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News & Notes

Current Issue: January - April 2011   |    Previous Issues    |   Submit a Tidbit


Benchmarks: People & Jobs

  • The position of Map Librarian at the University of Alberta has been reposted. Closing date is until the position is filled.

  • The position of Curator, Cartographic, National Library of New Zealand, Wellington, is currently being advertised. Closing date is May 31.

New Maps of the WAML Region

Publications about Mapping

  • A new list of articles from Phil Hoehn.

  • WAML member David Allen's forthcoming book, The Mapping of New York State: A Study in the History of Cartography, is now available online. The book provides an overview for librarians and researchers who want an introduction to this subject. For those who want to study a particular aspect of the book in depth, it includes extensive footnotes and links to images on the Web. This is very much a work in progress, and I have not decided whatformat(s) will be used for the final publication. I welcome corrections and suggestions for improvement. They may be mailed to the author at dyallen2@aol.com.

  • To be published in June, 2011: British Map Engravers: A Dictionary of Engravers, Lithographers and Their Principal Employers to 1850 by Laurence Worms & Ashley Baynton-Williams (click link for ordering details). An illustrated dictionary of well over 1,500 members of the map-trade in the British Isles from the beginnings until the mid nineteenth century, including all the known engravers and lithographers, all the known globemakers and retailers, the principal mapsellers and publishers, the key cartographers, the makers of map-based games and puzzles, and others. Each entry includes a list of published work, the known biographical facts (in most cases based on fresh and original research), addresses and dates, details of apprentices, etc., with much previously unpublished material. Royal 8vo (25cm). Approx. 750pp. Numerous illustrations, including portraits and trade-cards, apprentice charts, etc. Hardbound. Price: £80.
  • A note from Paige Andrew:

    Taylor & Francis Group/Routledge notified us that they have set up FREE access fto one of our most-recently published articles, "Embracing the Open-Source Movement for Managing Spatial Data: A Case Study of African Trypanosomiasis in Kenya" by Shaun A. Langley and Joseph P. Messina.

    To find our journal and view this article for free, go here and then click on the hot link "Issue 1" under the "Volume 7" header in the middle of the screen; then scroll down until you see the banner declaring "Free Access" in the color of blue about halfway down the following screen.

    This is a taste of some of the research and information relating to geospatial issues being shared worldwide in the /Journal of Map & Geography Libraries/. Please do share this announcement broadly with colleagues, students, and anyone you know would be interested, as well as read this very interesting and useful article. And as always, co-editors Paige Andrew and Kathy Weimer can be contacted at jmgl.editors@gmail.com if you are interested in contributing an article, want to know more about the journal, or have suggestions for themes, content, and even improvement!

    Move quick as this may not be up free for much longer.

Other Map Organization Journals

  • GSIS: Newsletter (posted 6 months after publication)
  • NACIS: Cartographic Perspectives (note: In 2011, this will become a primarily digital, open access journal. Right now all issues are available online except the current issue).
  • CUAC : Cartographic Users Advisory Council
  • ANZMaps: The Australian and New Zealand Map Society Newsletter
  News | Conferences | Cataloging | Canadiana | New Maps & Web Sites



  • WAML's spring meeting to be held in Vancouver, BC, May 18-21 is almost here. Tim and Tom have assembled several interesting sessions and events. Please see the meeting's website for any last minute details. Judging from Tim's recent email this meeting will be very well attended, and now we just hope for good weather. A note from Tom Brittnacher on traveling to Vancouver:

    I've added some details to the "Getting Here" web page of the meeting
    website: http://waml.library.ubc.ca/transportation/

    The TransLink trip planner (public transit in Vancouver) can be a little tricky to use, so I added some origin and destination terms for you to use for each of the options.  Many of the bus routes end at UBC, so the buses will say "UBC" on the front, which helps. I've also added links to the Quick Shuttle between Seattle and Vancouver.

