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The Executive Committee held six meetings: 3 March 2012, 2 June 2012, 6 October 2012, 17 November 2012, 12 January 2013 and 23 February 2013. Among the most important items decided were:
Mercator Conference, 25 - 28 April 2012, was hosted in the Mercator Museum in Sint-Niklaas and organised by the Universiteit Gent, was a major cartographic event in Belgium. Many of our members attended and our former president, Eric Leenders, gave a presentation A surveying symbol connects Gerardus Mercator and Jacob van Deventer, that he had prepared together with Jan De Graeve, who was also curator of a special 'side-exhibition' on the books in Mercator's library.
Excursion, 2 June 2012, to the Mercator Museum with exhibition Mercator Digitaal in Sint-Niklaas. Harry van Royen, one of the curators of the museum, guided us. The visit was followed by a tour of the treasury room (a book exhibition on Mercator's library) with presentation by Jan De Graeve.
8 December 2012 - Mercator and Hondius. 2012 was not only the 500th anniversary of Mercator's birth, but also the 400th anniversary of Jodocus Hondius'death. The Brussels Map Circle wished to pay tribute to both of them. Jan Mokre, Head of Map Department and Globe Museum, of the Austrian National Library talked about Old Globes in Austria. A comprehensive overview with special attention to the globes of Mercator and Hondius. Kazimierz Kozica, Curator of the cartographic collection of the Warsaw Royal Castle Library presented: Gerard Mercator's map of Europe 1554 formerly kept in Wroclaw (Breslau). Sjoerd de Meer, Map curator Maritiem Museum Rotterdam made a presentation on the 'Atlas of the World': Gerard Mercator’s map of the world (1569). Finally, Peter van der Krogt, researcher, teacher and head of the URU-Explokart research program for the History of Cartography at Utrecht University talked about Jodocus Hondius versus Gerard Mercator. Of course, Jean-Louis Renteux, the editor of our Newsletter again made a beautiful hand-out!
October 2011 – May 2012, Het lezen van oude kaarten (The reading of old maps). The last leg of the introductory course on the history of cartography was held in the spring of 2012. From September 2011 on, eight Saturdays had been devoted to a morning lecture on an aspect of the history of cartography and an optional programme in the afternoon. Open to all (students, collectors, antiquarians, etc., this course was a great success and was fully booked with some 50 participants.
A delegation of our Circle was present at the Paris Map Fair on 10 November 2012. Under the energetic driving force of Nicola Boothby, our PR lady, existing sponsors were contacted, new ones acquainted, visitors to the Fair were interviewed, etc. This all resulted in the impressive score of ten new 'ordinary' members (even one from South Korea!) and three new sponsors.
From now on, the Newsletter will be sent to 24 countries worldwide.
Gent, 23 March 2013
Signed: Caroline De Candt, President
The Executive Committee held five meetings: 16 April 2011, 25 June 2011, 3 September 2011, 26 November 2011 and 7 January 2012. Among the most important items decided were:
8 October 2011 - BIMCC Autumn Excursion, Visit to the exhibition Liber Floridus, Venue: STAM, Stadsmuseum (city museum), Gent.
We were guided by the curator, Karen De Coene (BIMCC member). The Liber Floridus is an encyclopaedia compiled in the early twelfth century by Lambert, canon of the Church of Our Lady in Saint-Omer. Almost every history of cartography features maps from the Liber Floridus. The manuscript is exceptionally important in the study of historical maps, containing maps of the mappae mundi type. Karen De Coene works at the Department of Geography of the Universiteit Gent and is specialized in mappae mundi.
10 December 2011 - Brazil in early maps. As has become a tradition, the BIMCC lines up with the Europalia festival again. So in 2011 Brazil was the theme. As usual, we had some 50 participants. First, we had a Brazilian speaker, Profa. Iris Kantor (Departamento de História, Universidade de São Paulo-Brasil). Her lecture was: From the first maps made after the arrival of the Europeans in the New World to the nineteenth century maps. Then, Martijn Storms (MA, Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden) spoke about The Marcgraf/Blaeu map of Dutch Brazil. After lunch and coffee Prof. Raymond Buve (Universiteit Leiden) spoke about A journey through Dutch Brazil from the attack by Piet Heijn on Salvador in 1624 to the siege of Mauritsstad by the Portuguese. Finally, Dr. Ben Teensma (Universiteit Leiden) held a lecture on Progressive general knowledge about Brazil, 1600-1650 as cumulated in the surviving Dutch WIC-rutters from 1629, 1637 and circa 1648. Of course, Jean-Louis Renteux, the editor of our Newsletter, had again provided us with a beautiful hand-out!
