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Osher Map Library Launches New Exhibit with Reception, Guest Lecture


The Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education recently opened its newest exhibition “The Grand Tour and the Development of Tourism: 1600 to 1900. A reception and viewing of the exhibition will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, November 17 followed by a lecture “Thomas Coryat: The First Tourist” by Associate Professor of English Benjamin Bertram from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Sam L. Cohen Educational Center of the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education, located at the intersection of Forest Avenue and Bedford Street in Portland.

Dr. Bertram will discuss “Coryat’s Crudities” (1611), one of the most remarkable and neglected travel books ever written about Thomas Coryat’s European Grand Tour, his last travels to Jerusalem and journey on foot to India in the early 1600s. This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. RSVP by Friday, November 11 at 780-4805 or to ensure a spot. The exhibition will run through April 28, 2012. 

In 1986, Eleanor Houston Smith donated a collection of cartographic materials to USM on behalf of herself and her late husband, Lawrence M.C. Smith. Three years later, Dr. Harold L. Osher and Peggy L. Osher of Portland donated their collection. These founding collections have been augmented by gifts from individual collectors. The combined collections now contain more than 300,000 maps, either as separate sheets or bound in atlases and books, and hundreds of rare globes.

The Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic education is considered one of the nation's premier rare maps library and one with an even rarer mission: to share irreplaceable treasures with K-12 students and the general public, as well as with serious scholars and researchers.