The American Geographical Society Library (AGSL) was established in 1978 when the research collections of the American Geographical Society (AGS) moved, and ownership was transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. From the late nineteenth into the mid-twentieth centuries the AGS lead the nation in the collection and distribution of geographic information through involvement in important events in history from assisting with the United States’ effort to prepare for and participate in the Paris Peace Conference at the end of World War I to leading an effort to map the world at the 1:1,000,000 scale.

By the middle of the twentieth century, the AGS had compiled a cartographic collection that held items such as maps, atlases, and globes, a library with an internationally focused monograph and serial collection and a burgeoning photograph and film negative collection. Following World War II, these collections comprised more than 500,000 items. The collections have thrived at UWM and today, the AGSL consists of nearly 2 million items including maps, atlases, globes, photographs, monographs, serials and digital geospatial data.

Upcoming events

“A Synesthete’s Atlas: Performing Cartography.”
Thursday, April 13th, 2023 at 3pm at the AGSL

Eric Theise combines strategies from experimental film & animation, color
theory, the Light and Space movement, and concrete poetry with open data and open source software to create digital maps that behave in ways never intended by the original developers.

In this talk Eric presents Carto-OSC, an assemblage of open source libraries, data, and protocols, plus the 1000+ lines of JavaScript that integrates it all into a touch-surface control panel. He’ll discuss his motivations, his use of the Open Sound Control protocol to drive the manipulations, offer aesthetic observations, and present video excerpts of previous performances. Eric will leave time for discussion and a short demonstration, and will try to entice you to attend his collaboration with a local musician later in the week.

This event will be presented in-person at the AGSL as well as online. If you wish to attend online, please register here to receive a Zoom link.

Free and open to the public! For more information or to arrange for special needs, call 414-229-6282 or email us at

Visit our events page for the latest!

Screenshot courtesy of Eric Theise.

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Mon-Fri: 9am – 4:30pm


UWM Golda Meir Library
Third Floor East Wing
2311 E Hartford Ave.
Milwaukee WI 53211


(414) 229-6282