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John Hessler

When not searching through Maya ruins in Central America, climbing in the Alps or mountain biking through some jungle, John Hessler is the Curator of the Jay I. Kislak Collection of the Archaeology & History of the Early Americas at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London, he is the founder and principle researcher at the Ethnobotany Lab for the Study of Mesoamerican and Amazonian Plants and the co-director of the Mesoamerican Language, Theory and Decipherment Seminars. Hessler is also on the faculty of the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia where he teaches the History & Construction of the Mesoamerican Codex. With a research interest in archaeological imaging, he has given seminars on three dimensional scanning and the applications of computer vision in museums and libraries at many institutions around the world including at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence, and he has participated in the hyperspectral imaging of the rare Nahuatl manuscripts at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. He is author of more than 100 books and articles, including, The Naming of America: Martin Waldseemüller’s 1507 World Map and the Cosmographiae Introductio; A Renaissance Globemaker’s Toolbox: Johannes Schöner and the Revolution of Modern Science, 1475-1550; Thoreau on Cape Cod: his journeys and his lost maps; Seeing the World Anew: the radical vision of Martin Waldseemuller’s 1507 and 1516 World Maps; Galileo’s Starry Messenger; Columbus’ Book of Privileges, 1502: the Claiming of a New World and the New York Times bestseller MAP: Exploring the World. His research and writing has been featured in many national media outlets including Discover Magazine, Wired, CBS News, the New York Times, the Washington Post and most recently on NPRs All Things Considered.

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