The New York Map Society had its start at the end of 1977, an idea of Werner Elias, who was a student of travel guides, and an expert on postal history and old postal routes. He was a frequent visitor to the New York Public Library's Map Division, where the curator, Gerald L. Alexander, the assistant curator, Alice Hudson, and Sy Amkraut, supported the idea of a map society.
An organizational meeting was held January 7, 1978, at the Map Division -- attendees: Werner Elias, Gerald Alexander, Alice Hudson, Sidney Horenstein of the American Museum of Natural History, Michael Cohen, Howard Welsh, Sy Amkraut, Eugene Grossman and Abbot Lutz.
By-Laws, consisting of 13 articles, were adopted in Spring 1984. The 1987 membership directory listed 51 members.
In 1988, at the end of the society's first decade, with monthly meetings continuing on the first Saturday of each month at the American Museum of Natural History, and with the main branch of the New York Public Library as its mailing address, the society's president, Sy Amkraut, authorized Alice Hudson to create a flyer summarizing ten years of progress:
See our "Hall of Fame" page for more information about Sy Amkraut and Alice Hudson.