    Another option I didn't mention on the site because it's a bit more tricky to describe, is to fly into Sea/Tac, take Sound Transit light rail to downtown Seattle and transfer to Amtrak for the train ride to Vancouver.  In Vancouver, you can either take a taxi to UBC, or take public transit (with at least one connection).  The scheduling of this is a bit tough, though, as there are only very early and very late trains between Seattle and Vancouver.


  • WAML will also be meeting this fall in Oakland on October 13-16. This will be a joint meeting with the Western History Association. Since the WHA has deadlines much earlier than ours, the schedule has already been completed. Preliminary details will be available in Vancouver.

  • A note on the flooding at the University of Colorado from WAML member Katie Lage:
  • The Jerry Crail Johnson Earth Sciences & Map Library at CU Boulder has extensive damage due to a burst pipe on Wednesday night. There is extensive damage to the facilities, but damage to the collections was not as bad as it could have been. We have 100-150 wet maps and about 1500 wet books. In addition, we estimate that we had to send about 120 books for extra conservation work. We have a rough total of 2300 books displaced. We are especially grateful that the flood missed most of our rare/valuable maps and aerial photos! We don’t think any of the computers were damaged. The movable stacks are not working and the carpet will need to be replaced.

Other News

  • A New Web Portal for the International Directory of Map Libraries:

    CartoMundi, dedicated to the promotion of the Cartographic Heritage, has been available in English, French and Spanish for a few days. This first part is dedicated to the International Directory of Map Libraries. Institutions holding, editing or selling cartographic documents have a free access to this part. This directory could take over from the IFLA directory published more than ten years ago. It is not only a directory because it also allows to easily describe the covered zone of the world by each collection in few minutes. For internet users, a graphic interface allows to request this information. According to the geographical zone from which we search maps, a list of map libraries will be generated. Thus all the map libraries will find an interest in participating to this directory.

    The financial supports for the coming years depend on the success of this directory. For this reason I invite you to register your institution without further delay. All institutions whatever their size or their localization are welcome. The portal for cartographic documents research will be available in a few weeks. The website also contains a lot of information about CartoMundi and its future.

    Jean-Luc Arnaud
    Head of CartoMundi

  • Collector charts new course with map museum in La Jolla: In an age when more and more people rely on computers to tell them where to go, Mike Stone has immersed himself in old maps, those ancient windows into what people knew, what they believed, what they feared. He’s turned his extensive private collection — about 500 rare items collected over 20 years, some dating to the 1400s — into the city’s newest museum... This was a speaker I was hoping to get when WAML met in San Diego, so now on your next visit to America's Finest City be sure to include the Map & Atlas Museum of La Jolla in your travel plans. Click on the link for further info and hours. (I must admit that I have yet to visit the museum.)

  • A new map distribution company opens:

  • Rite Map may be a new name in the map distribution industry, but the people behind Rite Map are not new to map distribution. Founded and staffed by former employees of Map Link, we have over 45 years of combined experience as map distributors. This experience, along with long term relationships with respected publishers and valued customers across the country and around the world uniquely positions Rite Map to be your consistent, reliable, and responsive source for maps, atlases, and geographic products.

    Contact us for a list of products that we currently have in stock. New products are being added frequently. If you have a specific need for titles not currently on the list feel free to contact us and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

    Our website, http://www.ritemap.com, is still under construction, and we hope to have it fully functional soon. Once complete, customers will be able to use the website to check product availability, prices, and other relevant title information as well as to place orders.
    We are currently accepting orders and inquiries via phone, fax, and e-mail at the numbers listed below. Our hours are 7:30 am to 3:30 pm Pacific time, Monday thru Friday.

    Our terms:  Net 30 days or prepay (all major credit cards accepted).
    Our discounts:  45% off retail (you pay the freight), or 42% off retail (we pay the freight; standard UPS ground service or USPS, domestic shipments only).

    Expedited shipping services via UPS or USPS are available.
    There is no minimum order amount. However, for orders that total less than $100.00 retail there is a $5.00 handling fee. All drop ship orders are subject to a $5.00 drop ship fee.

    Despite the recent changes in map distribution within the US, and the map industry in general, we recognize that a strong demand still exists for printed maps and atlases. Our goal at Rite Map is to help you fulfill that demand.

