Thursday, November 12, 2015

Maps Talk-and-Tour Event, Tuesday, November 17, at 3:30pm

In honor of Geography Awareness Week, GIS Day, and International Map Year, Hunter Library is holding a Maps Talk-and-Tour event on Tuesday, November 17 at 3:30 pm in Hunter Library 186. The event will be begin with a talk by Rebecca Dobbs, PhD. Dr. Dobbs teaches human geography in the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resources, has published numerous maps, and has taught about maps as well as the art of cartography. In her talk, Maps and the Human World: Beauty, Power, and Promise, Dr. Dobbs will present an overview of cross-cultural map diversity and beauty, consider maps as objects of power that perform work, and discuss participatory mapping as an increasingly important tool of empowerment for communities. In recognition of WCU’s current theme “Africa” and the university’s location within traditional Cherokee territory, examples will emphasize maps as tools of colonialism and empire in Africa and western NC, and the promise of participatory mapping in Indigenous communities.

After the talk, Elizabeth Skene, Digital Initiatives Librarian, will share Hunter Library’s newest collection of Western North Carolina Regional maps. This new digital collection allows users to view maps based on location or by type, such as road maps, topographic maps, and plat maps. Maps in this collection span from the 1800s to the 1970s. This collections also features historic maps of Western Carolina University. Finally, Krista Schmidt, Maps Collection Librarian, will give attendees a tour of Hunter Library’s physical map collection which is over 60,000 items strong and includes standard topographic maps, regional area maps, international maps, oversized atlases, and historical gazetteers.   Of particular interest to event attendees may be the historic maps of the western North Carolina area, including Jackson and surrounding counties, that include aerial views, historic place names, and community changes.

For more information, visit the event website at