In spite of being an inauspicious 13th conference, this was a successful and highly enjoyable gathering of map curators, which - despite a close encounter with a Helsinki tram! - managed to avoid any mishaps or disasters. Our Finnish Organising Committee provided a well-organised, interesting programme with considerable good-humour and kindness, allowing an excellent base for our discussions and talks. As usual there was a varied spread of people, issues and subjects brought together, both practical and theoretical, historical and contemporary, reflecting the diverse nature of European map libraries. This report is a somewhat personal and abbreviated account of the conference, summarising the main issues of the various papers, providing an introduction to them, and highlighting general trends. Eight of the papers are being published in this issue of the LIBER Quarterly.
The broad theme suggested for the conference allowed the scope to address many different angles of survival. The survival of collections concerned both the traditional preservation of collections, as well the more recent concerns over the security of collections from theft. A special discussion session was arranged on this latter topic, with presentations from those affected by theft in the last two years. The survival of data was also a particularly important theme, with papers on electronic legal deposit, metadata for geographic data, the archiving of geo-datasets, and the harvesting of Internet resources for archival purposes. In addition, the survival of institutions themselves was discussed in terms of future roles and responsibilities, as well as the maintenance of appropriate premises, and new buildings.
One of the principal connecting themes through these issues was co-operation. The need for close links between map libraries and geo-data producers was reflected on during half a day at the National Land Survey of Finland (Maanmittaushallitus), with papers on their recent developments, and an active discussion of joint concerns. Many speakers reported on co-operation between map libraries, with proposals for closer co-operation over geo-data search interfaces, responses to theft, acquisition and use of digital data, and training and education. The Groupe itself has always tried to foster this intra-European co-operation, and the value of near-universal use of e-mail along with co-operatively maintained Groupe des Cartothécaires de LIBER (GdC) websites for information exchange, was made particularly evident during the conference.
The conference was held at the Helsinki University Library from 3-7 September 2002, and was attended by 48 participants from 18 countries. The Helsinki University Library is the oldest and largest research library in Finland as well as the national library. Although founded in 1640 in Turku, the Library was moved to Helsinki in 1828, with its main building, designed by Carl Ludwig Engel dating from 1840, an important architectural treasure in its own right. As already said, we also spend half a day at the National Land Survey of Finland in Pasilankatu, which has responsibilities not only for real estate/cadastral registers, but also for surveying, and collecting topographic data on which many of the Finnish maps are based. Besides that, we attended the opening of a map exhibition held at the National Archives of Finland From the 'Snout of a Pike-Perch' to 'No-man's land', and we visited the John Nurminen Foundation, viewing their premises, publications, and maps.
In the mornings, before the main working sessions began, small groups were taken to the Nordenskiöld Collection of Maps by Dr Cecilia af Forselles-Riska, allowing all conference participants to view the collection and its new underground storage facilities during the conference. Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld (1832-1901) was born in Finland, and achieved fame not only as an explorer of the Northeast passage, and as a cartographer of Arctic lands, but also as an historian of cartography. His collection of ca. 24,000 maps and 500 atlases, includes 4,000 maps printed before 1600, and was purchased by Helsinki University Library in 1902. The collection also includes Nordenskiöld's correspondence relating to his maps, and the family archives. Cecilia described the history of the collection, its cataloguing and its move to the new underground store, as well as the related early special collections there, such as those relating to Carl Enckell (1876-1959), the industrialist, diplomat and foreign minister of Finland.
The first day, Tuesday 3 September was devoted to registration, the LIBER Board, Working groups meetings and the Business Meeting as well as the National Progress Reports. The National Progress Reports, made since 1988, provide a good general overview of what has been going on in map libraries over Europe. National correspondents are asked to report on relevant activities of map curators' groups, acquisitions and collection development, automation, education, conservation and restoration, conferences and symposia, exhibitions and important publications. During this conference 12 progress reports were given, and these were distributed in November 2002 as Special Newsletter, no. 7. Later that day we were taken on conducted tours around the Helsinki University Library and officially greeted with a reception in the Central Hall.
The second day, Dr Kai Ekholm, the Director of Helsinki University Library, formally opened the conference. As well as welcoming us to Finland and Helsinki, he highlighted some general facts and historical details about the Library. With its 17th century background in Turku, the collections moved to Helsinki - with the move of the capital by the Russians - in 1828. As a Russian depository library, Helsinki has important Soviet materials, including maps, and during the Cold War period became important for researchers unable to access material in Eastern bloc countries. The unfortunate map thefts in 2001 highlighted the commercial value of maps, and has necessitated improved security measures, which also benefit other materials. Besides that, the Library is actively promoting the new legal deposit law (hopefully to be enacted in 2004) which (amongst other things) will encompass cartographic and geographic data as well as digital mapping, and its archiving for the future. Ekholm finished by thanking Pirkko and her Finnish Organising Committee for all their hard work in preparing and organising the conference.