    Rite Map, Inc. – 6383 Rose Lane, Suite A – Carpinteria, CA 93013
    Phone: 805-755-4500 –  Customer Service: 805-755-4502 -  Fax: 805-755-4501
    E-mail: customer.service@ritemap.com
    Website: www.ritemap.com

  • Typographic Maps accurately depict the streets and highways, parks, neighborhoods, coastlines, and physical features of the city using nothing but type. By weaving together thousands of words, a full picture of the city emerges. Every letter was carefully placed, taking hundreds of hours to complete for each map. Posters currently available are Washington, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston.

  • A beautiful new map of Central Park is available for sale at Central Park Nature, a site devoted to the natural history of Central Park. Our first project is a profusely illustrated comprehensive tree and trail map of Central Park. A stunning work of art—over two years in the making, it is now available as a beautiful new map poster. The poster is 59' by 17' and offers great detail. Priced at $35, or less in bulk.

  • First U.S. map purchased for record price: The first map of the United States, created in 1784, has been purchased for the record price of $1.8 million by Washington philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, who is lending it to the Library of Congress. The Abel Buell map, named after the Connecticut cartographer who created it, has been a missing link in the library's vast collection of maps... Here is the press release from the Library of Congress (not the hi res image of the cartouche).

  • The World's Largest Atlas (and book!) Produced with ArcGIS It weighs 264 pounds and costs $100,000... is this in anyone's budget?

  • A Masterpiece of Maps Goes Digital At Cambridge details the digitization of a set of proof sheets for the first comprehensive atlas of Great Britain, John Speed's Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine (click for online version).

  • The Signals catalog (public television) has added several cartographic products, such as personalized items with maps (a hometown necklace, coasters and a canvas) and a city lights globe. Their database is a little hard to search, but most map related items can be found with this search. The Wild Wings catalog also has personalized map accessories. They have topos that are translated onto wrapped canvas wall art, marble coasters, a trivet or a clock. They are personalized to any U.S. street address. They are made from marble except for the wrapped canvas wall art. (courtesy Kathy Rankin)

  • Also from Kathy, and i quote: They have a lot of cool globes for sale on the New York Public Library's webpage.

Future WAML Meetings:

  • Vancouver, British Columbia, May 17-20, 2011
  • Oakland, California, October 13-16, 2011 (with WHA)
  • Hawaii, November 2012
  • WAML Meetings Web Page

Conferences, Classes & Exhibitions

    The NACIS annual meeting will be in Madison, WI from October 12-14, 2011. (NOTE: this immediately precedes the WAML fall meeting.)

    NACIS Call for Participation (PDF) The deadline is May 31.

    For the Special Paper Session on Cartographic Collections, we are looking for interesting presentations that discuss issues related to organizing, managing, preserving, and promoting cartographic collections. Suggested topics include, (but are certainly not limited to):  

    • new trends in map and/or digital geospatial data collection management
    • digital preservation, scanning, and/or other archiving projects
    • interesting ways to create broader access to cartographic collections
    • collaborative projects and grants
    • innovative ways to promote cartographic collections / outreach activities / awareness
    • new methods of collection organization, including special cataloging and metadata projects
    • trends in acquisitions and collection development for both paper and digital materials - how are we building our collections? what challenges are we facing?

    In addition to planning the special paper session, we are in the process of planning some fun activities for Practical Map Librarianship Day on Wednesday, October 12th.  We'll have lunch in downtown Madison, then take a tour of the Wisconsin State Historical Society.  This will include a guided tour of the entire building (including the archives and map collection), a discussion of new digital initiatives, and a short presentation on a new map cataloging project currently underway there.  Then we will walk a short distance (across the street!) to beautiful and historic Science Hall, home of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Geography.  Here we will tour the Arthur H. Robinson Map Library, the Geography Library, the History of Cartography Project, the State Cartographer’s Office, and the Cartography Lab. 

    Please contact me with any questions regarding presentations during the cartographic collections paper session and/or PMLD.

