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Claire passed away on Sunday 20 March 2016.
Born near Mons in 1931, she read history of Arts at the ULB (Free University of Brussels). Her first employments were in this domain, among them at the City Museum of Brussels, and so were her first publications. Getting to know Antoine De Smet, then Head of the Map Room of the Royal Library, she fell under the spell of old maps and their history. This became her field of research and she grew to be the most important author for the history of cartography in Belgium. She got her PhD, summa cum laudae, in 1984 with a voluminous thesis on military cartography in the South Netherlands and the Prince-Bishopric of Liège in the 17th and 18th centuries. As Claire was an expert draughtswoman, she drawn several explanatory maps to the text. This work, somewhat simplified, became the first book of her trilogy on the history of military cartography, all published between 1984 and 1997 by the Royal Army Museum.
They cover: the service and the cartography in the South Netherlands, the cartography of the Belgian territory between 1780 and 1830, the map of Belgium and the Military Cartographic Institute. These much consulted works were not her only publications.
In collaboration, she wrote among others about Comines-Warneton, the fortifications of Mons, Belgian cartography in Spanish collections and several articles. Her contribution to the 2007 exhibition and book devoted to 'Images de Mons en Hainaut' were reviewed in BIMCC Newsletter No 27. Claire participated in a number of events of this Circle, in particular in the excursions to Bitburg (2005) and Middelburg (2010).
Claire’s keen intelligence, her capacity for pinpointing documents in archives gave birth to books that are a great help for the history of cartography. We are in debt to her for her pains-taking research and publications.
She will be sorely missed by her numerous friends. By Lisette Danckaert

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Recently published.
This volume gathers 19 papers first presented at the 5th International Symposium of the ICA Commission on the History of Cartography, which took place at the University of Ghent, Belgium on 2-5 December 2014. The overall conference theme was 'Cartography in Times of War and Peace', but preference was given to papers dealing with the military cartography of the First World War (1914-1918). The papers are classified by period and regional sub-theme, i.e. Military Cartography from the 18th to the 20th century; WW I Cartography in Belgium, Central Europe, etc.

    Part I - Military Cartography during World War I

  • Image of Belgium in WWI Through Maps by Wouter Bracke
  • The Postal Service of the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps (1917-1919): A Time-Step Analysis Using I-Iistorical Data Integration in a GIS Environment by Patricia Franco Frazäo, Sandra Domingues, Jorge Rocha and José Paulo Berger
  • Position Mapping: Cartography, Intelligence, and the Third Battle of Gaza, 1917 by Joel Radunzel
  • The Eye of the Army: German Aircraft and Aero Cartography in World War I by Jürgen Espenhorst
  • A Good Map Is Half The Battle! The lV[ilitary Cartography of the Central Powers in World War I by Jürgen Espenhorst
  • Military and Civilian Mapping (ca 1912-1930) of the Great War: A Selective Private Collection (Including Postcards) by Francis Herbert

  • Part II - Maps and the Aftermath of World War I

  • Mapping, Battlefield Guidebooks, and Remembering the Great War by James R. Akerman
  • The Peace Treaty of Versailles: The Role of Maps in Reshaping the Balkans in the Aftermath of WWI by Mirela Slukan Altić
  • The Role of Ethnographical Maps of Hungary and Romania at the Peace Talks After the Great War by János Jeney
  • Ideological Changes in Ethnic Atlas Mapping of East Central Europe During the Twentieth Century by Marcus Greulich
  • A New Kind of Map for a New Kind of World: 1919, the Peace, and the Rise of Geographical Cartography by Peter Nekola

  • Part III - Military Cartography on Various Fronts

  • Military Mapping Against All Odds: Topographical Reconnaissance in the United States from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War by Imre Josef Demhardt
  • The Peninsular War 1808-1814: French and Spanish Cartography of the Guadarrama Pass and El Escorial by Pilar Chias and Tomas Abad
  • Partisan Cartographers During the Kansas-Missouri Border War, 1854-1861 by Karen Severud Cook
  • Mapping for Empire: British Military Mapping in South Africa, 1806-1914 by Elri Liebenberg
  • From Peninsular War to Coordinated Cadastre: William Light's Route Maps of Portugal and Spain, and His Founding of Adelaide, the 'Grand Experiment in the Art of Colonization' by Kelly Henderson
  • Contours of Conflict: the Highs and Lows of Military Mapping at The National Archives of the United Kingdom by Rose Mitchell
  • Whose Islands? The Cartographie Politics of the Falklands, 1763-1982 by Benjamin J. Sacks

Editors: Elri Liebenberg, Imre Josef Demhardt, Soetkin Vervust
ISBN: 978-3-319-25242-1 (Print) 978-3-319-25244-5 (Online)