Professor Esko Häkli, recently retired from Helsinki University Library, gave the keynote speech on "Map Collections as National Treasures". Professor Häkli spoke about the significance of maps in the history of the Finnish nation, as well as the various cartographic collections in the Helsinki University Library. The mapping of Finland has reflected the country's history, in being dominated by Swedish cartographers in the 17th and 18th centuries, and then Russian military mapmakers during the period of autonomy from 1809 to 1917. More recently, maps have been important in creating a sense of national unity, for example, through the National Atlas of Finland, first published in 1899, with six subsequent editions in the 20th century. The importance of maps and politics was also underlined in the confiscation of about 16 million maps in October 1944 by the Soviet Union, relating to part of Karelia, ceded to them following the Winter War. Within Helsinki University Library, the size of the main collection is about 70,000 printed maps and 900 atlases, received through legal deposit legislation. However, there are important special collections of early maps, such as those collected by the scientist, explorer and historian of cartography, Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld (1832-1901), as well as by the industrialist, diplomat and foreign minister of Finland, Carl Enckell (1876-1959). There are also important collections of maps relating to Russia and Slavonic countries, some donated by the Russian Emperor in 1828, and others deriving from legal deposit of Russian publications prior to 1918. The present high commercial value of maps had been highlighted by unfortunate recent thefts, but this had merely supplemented the historical and cultural importance of cartographic materials within our society.
Christopher Fleet, of the National Library of Scotland, spoke about "The legal deposit of digital spatial data in the United Kingdom". His lecture reviewed progress and problems in the uptake of digital cartographic data in the UK legal deposit libraries over the last few years. The background, nature and effects of the Code of practice for the voluntary deposit of non-print media (introduced from January 2000) were examined. There have been various problems with the Code, including reservations of publishers, archival and technical problems, as well as difficulties over setting up a secure network between libraries. So far it is difficult to say that electronic cartographic publications in the UK are being comprehensively acquired or archived, although there is the possibility of proposed legislation altering things from 2004. Second, the progress map libraries have made in setting up Ordnance Survey (OS) digital data systems were examined, along with the problems that have delayed work. Since 1999 when the Agreement between OS and the libraries was signed, progress has been sporadic, dependent on people with time and reasonable IT proficiency who have been able to work on the project. The OS have changed their data format, media and content rather faster than the libraries have been able to keep pace with. In addition, with the priority given to implementing OS data, agreements with other data suppliers, such as the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland and Experian Goad, have been delayed. However, such direct negotiations between libraries and publishers are essential in agreeing specific access and usage arrangements for high value (cartographic) publications.
Peter Jones, of the Defence Geographic and Imagery Intelligence Association (DGIA), UK, spoke about the development of the MODMAP2 system and their new library building. MODMAP2 has been under development for some time as a major upgrade to the MODMAP electronic catalogue. As well as being both an information retrieval tool and library management tool, MODMAP2 also contains information about the DGC planned production programme. By migrating to a WindowsNT environment, considerably expanded search, retrieval, reporting, and outputting functions have been made possible. Modifying original searches, displaying output on a background map, gathering multiple searches with a basket facility, and exporting data in various formats are all now possible. E-distribution of data in MARC21 format, of great interest to the map library community, will be developed during 2003. At the time of the LIBER conference, the MODMAP data were being migrated and reformatted for import to the new system, and due to go live later in 2003. Peter then talked about the progress in moving the DGIA library from Tolworth to Feltham. The new building, the MacLeod Building, is named after Major General M.N. MacLeod, a great wartime surveyor and military mapmaker, later Director of Ordnance Survey, and an early proponent of aerial survey of map revision. During 2002 rapid progress has been the demolition of the old facilities and construction of the new facility to a state of near completion by September 2002. The plan for the map library is to move from January 2003, with formal handover and opening of the MacLeod Building by May 2003.
