabriel de Vallseca (1449) introduced the signal tower (Torre del Farrell) on Montjuïc mountain as a distinctive element.

The session will take place next Thursday, November 7, at 7:00 pm, at the Archivo de la Corona de Aragón (Palacio de los Virreyes; Carrer dels Comtes, 2; Barcelona).

The entrance is free with pre-inscription to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The programme of American Geographical Society Grants (AGS) Library Research is designed to offer to researchers an opportunity to continue their work helping them to access to primary sources of high level. Each year are given between four and eight grants for periods among two and four weeks. Any qualified research can access and the main criteria to be elected are the merit and importance of the proposal, the qualifications of the candidate and the relevance of the project in relation with the contents of the Library of AGS, placed in University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (UWM).

The deadline for sending the proposal is the next December 15.

A complete description of the fellowships content and the procedure of asking for it can be found in

Recently El País colecciones has launched a new collectible entitled Grandes Mapas de la Historia focused on maps and telling the history of humanity through cartography.

The collection is technically advised by GEHC member Barbara Polo.

There are 40 weekly deliveries planned (a hardcover fascicle and a large format map) until July 2020.

On this website you have the entire list of deliveries and you can purchase the copies already distributed.

The french Archives Nationales organize, at their headquarters in Paris, the exhibition Quand les artistes dessinaient les cartes: vues et figures de possible espace français, Moyen Âge et Renaissance.

The exhibition focuses on a collection of local and regional maps produced in France between 1300 and 1600 with a marked practical nature: defining boundaries or legal rights, resolving territorial disputes, documenting public works, supporting military operations, describing historical events, cataloguing possessions and highlight the identity of a place or territory.

It is a cartography that prefers empirical observation to precision measurements. Many of these "figures" (as they were called at that time) were made by painters combining drawing and perspective effects. The result is spectacular images that can well be considered an intersection between art and cartography.

The exhibition will be open until January 26, 2020.

You can find more information on the website of the exhibition or in the press kit.

The Bibliographical Society of America (BSA) offers a series of fellowships for bibliographic research.

Bibliographic projects can refer to a wide variety of objects, including maps, of all time and in any format provided that they include the analysis of the physical object as historical evidence. Fellowships can be used to finance travel to collections and other expenses related to research on the subject for which it has been awarded.

Among the programs proposed by the BSA on its website, The Charles J. Tanenbaum Fellowship in Cartographical Bibliography, worth $ 3,000 ,should be highlighted. It supports projects related to any aspect of history, presentation, printing, design, distribution and reception of cartographic documents from the Renaissance period to the present, with special emphasis on cartography of the eighteenth century.

The deadline for submitting applications is November 1 .

The Newberry Library opens its annual announcement of grants for research in two modalities:

  • Postdoctoral grants of long duration in order to be among 4 and 9 months. The amount is 4200$ per month. These grants are thought to promote individual academic research and a quality intelectual exchange though the active participation in the grant program. The deadline is November, 1st.
  • Short duration grants (1-2 months) directed to new doctors, candidates to docto and other titles of completaron of studies. The grant is 2500$ per month. These grants support the individual academic research based on the consultation of the Newberry Library. It is restricted to people who live and work outside of the metropolitan area of Chicago. The deadline is December, 15th.

Further information in the website.</p

The municipal archive of Tiana (Barcelona) has begun the restoration of a land or cadastral map dated in 1852, in an action framed in the Restoration Program offered by the Xarxa d'Arxius Municipals of the Diputació de Barcelona.

Specifically, it is the “Plano geométrico del termino jurisdiccional de Tiana con su barrio de Montgat” [Geometric plan of the jurisdictional term of Tiana with its Montgat neighborhood] prepared by the surveyor Pedro Moreno y Ramírez. The plane is drawn on cloth paper and has been preserved folded. In the folds is where there are more signs of deterioration. The restoration will be carried out by the restorer Berta Blasi.

The GEHC has studied this type of mapping. On this issue you can find more information in the book El territori dels geòmetres. Cartografia parcel·lària dels municipis de la província de Barcelona (1845-1895).

News seen in Tot Badalona.

Harley grants consists of a help for working in the area of history of cartography from the collections of ancient maps that exist in United Kingdom.

The grant can arrive to 2.000,00 £. The deadline to present the proposals is the next November, 1st.

Moreover, for the period 2018-2020 it is announced an additional grant promoved by the el Historical Geography Research Group from Royal Geographical Society. Candidates must be Ph.D students or recent doctors (no more than 5 years after having obtained the Ph.D).

Further information in the website.