Educational Series

The History in Your Hands Foundation is proud to host a robust and dynamic educational series during Saturday and Sunday of the fair. The program will consist of several lectures and panel discussions on a variety of topics related to antiquarian maps, mapping technology, books, collecting, and of course international and local history.

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An Introduction to Map Collecting

By: Ashley Baynton-Williams - Sat @ 12:30, Sun @ 11:30

A third-generation map-dealer, researcher and author from London, active in the map trade for nearing forty years. His informal workshop on map collecting for beginners will introduce and explain the basic fundamentals of collecting old maps. Throughout the duration of his talk, attendees will enjoy a hands on learning experience as the learn the anatomy of a map, how to judge original and modern color, recognizing the different printing processes, and condition issues. Attendees will leave attendees with the underlying confidence to understand the array of maps on display at the fair (and elsewhere).


What’s This Book Worth?

By: Vic Zoschak of Tavistock Books - Sun @ 11:00

Did you ever wonder what Grandma’s books might be worth? If so, then this talk by Vic Zoschak, proprietor of Tavistock Books, and current President of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association, is for you! Mr Zoschak will describe in detail the different aspects of the four primary factors - edition, condition, availability & desirability - that affect a given book's monetary value in the marketplace. Questions will not only be welcome, but encouraged.


Historical Route Maps and Ships of East Asia

By: Richard Pegg of the MacLean Collection - Sat @ 2:00

Numerous official and private networks of maritime trade were in place in the fourteenth to eighteenth centuries in the China Seas. These maritime trade systems were comprised of smaller overlapping systems including the private Fujian system or the official red-seal system in Japan and the official tribute trade systems of China. And the preferred ocean-going ship type connecting all these systems was a unique Chinese junk hybrid with several Western innovations. It is through historical documents, paintings of these ships and maps of the routes they took that we enhance our understanding of how these systems functioned.


10 Things to Know About Antique Maps

By: Eliane Dotson of Old World Auctions - Sun @ 12:00

Eliane Dotson is the owner of Old World Auctions, an auction house specializing in antique maps. In her role, she researches, catalogs, and values 2000 maps each year, and also writes a monthly newsletter on various topics related to antique maps. Eliane is the President of the Washington Map Society and a committee member of the Fry-Jefferson Map Society at the Library of Virginia.

This talk will focus on what new collectors need to know about antique maps to confidently evaluate maps and decide what to add to their collection. While examining a variety of antique map types, we will discuss important terminology, color application, printing techniques, and the features that differentiate maps from various time periods. Discover which key factors most affect the value of a map and how to cultivate and care for your collection. This talk will demystify the world of antique maps and give you the tools to know what to look for and questions to ask when looking at a map.


The Growth of Chicago as Seen Through Maps

By: Robert Holland of the Chicago Map Society - Sat @ 1:30

Robert Holland is the president of the Chicago Map Society and a trustee of the Newberry Library, where he serves as the Chair of the Collection Management Committee. His publications include Chicago in Maps: 1612 - 2002 and The Mississippi River in Maps and Views: From Lake Itasca to New Orleans.

No large American city has ever grown as fast as Chicago. In 1816, the area called “Checagou” contained a military fort and a few dwellings inhabited by traders and trappers. In 1830, the town of Chicago was founded as the northern terminus of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and in 1837, Chicago incorporated as a city with a population of 4,170. By 1857, over three thousand miles of railroad track led to Chicago, making it the center of the largest railway network in the world, and its population swelled to 90,000. By the time of the Great Fire in 1871, what was once a muddy swamp had become the rail, grain, lumber, and livestock capital of the world, and the city’s population was 324,000. The city quickly rebuilt (twice) after the great conflagration and by 1916, Chicago became the world’s first vertical city, inhabited by well over two million people, the home for many of the nation’s major business enterprises, and the transportation center of an entire continent. In this presentation, Robert Holland will review the remarkable growth of Chicago as depicted by a number of key maps of the city.


