BrusselsInternational MapCollectors'Circle


BIMCC NewsletterNo9 • September 2001 (abstract)

Ten key points for the map collector

  1. Follow up that initial urge to start a collection or broaden out into a new sector.
  2. Cast your acquisition net widely: pester dealers, poke around stalls at map and print fairs and attend auction sales.
  3. Seek a rationale or theme to give a focus for developing your interests.
  4. Learn about what you have bought or are looking for: ask dealers, read books or magazine articles, visit libraries or other institutions with map collections.
  5. Become aware of the range of prices and appreciate the factors influencing value, but do not be a purist over condition.
  6. Write about your theme or what interests you, and take trouble to get it published, somewhere, somehow.
  7. Share your enthusiasm with other collectors or those who are knowledgable in allied fields.
  8. As the opportunity arises, upgrade the quality ofyour collection.
  9. Store your items carefully so that they do not deteriorate.
  10. These points, I feel, are just as applicable to institutional curators as to private collectors.

    Except that I would add a tenth for the former:

  11. Actively seek to display as much of your collection publicly as possible.

by Rodney Shirley

Rodney Shirley, past president of IMCoS, collector, lecturer and author of a number of works of reference on cartography, has been a speaker at both our Conferences (Ortelius Commemoration 1998, and the recent one on 9 December 2000); his standard reference book on world maps, The Mapping of the World, will be presented at our forthcoming Study Session on 17 February 2001.

We are grateful to Rodney Shirley for his permission to publish the above ten points which also appeared in The Map Collector N 67 (1994) and in The Portolan N 48 (2000).