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April 5, 2013

Cartographer to Discuss Work of Renaissance Astronomer and Mathematician

New Book Is First Scholarly Publication on Johannes Schöner’s Maps and Notes

John W. Hessler, a noted cartographer and specialist in the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, has just published the first scholarly publication on the "Schöner Sammelband," a collection of maps and notes made by the Nuremberg astronomer and mathematician Johannes Schöner (d. 1547).

Hessler will discuss and sign his new work, "A Renaissance Globemaker’s Toolbox: Johannes Schöner and the Revolution of Modern Science, 1475-1550" (Library of Congress in association with D Giles Limited, 2013), on Wednesday, April 24, at noon in the Mary Pickford Theater, located on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event, sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, is co-sponsored with the Library’s Geography and Map Division and its Publishing Office. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

Although it is well known that Schöner owned the original 1507 and 1516 world maps made by Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann, very little research has focused on how he used them and on the origins of the other materials that were found in the "Sammelband" – a set of celestial gores of Schöner’s design, a star chart of the Southern Hemisphere by the artist Albrecht Dürer and fragments of two other celestial and terrestrial globes.

The survival of Schöner’s notes and annotations is unique in the history of cartography: Not only do they show his thinking about theoretical and practical geography, but they also reveal the art of mapmaking during his lifetime.

John W. Hessler is senior cartographic reference specialist in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress, curator of the Library’s Kislak Collection and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He has written extensively on the history of science and cartography. Hessler is the author of "The Naming of America: Martin Waldseemüller’s 1507 World Map and the ‘Cosmographiae Introductio’" (2008) and "Thoreau on Cape Cod: His Journeys and the Lost Maps" (2011), among others.

"A Renaissance Globemaker’s Toolbox," a 176-page hardcover book with 90 color illustrations, is available for $29.95 at bookstores nationwide and through the Library of Congress Shop, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., 20540-4985. Credit-card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557 or online at www.loc.gov/shop/.

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (www.Read.gov/cfb/) has become a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading- promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library of Congress National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s Read.gov website and administers the Poetry and Literature Center and the Library’s Young Readers Center.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s pre-eminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled integrated resources to Congress and the American people. The Library serves the public, scholars, Members of Congress and their staffs – all of whom seek information, understanding and inspiration. Many of the Library’s resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s website at www.loc.gov.

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PR 13-069
04/05/13
ISSN 0731-3527

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