event travel tues

Travel Tuesday: The World

Kids of all ages are invited to join us as we explore our world on Travel Tuesday!* Enjoy games, activities, coloring, and more, as you learn about different parts of the world.

WHEN: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 from 4:30 - 5:30 pm.
WHERE: The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center

*The first Tuesday of every month is Travel Tuesday.

event brasil exhib

June 29, 2016 through October 23, 2016

In 1325, an island appeared on a nautical chart, just off the southwest coast of Ireland. This island, shrouded in mist, was said to appear once every seven years and was home to an advanced race that was immune to sickness and the passing of time. This mystical place, known variously as Brasil, Brazil, Breasil, Hy-Brasil, O’Brasil and numerous other names, would appear on maps for the next five centuries. Its exact location on maps would change over the years, and numerous expeditions would venture into the North Atlantic Ocean to find the island. Some mariners claimed to have discovered the legendary island; however, these reports teemed with fantastic accounts of alien beings, and eventually fell into legend.

In this online exhibition of forty maps from the collection at the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library and the Mapping Boston Foundation, visitors will see the transition of Hy-Brasil over the course of five centuries from legitimate island destination, to “imaginary” place, to simply a “rock,” before it finally stops appearing on maps in the late 19th century. A variety of map formats are included in the online exhibition, such as portolan charts, woodcut engravings, copperplate engravings and lithographic prints. Hy-Brasil even makes an appearance on a 1492 globe.

In addition, several sketch books and drawings of internationally acclaimed visual artist Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile (Quee-veen Ó Frá-ha-la) (Ireland) will be on display in the Leventhal Map Center gallery. His sketchbooks illustrate images of his site-specific floating artwork entitled “South of Hy-Brasil,” a three-dimensional piece that will be sited in the lagoon behind the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from early summer through mid-October 2016. His floating work is part of Tír na nÓg, a temporary public art project in the Fenway section of the Emerald Necklace park system.

The outdoor artwork by Mr. Ó Fraithile is part of Ireland’s 2016 Centennial – a global initiative to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising which set Ireland on its path for independence. Tír na nÓg, and its related exhibitions and events, are supported by Culture Ireland as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. Medicine Wheel Productions is the lead organization for Tír na nÓg and their Cultural Partner is the Fenway Alliance. Additional key supporters of the project are Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Consulate General of Ireland in Boston, and Boston Parks and Recreation. To learn more about Medicine Wheel and Tír na nÓg, or to see a full listing of project sponsors and collaborators, please visit:

See the online exhibition

event gallery tour

Gallery Tour of Shakespeare's Here and Everywhere

Wednesday, November 2 at 12:30 pm
Friday, November 18 at 12:30 pm

Discover the amazing collections of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center. Tour the new exhibition, Shakespeare's Here and Everywhere, and also discover historic maps of Boston and the world from 1482 to the present.

Tour meets outside the Map Center doors and lasts approximately 30 minutes. Children welcome at parent’s discretion.


*Map Center tours are offered on the first Wednesday and third Friday of every month

event welu

Vermeer's Mania for Maps

Thursday, November 10, 2016
6:00 pm, Commonweath Salon

Talk by James A. Welu, Director Emeritus, Worcester Art Museum. The leading authority on Vermeer’s use of cartographic material demonstrates that every map and globe in Vermeer’s paintings can be identified, though few originals still exist.

Presented in partnership with the Boston Map Society

event am rev at cw

We Are One Exhibition at Colonial Williamsburg

On Display at Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA

March 6, 2016 to January 29, 2017

We Are One: Mapping America’s Road from Revolution to Independence explores the tumultuous events that led thirteen colonies to join to forge a new nation. Using maps, the exhibition traces the American story from the strife of the French and Indian War to the creation of a new national government. When tensions between Britain and her American colonies erupted into war, British cartographers and other witnesses depicted military campaigns, battles, and their settings.

More about the exhibition at Colonial Williamsburg

event shakespeare exhib

Shakespeare's Here and Everywhere

September 2, 2016 through February 26, 2017

William Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies and histories were situated in a number of locations throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. These plays spanned the centuries, from classical times to the Renaissance. In this exhibition of forty maps, images and three-dimensional objects, visitors will learn about Britain in the time of Shakespeare, discover centuries-old maps illustrating where the plays were set, and understand the symbolic role that geography held to the dramas.

Kronborg Castle in Denmark, known as Elsinore in Hamlet, will be highlighted in the exhibition. A 1629 Dutch map depicting the Danish Kingdom, along with a vignette illustrating “Elsenor,” will be on display. Complementing this map will be an original print of “Cronenburg” from Samuel von Pufendorf’s 1696 historical atlas. Shakespeare’s Here and Everywhere will complement a larger exhibition which will open at the Boston Public Library in October 2016, highlighting the Bard’s first folios.

Exhibition funded in part by Mass Cultural Council.

Historical Maps of Boston at the Langham Hotel

Historical Maps of Boston at the Langham Hotel


A selection of historical maps of New England, Massachusetts, and Boston, describing the topographical transformation of the city over 300 years from the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library are on display at this hotel.

Langham Hotel
250 Franklin Street
Boston, MA

Maps of the New England Coast at the Boston Harbor Hotel

Maps of the New England Coast at the Boston Harbor Hotel

Boston Harbor HotelMaps from the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library depicting the exploration, mapping, and maritime activity along the coastline of New England are on exhibit at this hotel.

Boston Harbor Hotel
70 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA

Norman B. Leventhal Map Center (