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Fry-Jefferson Map Society

The mission of the Fry-Jefferson Map Society is to develop, enhance and promote the cartographic collections of the Library of Virginia. Funds raised by the Fry-Jefferson Map Society go directly to support this mission. Membership in the Fry-Jefferson Map Society is $50 and entitles you to special benefits, including admission to the annual Voorhees Lecture, advance notice of lectures and other Library programs.

Click here to become a member

In Kind Gifts

The Library of Virginia's cartographic collection thrives in large part through the generousity of people who have given maps and other materials to the collection.  If you have a map or other document that you wish to consider donating to the Library of Virginia Foundation, please call Amy Bridge at (804) 692-3590.  In-kind donations are fully tax deductible.

Upcoming events

Fry-Jefferson Map Society Lecture & Map Exhibition

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Time: Map exhibition starts at 11:00 AM. Lectures start at 1:00 PM.
Place: Lecture Hall and Conference Rooms

Event Sponsored by:
Cartographic Arts
Chester, Virginia

“Reading Maps in the Age of the American Revolution” by Dr. Martin Brückner

This lecture recovers the art and science of “mappery” in early America. A rare term revived during the Revolutionary
decades, it meant the study of mapmaking and map reading. Discussing maps owned by the Library of Virginia, the lecture describes American encounters with maps made for high and low audiences. Taking its cue from the much-overlooked 18th-century understanding that considered maps to be “useful” and “ornamental,” the lecture examines the practical and symbolic role of map literacy in the age of revolution. It also explores the way in which decorative handbooks choreographed the reading experience of maps, including the century’s largest Map of the British Empire (1733) by Henry Popple, the much-pirated Map of the Most Inhabited Parts of Virginia (1754) by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson, and the map that informed peace negotiations, John Mitchell’s Map of the British and French Dominions in North America (1755).

“How to Read an Atlas from Both Sides of the American Revolution” by Dr. S. Max Edelson

Following Britain’s victories over France and Spain during the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763), surveyors fanned out across North America and the West Indies to map its vast new territories. From 1768 to 1781, London’s mapmakers published a series of atlases that made public these precise new images of American land in lavishly illustrated editions. One of them, The American Military Pocket Atlas (1776) by Robert Sayer and John Bennet, changed the meaning of this knowledge by using it to provide the British military with a tool to make war on the former colonies. At the same time, the Continental Congress’s War Department assembled its own collection of colonial maps to defend and proclaim a new nation. This lecture interprets these two “atlases” from opposing sides of the American Revolution and makes the case that we should understand the meaning of independence in geographic as well as political terms.

Steering Committee of the Fry-Jefferson Map Society

  • William Anderson
  • John Bottger
  • Evelyn Edson
  • Dennis Gurtz
  • Edward Oldfield
  • Luke Vavra
  • David Williams
  • William Wooldridge
  • Thomas A. Wolf
  • Cassandra Farrell, Library of Virginia Liaison
  • Jennifer Blessman, Library of Virginia Foundation Liaison

LVA Map Links

Adopt Virginia's History

Many of the Library's rare books, manuscripts, maps, ephemera and other items in our collections are in desperate need of conservation and restoration before they can be released for use.  These maps are available for adoption through our Adopt Virginia's History program.  Any donation of $100 or more towards the conservation of an item will be noted in the item's catalog record, and a card noting the adoption will be placed with the item.  Additionally, you will receive a handsome certificate recognizing your contribution.  For more information and a list of maps in current need of conservation, please call Amy Bridge at (804) 692-3590. 

Sponsorship Opportunities

The Fry Jefferson Map Society relies on the support of local businesses to support its mission and programming.  For information on the benefits of sponsoring a Map Society program, please call Amy Bridge at (804) 692-3590.