People of Long Now

David Rumsey

Member of the Board of Directors

David Rumsey is President of Cartography Associates, a digital publishing company based in San Francisco, and is a director of Luna Imaging, a provider of enterprise software for online image collections. He was a founding member of Yale Research Associates in the Arts, a group of artists working with electronic technologies. He subsequently became Associate Director of the American Society for Eastern Arts in San Francisco. Later, he entered a 20 year career in real estate development and finance during which he had a long association with the General Atlantic Holding Company of New York and served as President and Director of several of its real estate subsidiaries; General Atlantic eventually became the Atlantic Trust, a Bermuda based philanthropic foundation that is one of the world's largest charities. Rumsey retired from real estate in 01995 and founded Cartography Associates, beginning a third career as a digital publisher, online library builder, and software entrepreneur.

David Rumsey began building a collection of North and South American historical maps and related cartographic materials in 01980. His collection, with more than 150,000 maps, is one of the largest private map collections in the United States. In 01995, Rumsey began the task of making his collection public by building the online David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. Currently the online collection has over 22,000 high resolution images of maps from his collection. The site is free to the public and is updated monthly. In 02002, Rumsey was given an Honors Award from the Special Libraries Association for making his private map collection available to the public via the Internet. In the same year the site won a Webby Award for Technical Achievement. In 02009, Rumsey entered into an agreement with Stanford University to donate his map collection and digital map archive to Stanford over the next 10 years.

Rumsey received his BA and MFA from Yale University where he was a lecturer in art at the Yale Art School for several years. He serves on the boards of the John Carter Brown Library, the American Antiquarian Society, The Long Now Foundation, the Stanford University Library Advisory Board, the Internet Archive, and is a trustee of Yale Library Associates and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Rumsey has lectured widely regarding his online library work and has contributed to several publications on cartography and the advent of GIS. ESRI Press has just published his new book, Cartographica Extraordinaire.

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