The Future Trends in Web GIS Applications

By: Byungyun Yang of DePaul University : Mapping Scientist and Engineer - Sat @ 2:30

With the increasing demands of web-based GIS applications, sharing geographic data or spatial concepts via the Web is recognized as one of the important factors that leads to an increase in the attention of the public who has no GIS backgrounds. It enables researchers or public to identify resources in their community and allows them to do asset-based community development supported by GIS or Web GIS applications. In this talk, the Byungyun Yang will be introducing community-engaged (i.e. driven) Web GIS applications and future trends in Web GIS.


Roman Roads Transit Map: a Cartographic Experiment

by: Sasha Trubetskoy - Sat @ 11:00

When Sasha Trubetskoy stumbled upon the world of fictional transit maps, he immediately wanted to make his own. Sasha will tell the story of how he created the famous "Roman Roads map", which shows the ancient road network in the style of a modern transit diagram. In addition to explaining his creative and research process, Sasha will share what he has learned along the way, from principles of design to historical fun facts.

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Five Circles of Viral Internet Maps

by: Sasha Trubetskoy - Sun @ 1:30

Ever since his “snow map” spread across the web in 2014, Sasha Trubetskoy has been well-versed in the world of viral internet maps. In his presentation, Sasha will tell the story of his initial and subsequent viral map hits, and take the audience on a journey deeper and deeper into the darkest pits of amateur internet mapmaking, where “real” cartographers seldom venture. The presentation will bring to light some aspects of mapmaking overlooked by the mainstream cartographic community, and highlight the importance of reaching out to a new, broader audience.


mistakes were made: the mapping of africa

by: Curtis Wright - Sun @ 1:00

Curtis Wright is an avid collector and aspiring map dealer who developed his passion for cartography through studying maps of Africa. He's the Programming Chair for the Chicago Map Society and hopes to open a map gallery in the Chicago area this year. 

The first map Curtis ever purchased was an 1813 John Thomson map of North Africa. The inclusion of a prominent, fictitious mountain range (the Mountains of Kong) sparked a deep interest in the cartographic inaccuracies of the continent. Many of these "misunderstandings" originate from some source material almost two thousand years old, whereas others are more modern. In addition to exploring the non-existent lakes, rivers, and kingdoms that appear on maps of Africa, Curtis will also discuss the impact of the Mercator projection on the continent. 

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Allusion and Imagery in the Book Art of Sarah Wyman Whitman

by: Adrienne Horowitz Kitts - Sat @ 12:00

Austin Abbey Rare Books was born of my fascination with the art of book-binding; specifically, Publisher’s cloth of the late 19th century, and how these small works of art interpret the texts they cover. Sarah Wyman Whitman was a book artist from the late 19th C. who was an independent woman artist (portraits, landscapes and stained glass) as well as a book artist. I will give a brief background of Mrs. Whitman’s life, and then show they symbolic messages and allusions to medieval book art in her binding designs.

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Why the Map Trade Still Matters in the Age of the Internet

by: Mike Buehler of Boston Rare Maps - Sat @ 3:00

It is no secret the Internet has transformed the field of antiquarian map collecting, dealing and scholarship. In some ways the gains are profound: For example, buyers have hitherto-undreamed of access to material, and with just a few keystrokes anyone can access a wealth of images and research resources.  These gains come with costs, however, among them the changing relationship between collectors and dealers. In aggregate, this relationship has become more “transactional” and less focused on the development of a mutually-beneficial long-term partnership.

And yet at its best the map trade offers a set of services that represent a unique “value proposition” that benefits everyone with an interest antiquarian in antiquarian maps. These include for example the vetting and warrantying of maps brought to market; making constructive connections between collectors, institutions, scholars and other dealers; and the identification of new fields for collecting and research. And this value proposition is unlikely to be replicated by the many other distribution channels proliferating on the Internet.

In this talk Michael Buehler of Boston Rare Maps will explore some of the challenges the Internet poses to the collector-dealer relationship. He will then make the case for the enduring contribution of the map trade, drawing on examples and stories from his more than two decades as both a collector and dealer.

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The Intersectionality of Native American Trails, The Underground Railroad and The Negro Travelers Green Book. 

