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New Meetup: Toby Lester discusses how America got its name with the Waldseemüller map@ BPL

From: T.J. M.
Sent on: Friday, January 1, 2010 3:00 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for Nerd Fun - Boston!

What: Toby Lester discusses how America got its name with the Waldseem?ller map@ BPL

When: January 14,[masked]:00 PM

Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116

This is part of the Boston Public Library's Author Series:

From the Boston Public Library site:

Date: Thu. Jan. 14. 6:00 p.m to 7:30 p.m.

Location: Abbey Room

"For millennia Europeans believed that the world consisted of three parts: Europe, Africa, and Asia. They drew the three continents in countless shapes and sizes on their maps, but occasionally they hinted at the existence of a 'fourth part of the world,' a mysterious, inaccessible place, separated from the rest by a vast expanse of ocean. It was a land of myth?until 1507, when Martin Waldseem?ller and Mathias Ringmann, two obscure scholars working in the mountains of eastern France, made it real with what is now known as the Waldseem?ller map. In The Fourth Part Of The World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map That Gave America Its Name, Toby Lester, acclaimed writer and former editor for The Atlantic, tells the improbable story of how the Waldseem?ller map forever changed the way we see the world. Toby Lester is a contributing editor to and has written extensively for The Atlantic. His work has also been featured on the radio show This American Life. A former Peace Corps volunteer and United Nations observer, he is also an invited research scholar at Brown University?s John Carter Brown Library".

Co-presented with the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center and the Boston Map Society

Where to Meet:

T.J. Maher will be outside the Abbey Room which is on the Second Floor of the new wing of the Boston Public Library ( See the map at ) starting at 5:30 pm. We can grab seats at 5:50 pm. T.J. Maher is 5 foot 7 with short brown hair, blue eyes, a "Hello My Name is T.J." nametag and a red MEETUP sign attached to his black messenger bag.

We can decide where we want to go to dinner after. The best bet seems to be the food court at the Prudential Center.
About the 2010 Author Series:

"Please join the Boston Public Library in welcoming this talented group of authors to our 2010 Author Talk series. Hear these authors read from their latest works, purchase a copy and get it signed by the author, learn about the creative process that got these magnificent stories told, and ask questions to find out what makes these authors successful". [ BPL Author Talks Facebook Page: ]

About the Waldseem?ller map (according to Wikipedia):

"The Waldseem?ller map, Universalis Cosmographia, is a printed wall map of the world by German cartographer Martin Waldseem?ller, originally published in April 1507. It is known as the first map to use the name 'America'. The map is drafted on a modification of Ptolemy's second projection, expanded to accommodate the Americas and the high latitudes. A single copy of the map survives, presently housed at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Waldseem?ller also created globe gores, printed maps designed to be cut out and pasted onto spheres to form globes of the Earth".

About the book, according to
Published 11/09/2009

"With the excitement and exhilaration of an explorer, Atlantic contributor Lester sets off on his own journey of discovery across the seas of cartography and history. In 2003, the Library of Congress paid $10 million for the only existing copy of the 1507 map that was the first to show the New World and call it America. Lester ranges over the history of cartography, such as the zonal maps of the Middle Ages that divided the world into three parts?Africa, Europe and Asia. In 1507, Martin Waldseem?ller and Matthias Ringmann, working with a small group of scholars in a small town in eastern France produced their map, based on Amerigo Vespucci's voyages to the West and discovery of South America. In just a few decades the Waldseem?ller map was out of date, but its world-changing status lived on, and in 1901 a Jesuit priest, poking around a small German castle, stumbled on a copy. Lester traces the map's journey to America over the next century in a majestic tribute to a historic work".

Learn more here:

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