Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education

The OML and the Maine Humanities Council--A Collaborative Summer Discussion Project for Middle and High School Social Studies Teachers

The Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education was recently selected to be part of the Maine Humanities Council Summer Discussion Project cohort. Throughout the summer, the OML is hosting a series of Zoom discussions with 22 Maine 7-12 teachers for a series we developed entitled, "Visualizing Maine in the 19th Century through Texts and Maps." The discussions are co-facilitated by Libby Bischof, Executive Director of the Osher Map Library (and USM History Professor), and Fiona Hopper, Social Studies Lead Teacher and Wabanaki Studies Coordinator for Portland Public Schools. 


Discussion texts include: Henry David Thoreau's The Maine Woods; Sarah Orne Jewett's Country of the Pointed Firs; and selections from the books Dawnland Voices: Writing of Indigenous New England, and Maine's Visible Black History: A First Chronicle of Its People.  MHC provided participants with the individual texts, and the maps we study together all come from the OML's digitized collections.

In addition to discussing 19th century Maine history via texts and maps, with an emphasis on what we can learn about the lives of Maine's diverse populations through fiction, non-fiction, and maps, ample time has been spent reflecting on and discussing the challenges and triumphs of spring remote learning experiences.