Helsinki University Library
I reported in 1990 that the Bibliographic Department of Helsinki University Library had recently joined the increasing number of VTLS libraries. The cataloguing of books and serial publications in the OPAC had begun a couple of months earlier. New cataloguing rules for maps according to ISBD-CM and the FINMARC-format were ready, but the VTLS system did not allow map cataloguing until spring this year. A modest start in map cataloguing is planned for this autumn: we hope to have 100 map entries in our database by the end of this year.
The 5th volume of the catalogue of the Nordenskiöld Collection is in preparation. It will contain indexes for book and atlas titles, for authors and other personal names, for chronology and geographical names. The first two indexes have been completed. The geographical index is in preparation. The geographical index will also be available as a database as well as being a part of the printed catalogue.
The video disc of the maps in the collection assembled by Foreign Minister Carl Enckell was published in Spring 1991. The disc is titled Old maps of Northern Europe from the Carl Enckell Collection in the Helsinki University Library and can be ordered from the producer Belser wissenschaftlicher Dienst, Stuttgart. Most of you have already become acquainted with the disc. The Collections Department has experimented with an encapsulation method created by the Library of Congress for conserving maps and pictures. The material used is polyester film. The method has proved to be good for printed maps.
The National Archives
The map collection of the National Archives consists at present of about 155,000 items, maps as well architectural plans and other large documents. The automation of the catalogue for maps is planned for the years 1995-1997. A test catalogue includes data of approximately 35,000 maps. The National Archives are preparing rules for the description of archival material. The rules will be a Finnish application of the ISAD-standard [International Standard on Archival Documents] of the International Council of Archives.
The Map Printing Centre, formerly a department of the National Board of Survey has lately been very active in producing maps showing areas of the former Soviet Union partly in cooperation with the Russian authorities.
The editors of the Atlas of Finland are in the final stage of the completion of the 5th edition of the atlas. An index is planned to cover the maps of the 5th edition. At the same time the index will form the basis of a future databank for thematic maps. For the index the Finnish cataloguing rules for component parts will be used.
The summer exhibition of 1991 in Helsinki University Library was titled The South Coast. It consisted of maps from the Nordenskiöld Collection showing the south coast of Finland. The maps on display dated from the 16th century to the end of the 18th century.
An exhibition with the title Finland 500 years on the map of Europe was laid out in the provincial Keski-Suomen museum in Jyväskylä from the 7th of August until the 27th of September 1992. The 50 maps of the exhibition came from a major private map collection in Jyväskylä, The Fredrikson Collection. The maps date from 1493 to the end of the 17th century. After Jyväskylä the exhibition will be shown in the National Archives in Helsinki from the 8th of October until the end of the year. After that the exhibition tours towns in Finland and perhaps also abroad.
At the beginning of October also another exhibition will be inaugurated in Helsinki. This exhibition has been planned and arranged by Helsinki University Library and the firm John Nurminen Ltd, which owns a large collection of charts. The exhibition is titled The North-East Passage and the theme is the arctic navigation. On show will be atlases from the Nordenskiöld Collection and maps and charts from the John Nurminen Collection and objects of navigation. A book on themes related to the exhibition will be published at the same time.
Education for map curators
The first course for a very long time exclusively for map curators took place in January 1991. The three days course was planned by the National Board of Survey, the Map Printing Centre, Helsinki University Library and the Finnish Library Association. Themes of the course were map production, compiling a map collection in a public library, conservation and storage of maps, cataloguing etc. The lecturers came from the co-operating institutions. According to the feedback from the participants the course was very useful and the need for similar or more specific courses is great. No plans for future education have been made.
Pirkko Korttinen, Helsinki University Library