5 March 2012 in Brussels. Around twenty Mercator fans and journalists braved the wintry weather on 5 March 2012 to convey their best wishes personally to the great man. His corner of the Petit Sablon/Kleine Zavel resounded to at least two choruses of Happy Birthday as BIMCC presented him with flowers and champagne, and BIMCC President, Caroline De Candt made a speech to congratulate him on his successful life and the legacy he has left the world. Gerardus Mercator seemed unmoved, but we are sure he was inwardly very appreciative.
Het lezen van oude kaarten. October 2011 – May 2012. An introductory course on the history of cartography. Eight Saturdays devoted to a morning lecture on an aspect of the history of cartography and an optional programme in the afternoon. Open to all (students, collectors, antiquarians, etc.). Language: Dutch. This course was a great success and was fully booked with some 50 participants.
Gent, 24 March 2012
Signed: Caroline De Candt, President
The usual topics were treated and debated: the accounts for 2010 and the budget 2011 were adopted. In the Executive Committee Roland Delrue and Alex Smit resigned and both Eddy Masschalck and Peter Galezowski became new members.
This traditional BIMCC event as usual offered the opportunity to meet informally with other map enthusiasts. However, this time the venue was special. Indeed, the BIMCC was hosted in Ghent, in the offices of Aquaterra, a cartographic company, run by two BIMCC members, Paul and Caroline De Candt.
Before the Map Evening itself started, Paul De Candt gave an explanation and demonstration of how maps are made in the 21st century. After this, the audience could, during a short visit of the premises, see for itself how it all works in reality. Of course, the evening continued as usual with everyone showing and commenting the maps they had brought and with the traditional convivial drink.
We were welcomed in the auditorium by the new director of the archives, Dr. Hannie Kool-Blokland, who explained about the building and its contents and Dirk de Vries, retired curator of the Bodel Nijenhuis Map Collection of the Leiden University, but also (more important for our visit) curator of the Zelandia Illustrata collection, a wealth of maps, charts, topographical drawings, prints and portraits. After the introduction we were shown a fair selection of the finest pieces in the collection, with emphasis on the news maps of the Eighty Years War. Finally, a drink was offered in the pleasant cafeteria.
For the second time, we were hosted by the KBR, the Belgian Royal Library. This time, our topic was China, a subject that obviously attracted many people, since there were some 54 participants. The subjects treated were the following:
Gent, 26 March 2011
Signed: Caroline De Candt, President
I like to start with a special tribute to our webmaster. Not only did he develop a very pleasant website, but he also succeeds in keeping it up-todate. Also our editor and his team merit our gratitude for the progressive cartographic content which they developed in the Newsletter. They are slowly moving from a Newsletter to a more cartographic Journal. This allows us to start thinking about another name. This is in agreement with the ideas which I put forward at the start of my Presidency.
On demand of the Romanian National Museum of maps in Bucharest, a BIMCC delegation went to overlook the place and made a substantial report on the changes that would be necessary in order to promote the Museum.
This year the proceedings of our international conference Formatting Europe – Mapping a continent, held in 2007 in the context of Europalia, were finally published in Belgeo, the geographical journal.
Our annual autumn visit brought us to the Sincfala Museum at Knokke-Heist. We were introduced in the cartographic changes of our coast, due to the eighty years war of independence. Thereafter we visited during a healthy walk, the Retranchement area and were invited by one of our members to see his private collection in Knokke.
Finally our annual conference Exploratory cartography took place in December at the Royal Library Brussels. The attendance was great, the conferences were interesting and our cartographic imagination was highly stimulated. The event ended as tradition commands in a convivial way.
Brussels, 21 March 2010
Signed: Eric Leenders, President
The usual topics were treated and debated. The accounts for 2007 and the budget 2008 were adopted. Four Active members are elected to the Executive Committee: Rob Harren, Lydia Cordon, Delphine Strauven, Jan De Graeve.
The outgoing President Wulf Bodenstein and his wife Dominique were both being thanked graciously by the assembly for ten years of work and devotion to BIMCC. Wulf Bodenstein is nominated Honorary President for life and 'cum privilegio' to receive for life the right to be present at the Executive Committee meetings at his request.
For the first time, we were hosted in the House of the Surveyors (Union Belge des Géomètres-experts / Belgische Unie van Landmeters-Experten). Our new surroundings proved to be comfortable, with all necessary amenities, and more than enough space to show each other the maps we'd brought.
Some 20 maps and books had been brought by our members and were avidly presented, inspected and commented upon. The drink afterwards gave everyone a chance to renew old contacts or get acquainted to a few new faces.
Twelve BIMCC members participated in the event at the Leiden University Library. It hosts among others a famous map collection, the so-called Bodel Nijenhuis Collection. Our guide to the collection was Martijn Storms, the curator for the collection for the last two years. Martijn introduced us to the history of the library and his collection in particular and showed us some examples of fine documents. We spent the rest of the afternoon browsing through splendid atlases and maps.
