The Brussels Map Circle

Home → News


The Latin edition of Peregrinatio in terram sanctam (Speyer, 1490) in the Maurits Sabbe Library of KU Leuven (a Catholic research university in the city of Leuven, Belgium) has suffered severely from the ravages of time and less successful restoration attempts in the nineteenth century. A new intervention to conserve the valuable incunable is planned in 2022 with the support of the Adopt-a-book project of KU Leuven Libraries.
Peregrinatio in terram sanctamPeregrinatio in terram sanctam, book, Erhard Reuwich, detail (MET, 19.49.3). From Wikimedia Commons.
Read more.
A virtual exhibition accompanies this information.

Posted on

The Portolan is the journal of the Washington Map Society; it furthers the purpose of the Society “to support and promote map collecting, cartography and the study of cartographic history.” The Portolan, the largest and most-widely distributed publication of its kind in the Americas, is issued three times per year, in the Spring/Summer, the Fall and Winter.
Read more.

Posted on

This issue of Calafia, the journal of the California Map Society, includes a two-page article by Juliet Rothman on the 38th International Symposium of the IMCoS held in Brussels in October 2022.
Read more.

Posted on


  • Looks at Books
    • Practical Mathematics: Navigation by Greenvill Collins
    • Les défricheurs du monde - Ces géographes qui ont dessiné la Terre
    • Les erreurs dans les cartes
  • History and Cartography
    • Maps of the Great War, a case study
    • Cartographica Helvetica ... the last and final issue
  • The Brussels Map Circle News
    • Maps of Ukraine
    • An Extraordinary Day in Ghent
    • Wondrous Voyage in Ghent
  • Miscellaneous
    • Editor(s) of Imago Mundi
    • Henry's birthday

Posted on

27 December 1951 – 10 May 2022

More at home with earlier maps of our cartographic heritage, little did I know about Philippe Vandermaelen (1795-1869), the greatest of Belgian geographers and cartographers of the nineteenth century, until I met Marguerite Silvestre, conservator at the Royal Library of Belgium (KBR).
This happened in 2006 when I got around to studying the Vandermaelen Globe of 1846 at the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) in Tervuren where, as a volunteer, I was looking after their collection of ancient maps. Lisette Danckaert, former Head of the KBR Map Room, introduced me to her, and this was the beginning of our cartographic cooperation and personal friendship.
Caroline De Candt and Marguerite have admirably described the quest for new discoveries regarding Vandermaelen’s Globes de cabinet in their article 'The Big Four' in Maps in History No 70, May 2021.
Marguerite has devoted more than 25 years of research into the work and life of Vandermaelen, his Établissement Géographique and its enormous range and volume of cartographic products. The resulting Inventaire raisonné des collections cartographiques Vandermaelen à la Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, published by the KBR in seven volumes between 1994 and 2016, reflects her unfailing devotion to this project.
In December 2016, she participated in our Globes and instruments international conference (see Maps in History No 57) and retired at the end of that year. She then turned to working at the Royal Observatory of Belgium in her spare time, until first COVID-19, and then her illness, deprived her of the possibility to continue.
We have lost une Grande Dame – I have lost a great friend.

By Wulf Bodenstein

Posted on

We have just been informed of the publication of a book entitled La Carte de France - Histoire et techniques.
The book is in two parts.
The first part, of about 100 pages, is an essay in seven chapters that deals with cross-cutting issues. They address different aspects of the history of maps, military history, the history of printing, etc.
The second part, of about 300 pages, is mainly dedicated to cartographers and consists of the description of 200 cartographic series published between the middle of the eighteenth century (Cassini) and today.
The book is illustrated with more than 600 illustrations, including an index of about 100 unpublished sheets.

Posted on

The Directors of Imago Mundi Ltd seek to appoint a new Editor, or two Co-Editors, of Imago Mundi: The International Journal for the History of Cartography. The Editor(s) will take responsibility for the Journal starting with the preparation of volume 75 (potentially beginning in July 2022 or shortly thereafter).

Founded in 1935, Imago Mundi is currently issued twice a year by Taylor & Francis, in both print and online formats, usually in January and July: It is the only international journal published in English that covers the full chronological, spatial, and conceptual range of map making and map use. Its articles are peer reviewed to the highest standard, and are fully indexed in academic databases.

The position of Editor comes with an annual honorarium (currently GBP  12 000) and is supported by an editorial team of associate and assistant editors, including book review editors, bibliographers, translators of abstracts and a chronicler of the field: It is anticipated that the new Editor(s) will work, in collaboration with the Chair and Treasurer of Imago Mundi Ltd, to reformulate editorial practices and the editorial team in ways that will support the Editor(s) and maintain the Journal's intellectual quality and rigour.

