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Upcoming: Charting New Discoveries of the Manuscript Map of the Dagua River Region

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We are pleased to offer another lecture in the Topics On Preservation Series (TOPS) next week on February 13th, at 11am. TOPS is an ongoing lecture series presenting current research of the Preservation Directorate and of colleagues invited to share their work at the Library. Charting New Discoveries of the Manuscript Map of the Dagua River will be a hybrid event, anyone in the DC area is welcome to attend in the West Dining Hall (LM 621) of the James Madison Building. More information on attendance and registration can be found at the end of this post.

The Library of Congress holds the Manuscript Map of the Dagua River Region within the Geography and Map collection. This unique map depicts a remote gold mining frontier in today’s Colombia. Created in 1764, the map highlights the Dagua River which connected the Spanish colonial town of Cali to the Pacific port of Buenaventura. A historical investigation of the map allows us to unearth stories about African resilience, resistance, adaptation, entrepreneurship, and survival in the periphery of the Spanish empire. A scientific examination of this map further draws back the curtain on how this large watercolor map was assembled using pigments and paper from across the empire.

Please join us as associate professor Juliet Wiersema from the University of Texas, San Antonio and preservation scientist Meghan Hill from the Library of Congress, Preservation Division share results from their collaborative analysis of this spectacular watercolor map from the Library’s collection.

Pen and watercolor drawging
1764) Manuscript map of Dagua River region, Colombia. [Map] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,
Juliet Wiersema specializes in the visual and material culture of the Pre-Hispanic and late Spanish Colonial Andes (Peru and Colombia). She holds a Ph.D. in Art History and Archaeology from the University of Maryland and an M.A. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Juliet’s forthcoming book, The History of a Periphery: Spanish Colonial Cartography from Colombia’s Pacific Lowlands (University of Texas Press), uses manuscript maps from eighteenth-century New Granada (today’s Colombia) to unearth narratives about African autonomy, placemaking, indigenous resistance, and tenuous colonialisms in gold mining areas on the fringes of Spain’s empire.

Meghan Hill is a preservation science specialist in the Preservation Research and Testing Division at the Library of Congress. Her background in fine art, art history, museum, and curatorial studies led her career path to cultural heritage institutions where she supports non-invasive research and preservation of collections. She has worked extensively with multispectral imaging technology and advanced image processing, combining these techniques with complementary spectroscopic analyses in her comprehensive interdisciplinary research.

Event information:

Tuesday February 13th at 11am

Onsite location: James Madison Memorial Building, 101, 199 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540. West Dining Hall (LM621)

To register for the webinar please click here.


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