For the second time the House of the Belgian Union of Expert Surveyors, in the centre of Brussels, hosted the BIMCC. Some 50 participants attended the event. Subsequently, they heard the following speakers: Maps of the North Pole by Francis Herbert; North Pole maps in the future by Hugo Decleir; Aspects of compass and wind roses by Martijn Storms; Latin on maps by Peter van der Krogt (this lecture was accompanied by practical examples and no doubt, the monograph Latin on maps, conceived around Peter’s original work, will become a collector’s item; Topography in practise: the regional maps by Jacob van Deventer-16th century by Eric Leenders and Jan De Graeve.
As usual, our conference had two convivial moments: the lunch (that was excellent and highly recommended for next time!) and the drink at the end of the day. The atmosphere was — once again — relaxed and friendly.
The EC met five times, dealing with the usual business of budget, Newsletter, preparation of events etc. As usual, the BIMCC participated with a stand in the Paris Fair Map and the International Antiquarian Book Fair in Brussels.
Eric Leenders and Lydia Cordon were the curators of an exhibition, held in the Mercator Museum in Sint-Niklaas: The 17 Provinces on old maps. Proof of the good reputation of the BIMCC!
Again, three Newsletters were published, that, mainly thanks to Jean-Louis Renteux' relentless efforts, has become a little gem, with a coloured (!) centrefold. There was a special issue in April, with an account of ten years BIMCC, with — again — a lot of colour photos.
Wulf Bodenstein, our Honorary President, received the IMCoS Helen Wallis Award 2008. This award is presented to international personalities, who have contributed towards increasing awareness of historical cartography. Anyone who knows Wulf, knows this award is well deserved.
Brussels, 7 March 2009
Signed: Caroline De Candt, Vice-president and Secretary, and Eric Leenders, President
During the year 2008, the BIMCC also published three Newsletters:
In addition a special number has been issued in April for the tenth anniversary of the BIMCC, with colour pictures of all major BIMCC events since 1998 and a thematic index of the contents of Newsletters No 1 to 30; in December a smaller special number served as Conference hand-out.
On 3 March 2007, Sjoerd de Meer, conservator at the Maritiem Museum Rotterdam, guided 20 members to see a special VOC exhibition, named The Corpus Christi seacharts. For the amateurs of maps in watercolours, a visit was organized the same day at the Johannes Vingboons exhibition Land in sight who worked for J. Blaeu and was inspired by Jan van Linschoten.
On 28 April 2007, the 9th Annual General Meeting took place in the basement of the Collège Saint Michel. Thanks to the technical geniuses – Pierre Parmentier, Jean-Louis Renteux, Henri Godts - we survived the imprisonment. The meeting was attended by the majority of our Active Members. Two of our Executive Committee members retired, namely Pierre Mattelaer – the treasurer- and Johan Vanvolsem, who with his charming wife, was the keeper of our visual means during our conferences. After a well-merited round of applause, a new treasurer – Roland Delrue - entered the scene and got us accustomed to the Top Association software. This programme will give him the opportunity to obtain and update all information on our members.
Caroline De Candt, the reporter on duty at the map evening brought us – with the help of Hercule Poirot - some intriguing mapstories. She entitled her novels, just to name a few: a non-island in the sun, the funny, the honest and the beautiful, small is awfull. Fortunately she provided us also with two for the road, with the help of the barman on duty, your Vice-President.
On 28 September 2007, the BIMCC visited the Belgian National Geographic Institute (NGI), the former dépôt de la guerre et de la topographie. Several of their staff introduced us to geodesy, converting aerial photos and the new atlas Belgium on maps. Our member, H. Lardinois, closed the day by showing us some map peculiarities of the first order.
The Executive Committee met six times. The BIMCC participated in the Antiquarian Bookfair of Brussels in September, and in the 6th Paris Map Fair, with a stand. The web-site administered by web-master Pierre Parmentier has gained international recognition.
As a result of significant efforts from the editor Jean-Louis Renteux, three Newsletters have been published. Each showed a record number of 40 pages with informative and cartographic articles. On a regular and much appreciated basis Glenn van den Bosch screened the Internet in order to assemble the international events.
The 6th International Conference Formatting Europe - Mapping a Continent has to be considered not only as a major event for 2007, but as the crown of 10 years of cartographic conferences. Adopted by Europalia in the context of celebrations with the current 27 EU Member States to mark the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the conference was organized to coincide, on 16 November 2007, with the official opening of an exhibition of maps of Europe staged under the same title at the Royal Library of Belgium. Our members Lisette Danckaert and Caroline De Candt took a very active part in its preparation. Under the presidency of Prof. G. Schilder, eight Speakers from as many European countries gave top-level talks on European cartography to an audience of about 80 persons. This took place in the prestigious Auditorium Lippens which the Royal Library made available for us, and was followed by a most agreeable cocktail for the vernissage of the exhibition. Our Editor, Jean-Louis Renteux, produced an impressive conference hand-out in colour! Organized by Wulf Bodenstein with the help of some dedicated members and with the financial support of our Sponsors, this conference may be considered a highlight of the departing President’s 10 years of effort to promote the knowledge of historical cartography.