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Livingmaps Review explores map making as a democratic medium for visual artists, writers social researchers and community activists. The journal has its roots in the highly successful series of seminars, walks and learning events presented by the Livingmaps network over the past two years across London. Many of the contributions to the first issue are drawn from material presented at those events.
LMR crosses boundaries between the arts, humanities and sciences, and also between professional and amateur mapmakers. We encourage the use of experimental audio-visual, interactive and graphic formats and especially welcome contributions from younger and unpublished contributors.
The journal will document and disseminate innovative and participatory forms of cartography, opening up new spaces of debate and making visible what is hidden or erased by conventional mapping.
Highlights of the first issue include Phil Cohen on critical cartography and the struggle for a just city; Jerry White on Charles Booth's maps; Andrew Motion talking about his poem 'Discovering Geographies'; Jerry Brotton on the relationship between poetry and mapping; Kei Miller reading from his award winning collection 'The cartographer tries to map a way to Zion', also reviewed in this issue; plus maps by artists Emma McNally and Stephen Walter.
The journal has five sections. Navigations carries longer scholarly articles about key issues in cartographic theory and practice. Waypoints has shorter, more experimental pieces. Lines of Desire explores the cartographic imaginary in literature, performance and the physical arts. Mapworks is a gallery in which contemporary visual artists exhibit and comment on their work. There is also a review section for books, exhibitions, and events. Forthcoming themed issues will focus on indigenous cartography and smart cities.
The journal will come out twice a year in Spring and Autumn. It is free and open access. The editorial team brings together leading academics, artists and activists drawn from a range of disciplines, backgrounds and perspectives.
Access the launch issue:
Further information about LivingMaps:
Media contacts:

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The 2016 essay competition for the Ristow Prize is now open for applicants. Full- or part-time undergraduate, graduate, or first-year postgraduate students attending any accredited college or university worldwide are eligible to submit papers.
Submissions are due 1 June 2016, and should be sent to Dr. Evelyn Edson, 268 Springtree Lane, Scottsville, VA 24590, U.S.A.
Visit the Washington Map Society home page, and click on Ristow Prize for details, or send inquiries to

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The British Library in London is a quarter of the way through a major project to re-catalogue, digitise and conserve a 50,000-strong map collection assembled by Britain’s famous collector-king, George III (1738-1820). Among the objects to be digitally photographed is the world’s second largest atlas, which measures a huge 1.8 m by 2.3 m.
Source:, 31 December 2015

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The Minute Books of the Bureau des Longitudes for the period 1795-1832 can now be consulted online. The site presents the minutes of meetings of the Bureau des Longitudes between 1795 and 1932, containing 22 000 digital files.
The Bureau des Longitudes was founded on 25 June 1795 and still exists today. From its foundation, and until 1854, it maintained the management of the Observatoire de Paris. Its mission was also to improve longitude determination at sea and to form a consultative committee of scientific and technological expertise for the State. In particular, it was charged with calculation of ephemerides and publication of the Connaissance des Temps and the Annuaire du Bureau des Longitudes. In 1877 and 1949 it also published the Annales du Bureau des Longitudes.
The online resource is the outcome of a collaboration between the Bureau des Longitudes, the Library of the Observatoire de Paris and the Laboratoire d'histoire des sciences et de philosophie - Archives Henri Poincaré. It was made possible thanks to a grant from the Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche (programme BSN5-2013) and the support of the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme Lorraine, and thanks too to the skills of the engineers Julien Muller and Pierre Couchet.
The files presented are subject to a Creative Commons license CC-BY-SA 3.0 FR.
The Minute Books for the years 1795-1854 are in image mode and in full text thanks to transcriptions by Jean-Marie Feurtet. Transcriptions for the following years 1855-1932 are underway.
You are invited to explore this historic archive. To send comments contact Martina Schiavon ( and Laurent Rollet (

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The next course on the history of maps and mapping organised by Catherine Delano Smith and Sarah Tyacke will run 20 - 24 June 2016 at the University of London. The course is limited to 12 participants.
See the call for applications, now out at
A History of Maps and Mapping
Course Organisers: Dr Catherine Delano-Smith, Sarah Tyacke CB.
The aim in this course is to draw attention to some of the challenges facing the student of map history given the longevity and ubiquity of the mapping idea, from prehistory to the present, and the variety of format, function and context of maps at any one time. Sessions are designed to explore the fundamental principles of map history to provide a framework in which the details of any map from any period can be accommodated. Stress is laid on the relationship between word and image, and the role of maps in books, as a counterbalance to the traditional way of viewing maps in isolation. The key tenet remains, however, that of the indivisibility of maps as image, artefact and messenger.

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Newsletter No 54 cover
Newsletter No 54


  • Looks at books
    • The world’s masterpieces explored and explained
    • Collecting Old Maps
  • History and Cartography
    • How old are portolan charts really?
    • The Modern Atlas as Diplomatic Gift
    • La cartographie des traités (XVe – XXe siècles)
    • The rectification of the northern border of France in 1779, in the field, in La Flamengrie
  • Interview
    • How I Got Into Cartography: Joost Depuydt
  • Map Circle News
    • Mapping the Ottoman Empire
    • Brussels Map Circle Programme for 2016
  • International news
    • 13th International Symposium for the Study of Globes
    • The 33rd IMCoS International Symposium in Cape Town
    • Perthesforum inaugurated in Gotha (Germany)
    • Arabic Geography in the Forschungsbibliothek Gotha now registered in the UNESCO Memory of the World (MOW) Programme
    • Malta Map Society launches its Journal
    • ICA Commission on the History of Cartography - New Management
    • In Memoriam Thomas D. Goodrich (1927 – 2015)
    • Paris Map Fair participation by the Brussels Map Circle
  • Events calendar
  • Exhibition calendar
  • Auction calendar

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