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Map History


General news in the history of cartography 1999
(compiled March 2000)


{This represents the third of six sections, `Institutional and General News', from the annual Chronicle of Imago Mundi, due for publication in July 2000. Where URLs were cited in the text they have been made active. No attempt has been made to add other possible links [or to alter URLs when they changed later]. The intention is to show what this section looks like in the printed volume. Mounted here 12 April 2000}

Ancient Greek map. An article in Archiv für Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete, 44, 2 (1998, i.e. April 1999) described the discovery of the western world’s oldest surviving map. It comprises a one-metre long, uncompleted map on papyrus, dating from the 1st century B.C. - apparently an itinerary map depicting part of Spain. Text forming part of the same scroll contains lost geographical writing by the 2nd-century author Artemidorus. Full publication is expected in 2002. The scrol l, known about since at least 1994, at which time the map was in 20 sections, is thought to come from the Greco-Roman town of Antalopolis in Upper Egypt.

Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives. The ACMLA Bulletin 101/102 contains a 114-page index, by Frances Woodward and Grace Welch, to 30 years of articles.

Berlin. The IMCoS Journal, 79 (p.45) reports that Dr Tomasz Niewodniczanski has offered his collection of Polish maps in exchange for the return to the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin of the books and manuscripts removed during the war and now held in Krakow.

British Town Maps, 1470-1895. A five-year research project based at Exeter University, led by Roger Kain and Richard Oliver, and supported by the British Academy and the Arts and Humanities Research Board, will build on completed work on the tithe and enclosure mapping. The new project will locate, catalogue, describe and analyse the town plans of England, but it is hoped to extend the scope later to Scotland and Wales. Eventual dissemination would be by a mixture of print and electronic publication.

Cartographica Helvetica. A 12-page index, by Markus Oehrli, to the first 20 numbers (including special issues and facsimiles) was published in 2000, with Number 21.

Copenhagen. After four years of construction, the Royal Library re-opened in December 1999 in its new building, the Diamond. One of the new facilities is the Center for Maps, Prints & Photographs.

Directory of Canadian Map Collections. The 7th edition, edited by Melissa S A Leitch [ISSN 0070-5217], was published in 1999 for the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives.

Fellowships. The Helen and John S Best Research Fellowships have been established at the American Geographical Society Collection, Golda Meir Library, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee . Stipends of $375 per week, for periods of up to four weeks, will be awarded to support residencies for the purpose of conducting research which makes direct use of the Collection.

Harvard Map Collection. A two-year, phased, update of facilities began in December 1999.

Imago Mundi Editorial. Catherine Delano Smith’s Editorial in IM 50 was translated into German and included in Cartographica Helvetica 20 (1999), 47-9.

Jagiellonian Library. Material entered for sale in the 21-23 October 1999 sale at Reiss & Sohn (Königstein-im-Taunus), including a coloured copy of the 1482 Ulm Ptolemy, was withdrawn when it was found to have been stolen from the Jagiellonian Library in Krakow. See Mercator’s World (January/February 2000), 60-1.

Library of Congress. As part of its ongoing digitization programme, the Geography and Map Division has scanned and mounted nearly 3000 map images within the Library’s American Memory site. In April 1999, the Walter W Ristow Trust Fund was established, "to provide support for the work of the Division, particularly for fellowships and other educational programs, and to assist in the acquisition of materials for the Division’s collections, es pecially in the area of American cartography".

Mapline. Much of Number 88/89 (Fall 1999) has been mounted on the Web. There are useful Web site reviews, for exhibitions and image sites.

Map Sellers. The 4th edition of Sheppard’s International Directory of Print and Map Sellers was published in 1999 by Richard Joseph Publishers Ltd, Farnham. ISBN 1-872699-68-5.

Mapseller’s catalogue on CD-ROM. Altea Maps & Books, London, claimed a first in issuing their Autumn 1999 catalogue in the form of a CD-ROM.

National Library of Scotland. From 2000, current map acquisitions are being catalogued online. The retrospective conversion of post-1801 printed books, including atlases, should be completed b y the end of 2000.

Newberry Library, Chicago. Two new Web resources have become available: ‘Atlases in the Newberry Library: a Short-Title Catalog’, a listing of over 4000 atlas es by Roger Baskes and ‘Concise Bibliography of the History of Cartography’, by Robert W. Karrow.

New South Wales. As a forerunner of a project to scan all known holdings of early cadastral mapping of the state in Department offices, libraries and archives, the Lands Department has issued a set of digital scans of early pastoral plans and pa rish plans of Co. Cumberland (Sydney metropolitan area only) on CD-ROM.

New York City Book Award. Manhattan in Maps by Paul E Cohen and Robert T Augustyn received the 1998 award for the best book about New York published in 1997.

Nuzi Map. There has recently been publicity about the ‘Nuzi Map’, discovered in Iraq in 1930-1, and dated to the 3rd Millennium BC. A drawing was included in the exhibition at the Semitic Museum at Harvard University, ‘Nuzi and the Hurrians: Fragments from a Forgotten Past’, curated by James Armstrong.

Scholarship. University of Texas at Arlington, Center for Greater Southwestern Studies and the History of Cartography has announced creation of the Ida V Hall and George Kohfeldt Endowed Scholarship in Southwestern Studies. A sum of $500, rising to $1000, will help qualified students, whose studies focus on the Native American Southwest, to defray their expenses at UTA. The History of Cartography is one of the subjects mentioned.

Sydney, State Library of New South Wales announces two projects: < http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/flinders/ > Matthew Flinders Project, to include his published charts; and Sir Joseph Banks electronic archive, including charts relating to Australian settlements c.1790s.

Virginia. The Library of Virginia, Richmond has been involved in various initiatives. The ‘Virginia in Maps’ Project, comprising an illustrated atlas, a major exhibition and a two-day syposium was launched in 1999. Also in1999, the Library began preparations for a retrospective conversion of its 60,000 maps, made proof prints from various 19th century map copperplates, and named the Nathalie P Voorhees Reading Room, after Mr and Mrs Alan Voorhees, who donated 16 early maps to the Library in 1998.

Web-pages. The history of cartography’s gateway site remains http://www.maphistory.info {i.e. this site!}. It is recommended that the following new or altered URLs are also bookmarked: Oddens’ Bookmarks; Bill Barrow’s < http://web.ulib.csuohio.edu/SpecColl/maps/MapSoc/ >Map Societies page; two sites maintained by John Docktor: Calendar of Events and Calendar of Exhibitions; Boudewijn Meijer’s listing of < http://www.mapref.kunstpedia.com/ >electronic publications.

Web projects. See a continuing round-up of national and international digital projects concerning early mapping. Among those recently started are ‘Charting the Nation [Scotland] 1590-1740’; 'Digital History Maps’ [a co-operative project involving archives from Sweden, German and Denmark], and 'Tithe Maps Collaborative Project: a New Initiative by Archives in England and Wales’.


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