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Gerald M. and Susan T. Friedman

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD  to

David Rumsey

History and Philosophy of Geology Division, Geol. Soc. of America

2012

Citation :

The Awards Nomination Committee recommends David Rumsey as the recipient of the 2012 Friedman Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Rumsey is President of Cartography Associates, a digital publishing company that is based in San Francisco. He is also Chairman of Luna Imaging, a provider of enterprise software for online image collections. Although not a member of the history of geology community, Mr. Rumsey's efforts in collecting rare historical maps has profound significance for historians generally and historians of geology specifically.

After a lengthy career in real estate development and finance, Mr. Rumsey retired from real estate in 1995 to found Cartography Associates, in part to accommodate his fascination with maps and related cartographic artifacts. Since 1980 Rumsey began collecting historical maps and globes from around the world, with special emphasis on rare 18th and 19th century North and South American materials. To date the collection includes more than 150,000 maps, one of the largest private map collections in the United States. Rumsey's collection includes hundreds of geologic maps by such workers as Clarence King, George Becker, and Clarence Dutton, as well as hundreds of maritime maps.

To make his collection available to the public, Rumsey began building an online collection of high-resolution images in the mid-1990s, the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection, which can be viewed at www.davidrumsey.com . The online collection currently comprises more than 30,000 images, and hundreds to thousands of new images are added to the online resource each year. Rumsey has also created capabilities for manipulating the online images, e.g., by rotating or adding overlays.

In 2009 Rumsey announced his intent to donate his physical map collection to the Stanford University Library's Special Collections. The materials are being transferred over a period of years and are available to researchers.

Without question this remarkable collection has the potential to serve as an extremely valuable resource for research in the history of geology.

 
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