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Julio Cesar Perez Hernandez to Discuss History of Cuba Through Maps, May 13

Architect and urban planner Julio Cesar Perez Hernandez will discuss the history of Cuba through cartography on May 13 at the Library of Congress.

“Islands in the Stream: Cuban Maps from the Past to the Future” will take place from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, May 13 in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event, free and open to the public, is hosted by the Philip Lee Phillips Map Society, a friends group of the Library’s Geography and Map Division.

Perez Hernandez will offer a visually rich presentation—combining maps, old engravings and plans—to narrate the history of Cuba, the largest island in the Caribbean, and its relationship with the rest of America since colonial times. The lecture will begin with the 1500 Juan de la Cosa Map of Cuba, the first one to demonstrate that Cuba was an island, and will conclude with Perez Hernandez’s own “Master Plan for XXI Century Havana.” Anthony Mullan, senior reference specialist in the Library’s Geography and Map Division, will offer introductory remarks.

Perez Hernandez describes Cuba as “the jewel of the Spanish Crown and the most desired of Spain’s overseas colonies [that] evolved from a springboard to the conquest of other territories in America, through the place where the biggest shipyards in America were once, and ultimately to the most cosmopolitan Caribbean metropolis with a strong European influence.”

An international consultant at Caesar Studio / Architects and Planners in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Perez Hernandez is of Cuban descent. He was a Harvard University Loeb Fellow in 2002. He is the author of the books “Inside Havana” (2011) and “Inside Cuba” (2006), as well as the “Master Plan for XXI Century Havana.” He has been a guest lecturer and visiting scholar in the United States, Europe, Canada, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and Cuba.

The Philip Lee Phillips Society helps to develop, enhance and promote the collections of the Library’s Geography and Map Division by stimulating interest among map collectors, map producers, geographers, cartographers, and historians. The Phillips Society encourages financial donations to supplement the Library’s acquisition of rare maps. It is named in honor of Philip Lee Phillips (1857-1924), the first Superintendent of Maps when the Library’s Hall of Maps and Charts was established in 1897. For more information, visit loc.gov/phillips/.

The Library of Congress has the largest and most comprehensive collection of maps and atlases in the world, some 5.4 million cartographic items that date from the 14th century to the present time. The Library’s map collections contain coverage for every country and subject, and include the works of the most famous mapmakers throughout history—Ptolemy, Waldseemüller, Mercator, Ortelius and Blaeu. For more information, visit loc.gov/rr/geogmap/.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s largest library in the world, holds more than 162 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at loc.gov.

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