By: Susan Carlotta - Sun @ 12:30

Currently, Susan Carlotta is an Engaged Journalist with City Bureau and an Independent Documentary Television Producer.  "Diversity In Architecture" and "African American Architects" have been aired in the Chicagoland area, focusing on architects of the African Diaspora as a motivational series ( over 30 programs) for urban high school youth. She received a SCETV Fellowship for INPUT ( International TV Producer Conference) in 2018. Also, she was an Illinois Humanities Road Scholar Bureau Lecturer on "Music In The Architecture". Receiving her Professional Degree in Architecture from Howard University in Washington D.C., truly a natural “mapper”!

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Mechoir Huebinger and the Making of the First Automobile Atlas of Iowa

by: Mike Flaherty - Sat @ 12:00

Mike Flaherty is a photogrammetric cartographer for the federal government and has collected maps of Iowa for over twenty years. He will present a lecture on the maps and atlases produced by the nearly forgotten German immigrant cartographer and surveyor Melchior Huebinger. His mapping of Iowa and Illinois spanned from the 1880s to the 1920s and included the production of vanity subscription atlases, military, flood, geologic and soil maps, production of general purpose state atlas, early automobile maps and route guides, and culminated in his incredible 1912 twenty-dollar Good Roads Automobile Atlas of Iowa.

Huebinger’s maps and atlases chronicled the development of commercial photo lithography, modern map-marketing techniques, the re-use and strategic updating of previous edition maps, and a continuing reliance on state, municipal and corporate subsidies to make his low print runs profitable. His career covered the transition from horse and buggy Victorian maps to modern twentieth-century automobile map production and had prominent displays at both the Chicago and St Louis World’s Fairs.

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of: Windy City Historians Podcast - Sun @ 1:30

What started as a group of like-minded Chicago historians grew into a Facebook Group (which anyone can join) and is now a podcast to share juicy historic nuggets and fascinating Chicago stories of the past.  Our first series called “Laying the Foundation” will consist of a dozen (or so) episodes in monthly installments covering the history of the origins of the Windy City up to the 1930s or ’40s.  Once the foundation has been laid we expect to jump around and take some deeper dives into Chicago history and the history of the world.  

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A panel on Chicago by the book

by: Susan Rossen, with members of Caxton Club - Sat @ 1:00

Chicago by the Book profiles 101 landmark publications about Chicago from the past 170 years that have helped define the city and its image. Each title—carefully selected by the Caxton Club, a venerable Chicago bibliophilic organization—is the focus of an illustrated essay by a leading scholar, writer, or bibliophile.
About the Caxton Club: Since its founding in 1895, The Caxton Club of Chicago has sought to support the appreciation of the book arts—especially in the Midwest—through its programs and publications.

The University of Chicago Press has been generous enough to allow Fair attendees to purchase Chicago By the Book at a 20% discount, link:

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Historical Maps In A Digital World

by: Judith Bock - Sat @ 3:30

Several organizations have made historical maps available in a digital format, free of charge and ready to use in computer-based software and presentations. Several sites with digital collections will be highlighted. How to access and use the digital representations will be demonstrated. Ms. Bock teaches GIS 200 and is a graduate of the Elmhurst College GIS Certificate Program. She previously taught middle school in Grayslake, Illinois for 33 years and has been an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Geography & Geosciences for five years. She has an extensive background in technology and GIS applications and has developed educational materials in cooperation with the National Geographic Society and NASA.



by: Jan Lorys - Sun @ 12:30

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles and the establishment of the Versailles System, dominated by France and England, resented by Germany, Italy and the Soviet Union and not supported by the United States. 80 years ago some of the resentful powers decided to undo Versailles. Using maps, posters and other visual products, my Power Point will present the various “Poland’s” of the period 1918/1919, 1920, 1921-1923, 1939 through 1945 as well as some of the personages associated with the period Wilson, Paderewski, Pilsudski, Clemenceau, Lloyd George, Lenin and Trotsky,. Charles DeGaulle and others.

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Cartographic Tales of Chicago History

by: Dennis McClendon - Sun @ 11

Historic maps of Chicago tell all kinds of intriguing stories about the city's origins and development: vanished creeks and woods, big projects never accomplished, forgotten ethnic groups and neighborhoods, mysterious subdivisions, abandoned industrial areas, vice districts and world's fairs, ghosts of railroad stations and streetcar lines and freight tunnels, reminders of a constantly changing city. Learn about the interesting stories seen in various corners of three dozen maps from Chicago's past.