Bob Parry, of the Department of Geography at the University of Reading, UK, spoke about "Who's saving the files? Towards a new role for local map collections?" Despite the archiving of high-profile government map agency digital datasets, there are many thematic, often ephemeral or local geo-data sources that are not currently being archived. Against a background of the increasing commodification of data, with valuable data not being supplied to libraries, or online website delivery bypassing map libraries, acting as archivists of such data could be a useful new role for map librarians. Parry mentioned the historical importance of map libraries as repositories of data, such as the 1930s land-use mapping, or older Ordnance Survey maps, both of which have been of more recent practical and commercial value. A large quantity of digital data is spatial, and with the preservation of the appropriate boundary data, it could be mapped in the future. Questions were raised as to whose responsibility this should be, whether it should be data collectors, national libraries or local libraries, and what roles should each be playing. Whilst many map libraries may be interested in principle, there are many practical issues involved in archiving data properly, including appropriate cataloguing and metadata generation, the accessibility of the metadata and data to the user community, confidentiality and intellectual property requirements / legal constraints, and defining custodial responsibilities, including maintaining and migrating the data to ensure its future usability.
Lucyna Szaniawska, of the National Library of Poland in Warsaw, spoke about "The new map department in the National Library of Poland and the first steps to the automation of cataloguing its collections". From 1961, when the Krasinski Palace was rebuilt, the map library has been based there, but from 1995 it has been planning its move to new premises. From 2000-2001 the entire map collection was moved, simultaneously being fumigated and sterilised, and the new facility, with much more space, opened in April 2001. As well as describing the collections and collection policy, Lucyna also mentioned the importance of legal deposit as a source of collections (about 80% of incoming materials) and the types of mapping received. In general, there are no electronic items being acquired at the moment, just the printed output of geographical information systems (GIS). She also mentioned the growing difficulties in the recent economic climate in Poland, of many new smaller publishers not supplying their publications under legal deposit. Much progress has been made in formulating cataloguing standards in recent years, building on the 1950s standards by Aniela Drozdowska. In 2001 the Polish Standard for Bibliographic Description for Cartographic Materials was approved, based on ISBD(CM) and AACR2. There have been lively debates about this standard, demonstrating the interest and need for it, and work continues on applying it within a MARC21 standard.
During the remainder of the afternoon we visited the National Archives of Finland to view their exhibition From the 'Snout of a Pike-Perch' to 'No-man's land. Unfortunately, Harri Rosberg, who had done much work on putting the exhibition together, had been taken quite seriously ill earlier in the week, and so the Director General, Kari Tarkiainen, formally welcomed us with an introductory speech. The National Archives' cartographic collections are chiefly manuscript maps, and the exhibition concentrated on the insight these gave to particular aspects of Finnish history from the 17th to the 19th century. The exhibition featured many fascinating and unique items, along with an excellent catalogue, which described the historical and cartographic background to the items. This had been thoroughly researched and compiled by Ville Kadanne, an historian in the National Archives.
The morning of Thursday 5 September was spent in working sessions at the National Land Survey of Finland (Maanmittaushallitus). Paula Ahonen of the Institute of Cartography and Geomatics, Helsinki University of Technology, spoke about "Metadata of geographic information". The focus was on the theoretical aspects of geographic metadata, bringing us up to date on the development of international standards, universal metadata services, and the contextual aspects of metadata usage. Various concepts were used to introduce geographic metadata, including the range of spatial and attribute data that formed its basis, the qualities of geographic information (in terms of spatiality, conceptualisation of reality and representation), and the range of geographic information resources. The ISO 19115 metadata standard for geographic information was introduced, which will be finalised by early 2003. This defines over 400 metadata elements in several packages including identification, content, extent, data quality, maintenance, constraints, spatial representation, reference system, distribution, portrayal and meta-metadata. Paula then described the ongoing developments in universal metadata services, such as the US Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and the Finnish geographic data catalogue. She also mentioned the roles that map curators could play in this.
Jere Rajalin of the National Land Survey of Finland described "MapSite - an Internet map service of the National Land Survey of Finland gets dressed up with modern technology". The National Land Survey (NLS) set up the first national Internet map service in Europe in 1996, and since then the service has been a success, with about 5,000-6,000 users per week. The impressive new Mapsite II was previewed, due to go live in 2003, which is going to be much more interactive. A range of map services will be offered, including many types of spatial queries for boundary/adjacency searching, along with cadastral/real estate services, and more extensive publicity information. The XML interface will allow the data to be presented in many software applications, web browsers or mobile phone devices. Jere described the architecture, demonstrated various search methods using Internet Explorer, and mentioned how partners of NLS could share certain interfaces for joint applications.