Brussels, 5 March 2008
Signed: Eric Leenders, Secretary and Vice-President and Wulf Bodenstein, President
Twenty-two active members attended the 8th Annual General Meeting. The financial report and draft budget were discussed and adopted (see Newsletter No 25). Henry Godts retired as Vice-President and was replaced by Eric Leenders, who will temporarily cumulate this function with the post of Secretary.
The Executive Committee met five times.
The Newsletter developed progressively towards a journal with more substantial cartographic articles.
Eighteen members joined on 13 October 2006 for a most interesting visit to the new map room at the Utrecht University Library. Marco van Egmond, curator, guided us through the splendours of their collection (See report in Newsletter No 27).
Several speakers from four different countries explained to the 54 attendees their view on Charting the Seas - Seven centuries of maritime cartography (See report in Newsletter No 27).
BIMCC also participated in the 5th Paris Map Fair and the International Antiquarian Book Fair in Brussels.
BIMCC started preparing the participation in Europalia Festival 2007: programme with a conference and an exhibition organized in cooperation with the Royal Library of Belgium.
BIMCC is a society whose activities remain, since the origin, in constant progress.
Brussels, 28 April 2007
Signed: Eric Leenders, Secretary and Vice-President and Wulf Bodenstein, President
This first annual general meeting under the new statutes was attended by nine active members and many other members. All different items of the agenda were agreed unanimously. Twenty persons were present at the map evening. The discussion of several maps was reported in the Newsletter of May 2005.
Wulf Bodenstein and Eric Leenders hosted the Freundeskreis für Cartographica in der Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz during their visit at the Plantin Museum in Antwerp.
Eighteen members Visited one of the best known private map collections of Europe. The collection is not only about Poland (3 000 maps) but also about many other countries. Dr Tomasz Niewodniczański assembled also a magnificent lot of wall maps and atlases. This visit was reported in the Newsletter of January 2006.
More then 50 persons were present at our celebration for 175 years Belgium. Through his own library Jan De Graeve illustrated the library of Gerardus Mercator. Joost Depuydt analyzed the dedications on Ortelius' Parergon. Wouter Bracke focused on the Brussels map house of the Fricx family and Luc Janssens gave us an exposé on land surveyors and their maps in the eighteenth century Duchy of Brabant. After a convivial lunch Bernard Jouret presented us some less known Belgian nineteenth century military and civil surveyors. Lisette Danckaert showed us the Vandermaelen's cartographic view of the world and of Brussels.
The Executive Committee met four times and our Editor succeeded once more in publishing three newsletters. BIMCC had a stand at the 4th Paris Map Fair and the Antiquarian Bookfair in Brussels.
A year is gone and BIMCC is doing well. The organization is running smoothly, the finances are satisfactory. The year 2006 is already in full swing.
Brussels, 22 April 2006
Signed: E. Leenders, Secretary
The Sixth AGM counted 13 members present and 10 proxies. The President commented on five successful years of existence. The Belgian law requiring all non-profit associations to adapt their statutes, an Extraordinary AGM was organized on 29 October 2004. The new statutes were approved by the 11 members present. The new editor of the Newsletter, Jean-Louis Renteux, introduced the concept of a centre-fold 'map of the season'. Sixteen members were present at the Map Evening which followed the AGM. Twelve cartographic items were presented and discussed. Sam Humes introduced the evening with a Mer du Sud en Pacifique, Alex Smit showed us a Holland Map. Lydia Cordon displayed a rare manuscript on canvas by Horenbault. Wulf Bodenstein closed with the smallest maps of the evening: French departments on a few square centimeters.
Thirty participants were welcomed by Bart Op De Beeck, Head of the Rare Books Section. This collection was based on books from religious communities gathered during the French Revolution and the books from Charles Van Hulthem's private library. A selection of 36 ancient atlases of various periods with the most important classics were on display. A lunch at the nearby Le Relais des Caprices ended a most fruitful excursion.
Fourty-two members from Belgium and abroad were
welcomed by the President. C. Batchelor presented an
excellent paper on The Mythical Mountains of
Kong which people looked upon as the source of the
J. Demhardt, historian and co-editor of Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen, presented the development of the cartography of German East Africa, with some emphasis on the Kilimanjaro.
