Note: Please Register for events at Osher Map Library’s Eventbrite Page

Lecture: “The Color of Law”

Presented by Richard Rothstein
Thursday, December 5th at 5:00pm
Hannaford Hall, Portland

Event Image

Please join us Thursday, December 5, 2019, as we welcome historian and author, Richard Rothstein, to speak about his 2017 book, “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America.”

Racial segregation characterizes every metropolitan area in the U.S. and bears responsibility for our most serious social and economic problems – it corrupts our criminal justice system, exacerbates economic inequality, and produces large academic gaps between white and African American schoolchildren. We’ve taken no serious steps to desegregate neighborhoods, however, because we are hobbled by a national myth that residential segregation is de facto—the result of private discrimination or personal choices that do not violate constitutional rights. The Color of Law demonstrates, however, that residential segregation was created by racially explicit and unconstitutional government policy in the mid-twentieth century that openly subsidized whites-only suburbanization in which African Americans were prohibited from participating. Only after learning the history of this policy can we be prepared to undertake the national conversation necessary to remedy our unconstitutional racial landscape.

Richard Rothstein is a distinguished fellow at the Economic Policy Institute and a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He lives in California, where he is a Fellow of the Haas Institute at the University of California–Berkeley.

Reception will begin at 5:00pm, followed but a lecture, remarks, audience Q&A, and book signing starting at 6:00pm.

Register at Eventbrite

Exhibition Opening: “Mapping the Classroom: Teaching Geography and History in 19th and 20th Century New England”

Event Image


Please join us for the opening reception and lecture for our newest exhibit, “Mapping the Classroom: Teaching Geography and History in 19th and 20th Century New England.”

Reception and exhibition viewing will begin at 12:00pm in the arcade in front of the Osher Map Library & Smith Center for Cartographic Education, followed by a lecture at 2:00pm from curator and Executive Director, Libby Bischof. The lecture will take place in the University Events Room on the seventh floor of the Glickman Family Library.

Image: Medfield Grammar School, 1886. Courtesy of Historic New England

Lecture: “The River to Which I Belong”

Presented by Dr. Lisa Brooks
Saturday, September 28 at 4:00pm
Hannaford Hall, Portland

Event Image


Join us on Saturday, September 28th for “The River to which I Belong: Relationships of Reciprocity and Resistance in the Waterways of the Wabanaki,” a lecture by Dr. Lisa Brooks, Professor of English and American Studies, Amherst College.

In 1739, the Wabanaki leader Polin traveled from the Presumpscot River down the coast to Boston to protest the dams that blocked the passage of the abundant fish on which his community depended. Wabanaki people had developed and sustained a dynamic, reciprocal relationship with salmon on the Presumpscot River over thousands of years, a relationship which was directly threatened by both colonial wars and colonial development, including intensive deforestation, powered by dams. Polin’s protest was not an exceptional event but part of a long-term, adaptive resistance, arising from a vast and multifaceted community within the Wabanaki homeland, which continues today.

Lisa Brooks is an Abenaki writer and scholar who lives and works in the Kwinitekw (Connecticut River) Valley. She is Professor of English and American Studies at Amherst College and is active in the Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Program, which she chaired from 2013-2017. Along with her many accomplishments, her most recent book, Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War, which begins and ends in Casco Bay, received the Bancroft Award for History and Diplomacy and the New England Society Book Award for Historical Nonfiction in 2019. As a Whiting Public Engagement Fellow, she worked with a team of students and colleagues, to develop a companion website,, which features full color digital maps of Native space. Lisa was honored in 2018 with the Maine Historical Society’s Neal Allen Award for exceptional contributions to Maine history.

The lecture will take place in Hannaford Hall in the Abromson Center on USM’s Portland Campus.

Co-Hosted by the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education, Friends of the Presumpscot River, and USM College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Science.

Register at Eventbrite

Exhibit Opening: “All Aboard: Riding the Rails in New England and Beyond”

Followed by lecture by Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr.
Thursday, April 18 at 5:00pm
Osher Map Library, Portland

Event Image


Please join us at the opening reception for our newest exhibition, “All Aboard:” Riding the Rails in New England and Beyond, 1830s – 1950s.

Gallery opening and reception will begin at 5:00 pm, followed by a lecture by Maine State Historian, Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., at 6:00 pm. The lecture will take place in the Cohen Center, Glickman Family Library room 103.

Free parking available will be available in the Bedford St. Garage.

Lecture: “Mapmaking in the Age of Artificial Intelligence”

Presented by Dr. Tim Wallace
Thursday, March 14 at 6:00pm
Hannaford Hall, Portland

Event Image


The 2019 Mattson-New York Times lecture, “Mapmaking in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (AI),” will be presented by Dr. Tim Wallace, Creative Director at Descartes Labs, and recent graphics editor and geographer for the New York Times.

The art and science of mapmaking are in the midst of a giant leap forward, thanks to machine learning algorithms that are making quick work of once-impossible cartographic efforts. Because of AI, features like buildings, trees, wind turbines and wildfires can all be mapped across vast expanses and at great speed. And, lucky for us, geographers, cartographers, and storytellers are taking note of the new and evolving capabilities–and digging in.

Please join us for what promises to be a fascinating lecture.

Free and open to the public. Doors open at 5:30pm.

Image courtesy of Tim Wallace and The New York Times.