    Jaime Stoltenberg
    Map and Geospatial Data Librarian
    Arthur H. Robinson Map Library
    Department of Geography
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    550 N. Park Street
    Madison, WI 53706
    Phone: (608) 262-1471
    email: jstoltenberg@wisc.edu
    web: http://www.geography.wisc.edu/maplib

    Items of interest from Cartography Calendars:

  • May 20, 2011 – Washington The Library of Congress' Geography and Map Division in conjunction with the Philip Lee Phillips Society will hold a conference entitled: Re-Imagining the U.S. Civil War: Reconnaissance, Surveying and Cartography. The conference will consist of a day long series of lectures that take a new look at the history of mapmaking and the technologies of cartography during the Civil War. Scholars from the fields of history, surveying, conservation, and cartography will look closely at the effects that new cartographic technologies, such as the photographic reproduction of maps in the field, had on mapmaking, and the impact that these technologies had on both civilian and military geography. Papers will be presented in the Mumford Room of the Madison Building from 9:30AM-3:30PM. The conference is of course free, but email registration or phone 202-707-1616 will be required. Additional information from John Hessler, Senior Cartographic Librarian, Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, D.C. 20540-4650.

  • February 15, 2012 – September 15, 2012 - Astoria, Oregon
    An exhibition titled Envisioning the World: The First Printed Maps, 1472-1700 can be seen at Columbia River Maritime Museum, 1792 Marine Drive. The exhibition will feature approximately 30 rare world maps drawn from the collection of Henry Wendt, and will explore the major trends in intellectual history from the early Renaissance through the scientific era of the Enlightenment. Through the language of cartography, the maps in the exhibition illustrate the way in which scientists, mathematicians, explorers and cartographers came to grips with the shape, size and nature of the Earth as a whole and its place in the universe. Highlighted in the exhibition are the important contributions to this evolving cosmography of: Ptolemy (c. 90-168 ); Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543); Galileo Galilei (1564-1642); Johannes Kepler (1571-1630); and Edmond Halley (1656-1742). Works featured in the exhibition include: the first printed map (1472), a schematic concept of the continents in the form of a "T" encircled by an "O" of ocean; the first printed road map (1598), showing the cursus publicus, the postal system of the Roman Empire, in eight sections totaling 14 linear feet; highly decorative exemplars from the golden age of Dutch mapmaking (17th century); and elaborate hand-colored celestial views (1700), representing the constellations with figures from Greek mythology. A concurrent exhibition, Mapping the Pacific Coast: Coronado to Lewis and Clark. The Quivira Collection, is a world class exhibition showcasing 45 magnificent maps, books and illustrations, dated 1544 through 1802, of the west coast of North America. It invites viewers on a voyage of exploration from the first tentative probing by European explorers through Thomas Jefferson’s commission of the Corps of Discovery.

  • June 4, 2011 – Castle Rock, Colorado The Rocky Mountain Map Society and the Oregon-California Trail Association, Colorado-Cherokee Trail Chapter will have a Joint Conference, Mapping Historic Trails in Colorado, at The Douglas County History Research Center from 9.00 AM to $.30 PM. Registration is required.

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Cataloging News

    Resource Description and Access (RDA) Update

    As I write this in late April 2011 there really is no new news about RDA — it seems that the cataloging world is collectively holding its breath waiting for the three U.S. national libraries to make a formal decision on acceptance of RDA, or otherwise. By now the administrators at the Library of Congress, National Agriculture Library, and National Library of Medicine were to have received a set of evaluative outcomes from last year’s formal national cataloging test using RDA and be weighing all factors towards making a decision. From what I have heard a joint recommendation from these three organizations is still to be delivered to the cataloging community sometime in early June, but definitely before or at the American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans on June 23-29, 2011. A final recommendation could entail one of the following: acceptance and implementation of RDA; rejection of RDA; postpone the implementation of RDA until certain changes to the standard have been made; or accept and implement RDA with specific recommended changes or policy decisions specific to U.S. libraries. So, we wait and continue preparations at our individual institutions. By the time the next Cataloging Column appears we will have our answer!