O. Loiseaux, curator at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, described the Carte d'Afrique by R. Régnault de Lannoy de Bissy, who produced a 63-sheet detailed map of Africa.
F. Herbert, curator at the Royal Geographical Society explored maps in periodicals.
M. Wijnants continued with the description of the topographical sketches in Stanley's notebooks. Together with P. Daerden they produced the inventory of the Stanley archives kept in the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren. The most important pieces were shown by slides.
J. Newman, Professor of Geography at Syracuse University, USA, presented the mapping of Stanley's African journeys.
The next day 28 people visited a mini-exhibition at the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren. M. Wijnants and P. Daerden showed us typical Stanleyana and W. Bodenstein commented on 16 maps from the Museum's collection. The day ended with a convivial jazz event conducted by our cartographic-musicological President.
The Executive Committee met four times and three Newsletters were produced. BIMCC had a stand at the 3rd Paris Map Fair, at the 7th European Map Fair in Breda and at the Antiquarian Bookfair in Brussels.
Another year of cartographic activity is gone, the 6th in the history of the BIMCC. The year was characterized by healthy finances, a growing membership, a solid programme of activities and an expanding Newsletter.
Brussels, 16 April 2005
Signed: E. Leenders, Secretary
Following the fifth AGM, this traditional event brought about 35 map enthusiasts to the Collège Saint Michel in Brussels. As always, the display of cartographic subjects was extremely varied. Probably the most spectacular map was a composite wall map of Zeeland of the 16th century Eric Leenders had brought along. There was also an interesting exhibit of some more recent aviation maps which, together with some spy maps of The Hague and pocket road maps, represented different facets of 20th century cartography. But most of the books and maps were from the 16th and 17th centuries, a highlight being a maritime instruction book of 1554 with a remarkable world map. The full-size facsimile of the Castiglioni world map (1525) recently produced by Il Bulino in Italy also attracted a great deal of attention.
Our distinguished Member Johan Vanvolsem, together with Trees Dekoninck, received some 15 BIMCC Members in their home in Halle for a guided tour of the collection of maps which Johan had accumulated over the past 40 years, all relating to the cartographic representation of his home-town just south of Brussels, from 1500 onwards. A good part of the more than 500 maps in his collection were on display across the three floors of Johan’s house. A commented walk through the historical centre of Halle concluded this most instructive and pleasant excursion.
Francis Herbert of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) in London moderated this event, introducing each of the five Speakers with relevant slides of maps from the RGS collection.
Richard Domb (London) shared his 50 years’ passion for maps of the Holy Land with the 50-strong audience, covering a major part of the known maps of the Centre of the World – Jerusalem.
He was followed by Dr Charles van den Heuvel, map curator at the University Library of Leiden, who presented The use and re-use of fortification plans of the Low Countries in maps, atlases and treatises on military architecture (16th and 17th centuries). Maps and views of significant fortifications held in the Bodel-Nijenhuis Collection in Leiden were presented and commented.
The Chief Editor of the journal Cartographica Helvetica, Hans-Uli Feldmann, then spoke about the remarkable series of manuscript maps of Swiss fortifications in the so-called Schauenburg Collection, a well-kept secret of great strategic importance at the end of the 18th century. He also introduced the newly released CD-ROM of the 1842 Dufour map of Switzerland permitting an on-line comparison with the modern 1:100.000 map which reveals the topographical changes in urban areas that took place over the past 150 years.
Nick Millea, Map Librarian at the Bodleian Library (Oxford), showed the evolution of town plans as a cartographic genre through the example of Town plans of Oxford, selected from collections in the Bodleian Library.
Professor Piet Lombaerde (Antwerp) concluded the session with a presentation of The fortifications of Antwerp from the 16th until the 19th century , with updates of the latest finds made during the ongoing excavation work along the old fortifications.
As always, an enjoyable Speakers’ Lunch provided a welcome and animated break in the day’s programme.
The Executive Committee met four times in the course of the year. Three Newsletters were produced as planned (No 15, January, No 16 May, No 17 September). The BIMCC had a stand again at the 2nd Paris Map Fair on 15 November, a major international event for all map enthusiasts. 23 new Members joined during the reporting year. The Circle appreciated and gratefully acknowledged the support of 10 Sponsors (1) and 3 Benefactors (2).
This fifth year was another successful one for the Circle. Finances are satisfactory, and the wide range of subjects offered to the Members in the columns of the Newsletter and during the events attracted growing attention.
Brussels, 24 March 2004
Signed: W. Bodenstein, President
(1) H. Godts, Antiquariaat Plantijn, La Route du Papier, Ben Hoepelman, Paul Peters Restoration Studio, Romantic Agony, Béatrice Loeb-Larocque, Librairie Moorthamers, Antiquariaat Sanderus, Paulus Swaen Internet Auctions
(2) Cartographica Neerlandica, André Vanden Eynde, Elisabeth Hermans
Marcel van den Broecke devoted the opening lecture to one branch of ancient maps often neglected by collectors: historical maps, and in this case those produced by Ortelius in his Parergon addition to his famous atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. This presentation, entitled Historical maps in the first modern atlas by Abraham Ortelius - their justification and purpose, exemplified by their texts, was published in full for the first time in the Study Session hand-out, together with a complete listing of all fifty seven Parergon maps.
Jan De Graeve spoke about triangulation maps documenting the results of surveyors' work in the field and showed us some fine examples with the exhibits he had brought along. Hans Kok took us into the air with an exposé on post-WW II civil aviation maps, before Marcel Watelet returned to terra firma with Thematic maps of urban development in Belgium (1804-39), important tools for local town planners at the time of the foundation of the Kingdom of Belgium. Joost and Frans Depuydt presented little-known military reconnaissance maps of the Southern Netherlands of that same period, and Francis Herbert continued with Secret German military maps of Great Britain from WW II, followed by Kit Batten who showed us some German propaganda maps on postcards published until 1945.
The BIMCC was very proud to host this Session animated by eight Speakers all of whom are distinguished Members of the Circle.
Another traditional get-together of map enthusiasts presenting samples of the most diverse cartographic themes from their collections or field of interest. The virtual tour of the world took in Iceland, the Mediterranean, the South Sea, ancient and more modern (1818) Belgium, and tourist maps of Paris and Brussels, the latter annotated for the use of Canadian soldiers in post after WW II. A number of reference books, subject of book reviews in the Newsletter, were also on display.
Our Member Dieter Bohrmann and his charming wife hosted this memorable excursion and introduced us to a unique collection of globes, atlases and maps begun over forty years ago when Dieter was an Engineering student in Antwerp. Practically all the atlases produced in the Netherlands up to the end of the 19th century are present in at least one example, including Blaeu's 12-volume Atlas Maior. The collection is remarkable on account of its owner's commitment to collecting only items in mint condition. A most convivial lunch introduced the participants to another of Dieter's hobbies, wine growing, concluding a very enjoyable outing.
Five eminent historians of cartography had accepted the invitation to Brussels, making this the top event in the Circle's five-year existence. Dr C. Ala'i (London) presented Mapping of the Mediterranean by the cartographers of the classical Islamic societies, 10th-15th centuries, introducing us to lesser known aspects of medieval cartography. Prof Dr G. Schilder (Utrecht) exposed the fascinating story of Willem Barentsz.'s 1595 Atlas of the Mediterranean, Caertboek van de Midlandtsche Zee, followed by Dr A. Ganado (Malta) who presented an impressive overview of Maps of Malta, focal point of the Mediterranean.
After the traditional Speakers' Lunch Ms M. Pelletier (Paris) spoke about The Mediterranean and French hydrography of the 18th century, illustrating her lecture with many fine examples of maps by French cartographers, and Dr V. Valerio (Naples) concluded the conference with an exposé on Austrian, English, French and Neapolitan chartmakers along the shores of Italy (1780-1860), documenting the wide-spread naval interest the European powers had in the Mediterranean at that time.
The Executive Committee met four times during the year. Three Newsletters were published as planned (No 12 January, No 13 May, No 14 September). The Circle participated in the First Paris Map Fair on 16 November, where our stand attracted a great deal of interest. Twenty one new members joined the Circle in the reporting year. The support of ten Sponsors and three Benefactors was gratefully acknowledged.
The Circle enjoyed another successful year; finances are satisfactory, and there is growing recognition of the Circle's activities.
Brussels, 2 March 2003
Signed : W. Bodenstein, President
This event was intended to present to the studious map collector and others interested in the history of cartography an overview of reference books published in Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain and France. The essential works in this domain were presented and commented on by Joost Depuydt, Marco van Egmond, Francis Herbert and Hélène Richard respectively. A 40-page bibliographical Hand-Out was available to the forty participants, who were also given the opportunity in the afternoon to browse through the books exhibited and to acquire the one or other volume from surplus in private collections.
Once again, the traditional get-together of collectors, historians and representatives of the trade took place were it all started in 1998, the Club-room of the Collège Saint Michel. A good dozen map enthusiasts admired and discussed a large variety of items from Members' collections, among which Strabo's Geographia (Basel, 1539), a map of Ireland by Ortelius, maps printed on silk and used by RAF pilots during WW II, as well as maps of the Waasland, of the XVII Provinces, a road map London to Portsmouth, attributable to Ogilby (ca 1690), and a statistical map of Belgium relating to ways of communication in the early 19th century when railways had made their first appearance. Mrs Dominique Bodenstein received flowers in recognition of her efficient and charming provision of refreshments at our events, including this one, much appreciated by all.
A Group limited to 20 Members were offered a special tour of the Museum and the cartographic treasures by its Curator, Sjoerd de Meer, and his colleages. Apart from the unique 17th century wall maps of the world by Willem and Joan Blaeu, and globes from the same publisher, the large number of manuscript atlases and maps of the famous Engelbrecht Collection, with views from around the world as it was known in the 16th century, attracted most attention. In the Museum's Library a representative cross-section of maritime atlases and sea charts, of which the Museum obviously holds a good stock, were made available for hands-on examination, for quite a few among the visitors a first and enlightening experience. For the end of the afternoon Mr de Meer had arranged a special visit to the near-by Boymans Museum where, in the context of their Hieronymus Bosch exhibition, a copy of the extremely rare 18-sheet world map by Mercator (1569), on loan from the Maritime Museum, could be seen.
The Executive Committee met four times in the course of the year. Three Newsletters (No 9 January, No 10 May, No 11 September) were published on schedule ; the report on the 3rd Annual General Meeting on 22 March, which brought about some changes in the composition of the Executive Committee, was contained in Newsletter No 10. Twenty new Members joined the Circle in the reporting year. The support of 12 Sponsors and 3 Benefactors was gratefully acknowledged.
The Circle enjoyed a successful year; finances are satisfactory and the prospects for a continuing positive development are good.
Brussels, 12 April 2002
This event, scheduled on 19 February at the Collège Saint Michel, was opened by Jan De Graeve with his talk on Map projections on old maps - from the field work of surveyors to the finished map. This was followed by a closer look at the Metric accuracy of old maps, with wbich Frans Depuydt examined the maps of Flanders by Mercator and Ortelius. Marcel Watelet took us to the Franco-Belgian border region in the time after Waterloo and explained The conventional signs on early 19th century maps. In the concurrent exhibition some original maps and documents pertaining to the science of land surveys (including a Latin edition of Gemma Frisius's Cosmographia... of 1567) were on display.
The second anniversary of the Circle brought together some 20 map enthusiasts who viewed and discussed a variety of cartograpbic documents (maps, town views, books with maps), in the traditional and convivial atmosphere of our Club-room at the Collège Saint Michel. The animated discussions were continued with snacks and a glass of wine.
A limited group of fifteen BIMCC Members had the unique privilege of being received in the prestigious Map Room of the Bibliothèque nationale by its Director Hélène Richard, whose équipe of five Curators took us in a morning and an afternoon session through the vast map and atlas repository, the most impressive restoration department, the collections of the Geographical Society, with a particular accent on the exploration of Africa, and to the discovery of Nouvelle France, in North America. This most memorable day was rounded off by a special reception laid on by our Sponsors F. Weissert / D. Lebail in the evening on the premises of their map shop near Notre Dame, where quite a few more cartographic rarities were on display.
45 participants stepped aboard at the Collège Saint Michel for this memorable voyage into the 16th and 17th centuries, with six eminent carto-historians piloting us into the remote corners of the then known world : Rodney Shirley set the scene with Dutch world maps of the golden age of map making, Monique Pelletier provided an essential connection between cartographers of France and the Low Countries, Sjoerd de Meer evoked the tragic quest for a north-east passage by Barentsz., Uwe Schnall took us around the world with Olivier van Noort, and Hans Kok rounded the Cape of Good Hope towards the East, where Peter van der Krogt offered us a privileged closer look at China through the eyes of Father Martini and Joan Blaeu. Some most remarkable samples of original maps, world maps and sea charts from private collections were on display and attracted a great deal of interest, as did the exhibition of some large wall maps in facsimile.
The Executive Committee met on two occasions (including the Annual General Meeting in February). Three Newsletters (No 6 January, No 7 May, No 8 September) and two Hand-outs (2nd Study Session, 2nd International Conference) were published. The BIMCC had a joint stand with IMCoS at the 3rd European Map Fair in Breda, in November. Fourteen new Members joined the Circle; the support of 9 Sponsors (l) and 3 Benefactors (2) was gratefully acknowledged.
The Circle enjoyed an excellent year of progress; finances are satisfactory, and the outlook is encouraging for continuing the cirrent BIMCC policy offering a varied programme of international events and publications.
Brussels, 22 March 2001
Signed : W. Bodenstein, President
(1) H. Godts, D. Duncker, La Route du Papier, Galerij der Kempen, Ben Hoepelman, Paul Peters Restoration Studio, D. Lebail / F. Weissert, Romantic Agony, Lydia Gordon
(2) Cartographica Neerlandica, André Vanden Eynde, Elisabeth Hermans
The first part of this event took place on 20 February at the Collège Saint Michel, when Hossam Elkhadem presented A brief history of paper and its (impossible ? ) preservation, followed by an exposé on Basic considerations for the beginning collector by Hans Kok. Hands-on demonstrations were then given by restorer Ann Marchal, supported by an exhibit of conservation material by La Route du Papier. For the second part the BIMCC was received on 21 February in the Mercator Museum in Sint-Niklaas, where Restorer Guy de Witte showed the result of a major restoration task on a IATO atlas of the 16th century.
This animated and harmonious gathering represented the first anniversary of our Circle. A number of very interesting maps and views were shown and discussed, and the traditional convivial scene provided, apart from food for thought, a glass of wine and some snacks.
The charming Kommandeurshuis in Lillo near Antwerp was the destination of this outing. Our Member Wim Goossens received a group of nearly 30 persons in style, introducing them to his very rich collection of maps of Flanders which were displayed in different rooms of this impressive mansion. The landlord's generous hospitality was appreciated by all and made this a most memorable event.
The good contacts with the International Map Collectors' Society (IMCoS) in London, and with the Washington Map Society were maintained and intensified, and an excellent line of cooperation was established with the editors of the leading periodicals on the History of Cartography, that is the IMCoS Journal and the Washington Portolan, and of course with Imago Mundi, Caert-Thresoor, Cartographica Helvetica and Mercator's World, who all regularly report on the BIMCC events. Contacts with the French-speaking world are facilitated in particular through the columns of the Bulletin du Comité français de Cartographie (CFC) for which we are grateful. The Circle's references have been included in the latest edition of Who's Who in the History of Cartography (D9), and a web-site managed from Washington (http://users.supernet.com/pages/jdocktor/) shows the current BIMCC programme of events (N.B.: a dedicated BIMCC web-site is in preparation).
The Executive Committee underwent some personal changes; it held four meetings in the reporting period. Three Newsletters and a Hand-out (Study Session 1) were published. The support of 6 Sponsors (1) and 2 Benefactors (2) was greatfully acknowledged. Membership rose from 43 to 87.
An excellent year for our Circle; finances are sound, and there is encouraging support for the continuation of the BIMCC policy offering an interesting, ambitious programme.
Brussels, 19 February 2000
W. Bodenstein, President
(1) H. Godts, Galerij der Kempen, La Route du Papier, D. Duncker, B. Hoepelman, E. Hermans
(2) Cartographica Neerlandica, A. Vanden Eynde
On the initiative of the current President, much encouraged by the London-based International Map Collectors' Society (IMCoS), a first informaI meeting of map enthusiasts was convened on 31 March 1998 at the Collège Saint Michel in Brussels when 34 collectors, academics and representatives of the trade gathered for an evening of «chatting about maps». In May, Newsletter No 1 presented the aims and a first programme to a wider audience, and on 5 June the Circle was officially launched by 8 Founding Members who constituted the first Executive Committee, with Wulf Bodenstein as President, Phillippe Swolfs as Vice-President, Véronique Van de Kerckhof as Secretary and Christopher Bodenstein as Treasurer. With the publication of its statutes on 20 August in the Belgisch Staatsblad / Moniteur belge the Circle officially became a non-profitmaking Association under Belgian Law (ASBL or VZW).
Newsletter No 2 was published in September, and on 10 October the Circle's first event took about twenty participants to the City Archives in Brugge where Dr Vandewalle and Bart Van der Herten gave a conducted tour of the map treasures held there.
High-light of the programme was the Ortelius Commemoration on 12/13 December when 52 participants of 9 nationalities were introduced to the life and work of this great Renaissance man from Antwerp by speakers Joost Depuydt (Leuven), Rodney Shirley (UK) and Marcel van den Broecke (NL). After a Speakers' Lunch organized by the Circle the participants had the privilege of a guided tour of the Ortelius Exhibition at the Brussels Royal Library by Hossam Elkhadem, Curator of Maps and the Circle's Scientific Advisor, and, the following morning, of a guided tour of the Ortelius Exhibition at the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp by Dirk Irnhof, Curator of Rare Books.
The Executive Committee held four meetings during the reporting year. The support of six Sponsors (1) for the Ortelius event was gratefully acknowledged. There has been reasonably good coverage in the Press (2); all our events are fully reported on in the Newsletters. On 31 December our Membership stood at 43; participation in all events of the year amounted to 102 persons.
The BIMCC got off to a very good start in 1998, its finances are sound and it looks confidently forward to another successful year.
Brussels, 20 February 1999
Signed : W. Bodenstein
(1) H. Godts, Romantic Agony, Galerij der Kempen, La Route du Papier, HES Publishers, E. Hermans
(2) The Bulletin, IMCoS Journal, De Standaard, La Libre Belgique, Der Kontakt, Caert-Thresoor, Mercator's World, The Portolan (Washington Map Society)