Jani Stenvall of Helsinki University Library discussed "The challenge of preserving digital maps". Stenvall looked at the wider issues in maintaining and archiving digital data in libraries, and the way in which these were being tackled through the proposed Finnish Legal Deposit Act, as well as the particular problems of dealing with digital cartographic data. He discussed the technical difficulties associated with preserving digital materials, as well as the problems of cost, the differing organisational priorities in dealing with the data, and different time scales of the key players. He also described the standard technological approaches to maintaining data, such as migration, emulation, the need for standards, and for recording preservation metadata. In terms of digital mapping, the requirement is to deal both with images of historical items, as well as present-day digital maps and data. The Finnish Legal Deposit Act is currently being formulated, and will hopefully be in force by 2004. This will create new responsibilities for (digital) deposit libraries. The plan is for certain functions, such as collecting, cataloguing, and preservation to be centralised, with local access through distributed access points. As well as legislating for deposit of offline electronic products, the intention is to establish automated harvesting of the web (for .fi and relevant Finnish.com and Finnish.org sites) to form a partial archived snapshot. A new Digital Library System will contain map files, collection level descriptions and (perhaps) preservation metadata. Over the next few years there will be a great need for practical testing of the system, and working with publishers to plan its proper implementation.
Antti Kosonen, Director of Sales and Marketing at the National Land Survey gave a short comment on Stenvall's paper and the proposed Legal Deposit Act. He had various reservations about the proposed new depository system, with very different mapping products, different key players, and the difficulties of preserving dynamic datasets. Defining a digital map is very difficult when this is a dynamic database with coordinates. Given such a flexible entity, with all kinds of dynamically-generated maps-on-demand, it is difficult to archive and preserve anything representative, and there is a danger of preserving "information noise". He also discussed the greater range of cartographic publishers, with many value-added resellers, mobile phone operators, national agencies and combined databases, so that many variations of fundamentally similar datasets might need to be included. There was a lively question and answer session following Kosonen's remarks, on what should be done about archiving digital data, who had responsibilities for this in the NLS, and in Finland, and the extent to which commercial objectives ran counter to archiving needs.
Finally, Pekka Lehtonen, Marketing Chief of the National Land Survey, gave a demonstration of the Maps of Karelia on CD-ROM. During the Second World War, Finland was forced to cede the main part of Karelia to the Soviet Union. This involved about 10% of Finland's land area, and more than 400,000 people losing their homes, including the main towns of Vyborg, Sortavala and Kakisalmi. In 1944 the Allied Control Commission required that about 16 million sheets of mapping (about 40 railway wagons) relating to this area be delivered to the Soviet Union, and the restrictions on these maps were not lifted until 1989. Of course, these maps are very important in describing Karelia prior to the Second World War, and they have hitherto been difficult to consult. The NLS has been part of a jointly funded project to scan them, and make them available electronically. The maps are at scales of 1:20,000 to 1:1.2 million, and they were scanned and saved as reduced-colour TIFF images. They were made available from June 2001 from NLS offices around Finland, and may be made available over the Internet in due course. In the future, there are plans to add search facilities, such as place names and co-ordinates, both on the CD-ROMs and online.
In the afternoon we were welcomed to the John Nurminen Foundation, alongside the NLS premises, to view their collection of early maps and publications on maritime and Baltic themes. The John Nurminen Foundation was founded in 1992, to preserve and foster the history and Finnish cultural heritage connected with international trade and related service occupations. As well as supporting scientific research, it publishes books and lends materials to exhibitions, particularly those connected to seafaring, exploration and cartography. The Foundation owns some 400 maps, dating from the late 15th century to the 1930s focusing on the Baltic region, and we were able to browse and view a selection of these on display. We also were able to see a few of their works of art and publications relating to seafaring, as well as the replica of the captain's saloon of the SS Inkeri Nurminen, built in Hartlepool in 1892.
The morning of Friday 6 September was devoted to two Working Groups:
Jürg Bühler of the ETH-Bibliothek in Zürich, Switzerland, and webmaster of the Working Group for Education, gave a demonstration of the Group's website, and its expanded content in the last two years. The Who is Who in Map Librarianship has been maintained, developed and promoted, with the ability to make additions through an online questionnaire. Jürg has made several other changes to the site, with new links and subject information added, and the value of this was demonstrated. Nick Millea, Chair of the Group, invited everyone to check their own Who's Who details, forward more information to the website, and - in particular - assist with the development of minimum standards for education in map curatorship.
Steffi Mittenzwei, Chair of the Working Group for Central and Eastern Europe, reported on the Group's activities over the last two years. The history of the LIBER Task Force on Training, established after the Copenhagen conference in 2000, was described. Unfortunately, this has failed to deliver any practical programme or funding. In 2002, the Group has established contacts with the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, and it is possible that a new bid could be submitted through them for financial support for training in the future. In the meantime, the Group will continue to exchange information with the Working Group for Education, with publicity about the Group put on the Groupe des Cartothécaires de LIBER website.