Responsibilities of the Editor of Imago Mundi
  • Reports to
    • the Board of Directors of Imago Mundi Ltd, via its Chair.
  • General
    • oversight of all aspects of the preparation and production of the Journal
    • management of the editorial team
    • liaison with Taylor & Francis
    • representation of the Journal within the broader field of the History of Cartography
    • interest in the development of online publication
  • Specific
    • ensures the efficient management of the submission and peer-review processes for articles, including advising on suitable peer reviewers
    • is responsible for decisions regarding the acceptance, rejection, or revision and resubmission of submissions to the journal
    • works with Taylor & Francis to oversee all aspects of print and online production
    • works with Taylor & Francis to develop new opportunities for the Journal
    • edits accepted submissions to meet a high standard of formal English and the format requirements of the Journal
    • commissions, and edits as necessary, obituaries and the report on the biennial International Conference on the History of Cartography
    • oversees and consults with the editorial team to ensure timely preparation of book reviews, subject bibliography, chronicle, and other Journal elements
    • submits an annual Editor's Report to the Board of Directors of Imago Mundi Ltd
    • advises the Chair and Hon. Treasurer of Imago Mundi Ltd on the payment of honoraria to members of the editorial team
    • attends, as possible, the biennial International Conference on the History of Cartography

Person Specification
  • broad experience of, and appreciation for, the field of map history, both in general and in its relations to cognate fields
  • demonstrable editorial experience in internationally regarded academic publications
  • demonstrable experience in editing academic publications written in English to the highest standard
  • well-developed communication skills
  • ability, as Editor, to provide intellectual leadership in the promotion of the study of the history of maps
  • ability to work collegially within a team, and with authors
  • interest in the capacity of digital publication to enrich and enhance the study of maps
  • ability to work with standard word-processing formats

Terms of Appointment
The Editor(s) will be appointed for a five-year term, subject to satisfactory performance of duties, and inclusive of an initial probationary period. The five-year term may be renewed by mutual agreement with the Chair and Board of Imago Mundi Ltd.

How to apply
Applications for the position of Editor or Co-Editor of Imago Mundi should be made by 15 May 2022. Applicants who wish to apply for the position of Co-Editor may apply individually or jointly. Applications should consist of a Curriculum Vitae, accompanied by a letter of no more than two pages outlining the relevant editorial experience of the applicant(s); the nature of the contribution they envisage making to the journal as Editor/Co-Editor; and the names of two referees who may be contacted by the Search Committee.
Applications should be sent by email to
Informal enquiries about the position of Editor or Co-Editor of Imago Mundi may be made in confidence either to Wouter Bracke ( or to Mary Pedley (

Appointment Process
The Board of Directors of Imago Mundi Ltd has established a search committee to help it make this appointment. Its members are Wouter Bracke (Chair of Imago Mundi Ltd); Alfred Hiatt (Hon. Secretary; Queen Mary, University of London); Daniel Crouch (Hon. Treasurer; Bookseller); Mary Pedley (University of Michigan); Carme Montaner (Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya); Matthew Edney (University of Southern Maine); Michele Hannoosh (University of Michigan).

The appointment will be made by the Imago Mundi Ltd Board of Directors. The Directors of Imago Mundi Ltd are: Wouter Bracke (Chair; Royal Library of Belgium); Daniel Crouch (Hon. Treasurer; Bookseller); Alfred Hiatt (Hon. Secretary; Queen Mary, University of London); James Akerman (Newberry Library, Chicago); Peter Barber (former Map Librarian, British Library); Tony Campbell (former Map Librarian, British Library); Imre Demhardt (University of Texas at Arlington); Matthew Edney (University of Southern Maine); Chris Fleet (National Library of Scotland); Tom Harper (British Library); Markus Heinz (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin); Catherine Hofmann (Bibliothèque nationale de France); Roger Kain (School of Advanced Study, University of London); Nick Millea (Bodleian Library, Oxford); Carme Montaner (Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya); Anthony Payne (Independent Scholar); Mary Pedley (University of Michigan); Alexey Postnikov (Russian Academy of Sciences); Zsolt Török (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest); Sarah Tyacke (former Chief Executive, The National Archives).

Imago Mundi Ltd is a limited company, registered with Companies House (UK), and also a charity registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. It exists to promote the study of maps and map history as an international discipline by:
  • The publication of Imago Mundi
  • Oversight of the biennial International Conferences on the History of Cartography.

The Editor of Imago Mundi is not a Director of Imago Mundi Ltd, but is invited to attend Board meetings in an advisory capacity.

The Board of Directors of Imago Mundi Ltd is committed to principles of equality, diversity and inclusion in all it does. It welcomes expressions of interest from persons in groups currently under-represented within scholarly publishing.

Posted on

Ottoman Heritage in Greece: Map and Bibliography is an openly accessible web-based mapping application that connects the bibliography of Ottoman sites and monuments to an interactive map. The map was developed using the open-source location intelligence and web mapping platform Carto that supports web-based rendering, geospatial analysis and visualization of different types of datasets. On the Ottoman Heritage in Greece applications, users can dynamically visualise about 600 monuments and 1 600 bibliographical entries on a map based on their type. Each georeferenced site is linked to related bibliographic entries.
Ottoman Heritage in Greece: Map and Bibliography can be accessed here.

Posted on

You got lost in the ongoing (media) war between Russia and Ukraine? We have selected ten old maps from the Royal Library of Belgium (KBR) cartographic collection illustrating the geopolitical history of what is now Ukraine. They offer you a glimpse of the region’s complex past as a borderland. Although not exhaustive, the selection of maps chronologically ordered from the sixteenth to the twentieth century illustrates some of the country’s politically significant dates. The descriptive notes that accompany each of the images are intended to arouse your curiosity and will to look further into the maps. Beware though, maps are never neutral, and often serve a political agenda.
Browse this new web page.

Posted on