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Ulster Museum

Purpose and Portrayal: A Series of Illustrated Talks

Based on the Purpose and Portrayal exhibition, this series of talks will explore the themes of the exhibition and draw on the work of some of the world’s greatest mapmakers.

Sat 24 Aug 2019 - Sat 19 Oct 2019

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This series of talks, linked to the Purpose and Portrayal exhibition, will draw on the Ulster Museum’s rich collection of historic maps to explore how the shape and definition of Ireland has been refined and represented over the centuries.

Professor Keith Lilley, an historical geographer with particular research expertise in interpreting historic landscapes, will introduce the series with an introduction to early Irish maps and mapping.

Other invited speakers will then focus on particular themes relevant to the exhibition and our local environment as the port of Belfast developed and it became an industrial capital. 

Six examples of the work of the English mapmaker John Speed are on display in the exhibition and Dr Catherine Porter from Queen’s University Belfast will draw on these and others in exploring Speed’s view of Ireland.

The final talk in the series will focus on mapping during the Irish plantations in the 16th and 17th centuries and how maps can confer and confirm ownership and status.

  • All talks will take place in the lecture theatre from 2-3pm.
  • Admission is free and booking is not required. All are welcome.

Saturday 24 August

Professor Keith Lilley, QUB, 'Making Maps, Making Worlds - A Cartographic Journey'

Saturday 7 September

Dr Frank Cullen, Royal Irish Academy, ‘Nineteenth-century Change in the Ports of Belfast and Dublin: A Cartographic Enquiry’

Saturday 21 September

Professor Steven Royle, QUB (Emeritus), ‘Belfast: Mapping the Industrialising Town’

Saturday 5 October

Dr Catherine Porter, QUB, ‘Speed’s View of Ireland’

Saturday 19 October

Dr Annaleigh Margey, Dundalk Institute of Technology, ‘Mapping During the Irish Plantations, 1540-1630’