    Cartographic Genre/Form Headings and the new LCGFT

    Not really a lot to report here under these two items except to say that (1) the Library of Congress began accepting submissions for new cartographic genre/form headings as of January 3rd of this year, and (2) the new Library of Congress Genre/Form Thesaurus (LCGFT) was slated to be available by now but there has been no announcement as to its release.

    As to the g/f headings, a specific form for the purpose of anyone submitting new headings was established and released on the same date as the announcement, so if you would like to add to the growing/changing list of formal cartographic genre/form headings please use the form found at: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/genre/genreform.html.

    The direct impact of the publication of the new LCGFT for catalogers will be with the coding of data when using the 655 field for these headings. Currently we employ a second Indicator value of “0” and place the needed term in the field and you’re done. Once the Thesaurus is issued we will change things a bit, with the second Indicator value to be set to “7” which says “this term came from a specific thesaurus other than the Library of Congress Subject Headings” and then after keying in the form/genre term in the field one will add a subfield 2 (or ‡2) and the name of the thesaurus as “lcgft”.

    I’m pretty confident that the Library of Congress will release the LCGFT no later than ALA Annual though with federal budget problems seriously impacting LC who knows?

    Share Your Cataloging News With Me

    Since there is so little information to share at a national or broad-based level I am sitting here wondering what is happening on the cataloging front at other institutions? Which leads me to the idea of asking you, the reader, to feel free to send me items I can share in this column. What kinds of local cataloging and/or metadata projects are happening at your place? The big one at Penn State is an ongoing effort to catalog all of our Pennsylvania holdings of Sanborn maps, with each community’s maps being scanned and mounted as part of a digital materials collection on our Libraries’ homepage, http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/digital/sanborn.html. Perhaps you are doing something similar with a unique, rare, or heavily-used part of your collection? Never hurts to advertise it in order to benefit our users!

    Or, are you involved in a research project of some kind, maybe including a new kind of collaboration with colleagues in disciplines outside of the library? Perhaps you are working on an article or similar information piece (book chapter, map or atlas review, etc.) that you would like to share with fellow WAML members and beyond? Maybe you are getting ready to deliver a presentation, or recently gave one, at a conference or meeting? Us cartographic catalogers are often involved in more than just the core part of our jobs and I believe it is important to share our activities and knowledge with others in the profession. So, next time you are finishing up a cataloging project or have finished writing that review or completed service on a local Next Generation Catalog committee please take five or ten minutes to write down a description of what you’ve done or been a part of and its impact and send it to me. I’ll be sure to get it into the following issue of WAML News & Notes!

    Paige Andrew
    Pennsylvania State University

Canadian News

    In February 2011 the Government of Canada announced that permission is no longer required to reproduce any of its publications by any means for personal or public non-commercial purposes, unless otherwise specified in the specific material. Map librarians have assumed that this applies to cartographic materials. Ironically, a month later Canada’s much broader Copyright Reform Bill and all other pending legislation died on the order paper in Ottawa when the governing minority Conservative Party was defeated on a “lack of confidence” vote engineered by the opposition parties.

    If the Conservative Party is defeated in the national General Election on May 2, a likely outcome is that the Census of Canada detailed mandatory “long form”,  which must be completed every 10 years, will be restored. In 2010 the Conservative Party angered the academic and business communities by abolishing this detailed form, citing concerns around privacy due to the nature of some of the questions and the “coercive” manner of dealing with people who refuse to complete the form. The National Statistician of Canada resigned in disgust to protest this political decision, and many Canadian organizations, including the Association of Canadian Map Libraries & Archives, wrote detailed letters asking the government to change its decision, but without success. The 2011 Census of Canada is being conducted in May 2011, without the 'long form'.

    Speaking of the Census of Canada, the government is in the process of digitizing all “print only” Census publications going back to 1851 and making them available as searchable PDF’s. This work is expected to take 2 to 3 years to complete.

    Tim Ross
    University of British Columbia

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New Maps & Web Sites of Interest

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