Map Curators Group
The Working Group for Map Curators in the German Cartographic Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kartographie) traditionally hold their meetings as pre-conferences to the German Cartographers' Conventions. Recent meetings have been attended by 25-30 mapcurators.
May 1991 – Hannover and Wolfenbüttel: "Special map Collections", with papers and discussion on Collecting early maps; on the map collections of the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, on the production of geological maps and on the library (and map collection) of the "Bundesforschungsanstalt fur Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe" in Hannover, the German central institution for geological mapping.
May 1992 – Stuttgart: "Acquisition of cartographic material", in connection with an information visit to Geocenter – International Mapping Agency; with discussion about acquiring cartographic material from foreign countries, about information sources such as Kartenbrief / Geocenter and acquisition lists; and on ordering and acquisition policies. – Especially for the curators of early maps: visits to the Württembergische Landesbibliothek ("Nicolai-Collection"), the Stuttgart State Archive, and the Tobias Mayer Museum, Marbach.
Several map curators were engaged in the working groups of the German Cartographic Society on "Terminology" and "Bibliography of cartographic literature". A new edition of the German Directory of Map Collections is planned, mainly with the aim to integrate the East German map collections. But because there is still so much change it was decided to start only in 1993/94.
Collections and Cataloguing
The Secret State Archive (Geheimes Statsarchiv) in Berlin, which has already published several catalogues of its map holdings, started cataloguing about 10,000 maps of Prussia, old possessions of the Secret State Archive which has recently been transferred from Merseburg in eastern Germany to Berlin.
The map collection of the library of the Deutsches Museum in München consists of about 10,000 maps and some 100 atlases. In 1991 cataloguing was started.
The Johann Gottfried Herder Forschungsinstitut in Marburg has prepared a list of its wallmaps and has started to catalogue its historical collection of photographs.
The archive collection of geological maps of the former Preussische Geologische Landesanstalt was transferred to the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin in the autumn of 1992. It consists of about 10,000 pre- 1945 maps. Of special interest among these are complete editions of the Prussian Geological Survey as well as a great number of interesting regional surveys and examples of special mapping.
At the Geography Department of the University of Trier a research project "Corpus der älteren Germania-Karten" has been established in 1992 with the financial help of the Thyssen Foundation. Its aim is to create a catalogue of the pre-1650 printed maps of Germany. The result will be a bibliography combined with scientific analysis.
Map Datebase IBAS
After a test period the Map Database (IBAS II-system) for online cataloguing and online research began regular operation in the autumn of 1991. In its first phase the Map Database will comprise printed pre-1850 maps, single maps and maps from atlases. In the present total of 140,000 records the maps of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München and the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen are completely, and those of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin partially included. The data from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek were transferred from the MAB format to the IBAS system. With a new programme by the German Research Council (Deutsche Forgchungsgemeinschaft) currently in progress, a further 80,000 maps of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin will be included in the Map Database.
On the occasion of the Columbus quincentennial a symposium was organised by the Map
Department of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and the Freundeskreis für Cartographica in Berlin, February 20/21 1992. The topic of the two-day symposium was "Deutsche und mitteleuropäische Beitrage zur Kartographie beider Amerikas" (German and Central European contributions to the cartography of America).
Many cartographic institutions are taking part in the preparations for the 16th Conference of the International Cartographic Association, accompanied by the Geosciences Trade Fair "Geotechnica" to be held in Köln, May 1993. The Map Department of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin is organising the mapping exhibitions.
Several exhibitions have been organised on the ocassion of the 5th centenary of the first voyage of Columbus to America. The most comprehensive exhibition with about 2,500 objects -among them many interesting maps and globes-is open in Berlin (Neue Welten – neue Wirklichkeiten: Amerika 1492-1992; 18 September 1992 – 2 January 1993). The most spectacular cartographic objects are the two world maps of Martin Waldseemüller of the years 1507 and 1516, which are shown here together for the first time.
Focus Behaimglobus, the exhibition of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nurnberg, presents the famous Behaim globe of l492 in the context of its time as well as in the development of the geographical image of the world (1 December 1992 – 28 Febrary 1993).
The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in München has named its map exhibition America – das frühe Bild der Neuen Welt (The early image of the New World; 10 April – 27 June 1992).
Regional aspects were covered by the exhibitions Frühe Kartographie in Württemberg (Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart, 25 May – 31 August 1992) and on the Nürnberg cartographer Hans Bien (1591-1632) (Staatsarchiv Nürnberg, 8 June – 28 July 1991).
The Map Department of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin issued, through the publishers K.G. Saur, vol. 17 (1991) and vol. 18 (1992) of the Bibliographia Cartographica – international documentation of cartographic literature.
On occasion of the Columbus year the "Kretschmer-Atlas" of 1892, a collection of early maps regarding the discovery of America compiled by the German geographer Konrad Kretschmer, was reprinted. Among others, several map curators have been engaged in composing the new accompanying text.
Useful information and reference is given in the Kartographische Taschenbuch, edited by the German Cartographic Society, with lists the addresses of institutions, appr. 200 publishers, 100 cartographic firms as well as about 2,500 persons connected with cartography. The second edition was published in 1991. The edition l992/93 is now available.
Lothar Zögner, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin