The State Archives of Belgium holds a real treasure of cartographic materials, but handing out original maps and plans in the reading rooms bears the risk of deteriorating the state of conservation of these documents. Indeed, repeated unrolling and rolling-up of these maps and plans that are sometimes of considerable size has taken its toll on the documents, which called for a large-scale digitization campaign. In recent years, some 60 000 maps and plans were digitised. This number increases steadily. Roughly 44 000 of these digital images have been processed and are now available for research.
The restoration of the scale model of Rome started in October 2018.
This scale model was designed by the French architect Paul Bigot. Originally there were four models, but only two survive to this day: one at the Univerity of Caen, France (his working model) and one at the Art & History Museum in Brussels, Belgium.
The model — on scale 1:400 — measures 11 metres by 4 metres and shows Rome at the end of the 4th century CE.
The restoration started with a thorough cleaning. After this a scan has been made and the lighting, projection and sound brought back to life, together with integration of modern technology.
The restoration should be finished in September 2019. It is made possible with the help of the King Baudouin Foundation.
Read more on http://www.kmkg-mrah.be/rome.
Terra Brasilis (Nova Série) é uma publicação da Rede Brasileira de História da Geografia e Geografia Histórica, coletivo nacional de pesquisadores interessados na história da geografia, a geografia histórica, a história do pensamento geográfico, a história da cartografia e a história da geografia escolar, com ênfase no Brasil e na América Latina.
Read more on https://journals.openedition.org/terrabrasilis/
In a rare opportunity, the King Baudouin Foundation has acquired a late 16th-century map by the renowned cartographer Abraham Ortelius depicting Thomas More’s fictional island of Utopia. This unique work will be loaned on a long-term basis to the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp, where it will be put on prominent display.
Measuring 380 by 475 mm, the Utopia map is an important acquisition for the King Baudouin Foundation's collection and a valuable exhibit for the Plantin-Moretus Museum. It was produced by cartographer Abraham Ortelius in 1595-96 based on the book of the same name by the humanist Thomas More. Twelve copies were printed. However, the map now returning to the museum is the only copy known to survive worldwide. It has been on temporary display in the past, including at the ‘In Search of Utopia' exhibition at M-Museum Leuven in 2016, but will now form part of a permanent public collection.
The map was recently offered for sale by a private collector. The King Baudouin Foundation was able to acquire it for EUR 175 000.00 with money from the Charles Vreeken Fund, which the Foundation administers. This acquisition is fully compatible with the Foundation’s objective of acquiring, promoting and ensuring public access to masterpieces of Belgian heritage, in order to preserve this heritage for future generations. The Charles Vreeken Fund shares this objective, its aim being to acquire works that will substantially enhance the collections of Belgian museums.
Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) began his career as a map colourist for Christoffel Plantijn before becoming a cartographer and humanist, and one of the leading authors associated with the Plantin Press, where the majority of his atlases were printed. He is best known as the inventor of the modern atlas. His Theatrum Orbis Terrarum of 1570 was the first time a group of maps had been assembled in a single format and style, predating the atlases of his contemporaries Gerard de Jode and Gerardus Mercator by several years. He succeeded in this endeavour thanks to his extensive knowledge and many contacts with scholars throughout Europe.
In designing his map of Utopia, Ortelius adhered faithfully and meticulously to the famous work by Thomas More, half of which was written in Antwerp in 1515 while More was on a diplomatic mission. A satire on the England and Europe of the time, it describes the ideal, imaginary island of Utopia, a country ruled exclusively by reason and where egoism is banished from private and public life. Ortelius could also be something of a social critic, as evidenced by a map of the world on which he quotes the Roman philosopher Seneca: Is this that pinpoint which is divided by sword and fire among so many nations? How ridiculous are the boundaries of mortals!
A high definition photo of the Utopia map can be obtained via
Photos and video rushes are available via belgaimage.be : Utopia map, cartography room with Ortelius' portrait and atlas.
The Utopia map will be on display at the Plantin-Moretus Museum after a scenography change taking place end of October-beginning of November.
From https://www.kbs-frb.be/en/Newsroom/Press-releases/2018/20181004AJOrtelius dated 4 October 2018
Plus de 350 cartes et plans relatifs à l’histoire de la Wallonie accessibles et téléchargeables gratuitement et en quelques clics. Voilà ce qui est désormais possible grâce au « Bouquet Cartographique Wallon » réalisé par le Pôle d’histoire et de sociologie environnementales (PolleN) et la Bibliothèque universitaire Moretus Plantin de l’UNamur. Un outil unique et inédit en Belgique, qui s’avèrera très utile pour les chercheurs et enseignants du secondaire et du supérieur, mais aussi pour tous les curieux d’histoire.
Le « Bouquet cartographique wallon » est une bibliothèque virtuelle hébergeant des centaines de cartes et plans relatifs à l’histoire de la Wallonie, depuis la Préhistoire jusqu’à nos jours. Le répertoire de cette bibliothèque est très large et couvre de multiples thématiques telles que l’histoire religieuse, urbaine, rurale, industrielle, environnementale, économique, politique ou encore culturelle.
Ces centaines de documents ont été élaborés par les chercheurs au cours de leurs publications (articles, monographies, mémoires de licence/master, etc.). Il ne s'agit donc pas de cartes anciennes, mais bien de réalisations d'historiens des 19e, 20e et 21e siècles. « Il s’agit d’un projet collaboratif né en 2011 », explique Isabelle Parmentier responsable du PolleN. « C’est le résultat de l’apport des chercheurs qui se sont succédé au PolleN et qui, au gré de leurs recherches et du temps disponible, ont collecté ici une carte, là un plan. Petit à petit, ce répertoire s’est étoffé. Aujourd’hui 355 cartes et plans y sont disponibles. Mais l’outil est destiné à être continuellement enrichi par de nouveaux versements », précise Isabelle Parmentier.
Ce contenu est accessible gratuitement via un site : https://bouquetwallon.unamur.be. L’utilisateur obtient le plan souhaité grâce à un moteur de recherche performant basé sur une indexation par mots-clés, par époques, par lieux actuels, ou par anciennes circonscription administratives. Chaque document est identifié et renvoie au titre de l'ouvrage dans lequel il est inséré, où le lecteur trouvera le contexte et les commentaires permettant une pleine compréhension du phénomène représenté. Un lien vers la cote de cet ouvrage à la Bibliothèque universitaire Moretus Plantin de l'Université de Namur est également proposé.
Si ce nouvel outil s’adresse avant tout aux étudiants et aux enseignants du secondaire et du supérieur, il peut également intéresser tous ceux qui de près ou de loin s’intéressent à l’histoire wallonne.
Successful book launch!
A well attended book launch for The Island of Malta and the Order of St. John by Grigory Krayevsky was held at the Russian Centre for Science and Culture at 36 Merchants Street, Valletta, Malta on 7 December 2018 at 18.30.
The book is a translation into English of an account in Russian, with mapq, of a visit to Malta by a Russian Nobleman and Diplomat Count Skavonsky in 1785 (actually published in St. Petersburg in 1800 when Paul I became Grand Master of the Order of St. John.)
A welcome and introduction was given by the Russian Ambassador H.E. Mr. Malygin who spoke of the many historical connections between Malta and Russia, followed by Joseph Schiro, Hon Secretary of the Malta Map Society, who edited the book and brought it to publication, Elena Yasnetskaya, translator, who worked on the book for two years, and Prof Dr. William Zammit, historian from the Malta University,who spoke of how important the translation of the book had been in establishing some fascinating facts about Malta's history and how the book will be stimulating further research.
By David Roderick Lyon