Following the Working Group presentations, Ludmilla Kildushevaskaya, of the National Library of Russia in St Petersburg, presented a paper on "Problems of preservation and accessibility of cartographic publications in the National Libraries of Russia". She described the Program of Preservation of the Library Collections of the Russian Federation, inaugurated in 2000, and due to run for 10 years. This is a wide-ranging programme, and Ludmilla concentrated on 4 main aspects relating particularly to cartographic collections. The conservation programme has inspected illuminated 16th and 17th century atlases damaged by green paint, and compiled an inventory of volumes requiring attention. There has been a microfilming and scanning programme, which has created surrogates of vulnerable items. Thirdly, there has been a project to develop a union catalogue of pre-1830 Russian maps and atlases. Finally there has been a review of collections, dividing them into categories of usage and copying, with the intention of producing facsimile surrogates of unique items. Ludmilla finished by mentioning various electronic initiatives including the scanning of card catalogues as a first stage in retroconversion, and the map scanning projects Meeting of Frontiers (with the Library of Congress), and Multi-faceted St Petersburg.
Next, Jürg Bühler spoke about "New perspectives: from the map collection to the information centre for spatial data". The paper demonstrated the current and future transition of the map library into a virtual, online and electronic geo-data service, using the ETH-Bibliothek in Zürich as a case study. Given the rapid expansion of geo-data worldwide, there is a need for professional information brokers to help seek out this information. Bühler described the background to the present situation, with traditional services alongside a growing proportion of digital mapping services, Internet library catalogues, and metadata catalogues for spatial data. In the future, these could expand in three general areas. First, for printed maps, these could be increasingly digitised, scanned to order, and through external collaborative projects. Second, for digital maps, these could increasingly become available from remote servers, integrating various web-mapping and GIS software. Third, an extensive range of online search facilities could be developed, particularly through electronic index sheets (e.g. Toporama), sophisticated graphical and free-text searching and integrated metadata catalogues. These would be most effective if European map librarians were able to collaborate in creating records and building tools to fit into a common gateway.
The latter half of the morning was devoted to a special session on map thefts, entitled "Increasing security versus public access", chaired by Henrik Dupont of the Royal Library in Copenhagen.
Maija Suhonen of the Helsinki University Library spoke about the six maps stolen from the Library's Nordenskiöld collection on 22-23 February 2001 by Melvin Nelson Perry. The oldest of the stolen items was a world map dating from 1482 and the newest were three maps from an atlas published in 1662. Later, on 16 March the British police arrested the map thief and he arrived voluntarily in Finland to face charges. Luckily four of the missing maps from the Library were recovered. The two maps still missing are Mappamundi, a world map printed in Venice in 1486, valued at about ?35,000, and the map America Nova Tabula, printed in Amsterdam in 1662, worth about ?25,000.
Göran Bäärnhielm of the Royal Library, National Library of Sweden in Stockholm described the thefts from his Library in March 2001. These seemed to form part of the same wave of thefts affecting Helsinki, Copenhagen, The Hague and Wales, but it is still not known who was responsible. There were 62 maps stolen, although 9 were subsequently recovered from a trip to London in September 2001. Very significant items are still missing, including 2 Ortelius items, 5 Mercator-Hondius-Janssonius volumes, 1 Speed, and a Barents' Arctic map of 1597. The main consequences have been: another rebuilding of the Special Reading Room, an extra security guard on the entrance door, stricter control of users, and restrictions on the delivery of rare materials.
Henrik Dupont of the Royal Library in Copenhagen discussed the impacts of the recent thefts there by Mr JP Bellwood in late January 2001. He mentioned that in the 1970s there were some early atlases stolen, and an increase in security, and these concerns had guided the construction of the new building in the 1990s. Nevertheless, Mr Bellwood was able to visit the reading room several times, and although he aroused the suspicions of staff, he was able to steal 8 world maps before security officers were alerted, and he got away. His visits were all recorded on CCTV, and Henrik showed a short video of this, highlighting many interesting features and showing him cutting maps from volumes and hiding them for removal. There was much disquiet in the Library about the thefts, including extensive discussions and changes of procedures. This has also included training staff in dealing with the public, in being more suspicious, and improving the searching of bags on entry and exit.
Robert Davies described the traumatic experience of theft at the National Library of Wales, which again was discovered in early 2001. Altogether, after the event, there were 112 maps found to be "missing", following several visits by Mr J.P. Bellwood. The choice of maps seemed to reflect either an expert or someone well-informed with a "shopping list". Robert described the range of emotions and responses to the theft, which in particular amounted to a major search of map dealers' websites and catalogues, along with police assistance, to try to recover the stolen maps. Fortunately, as a relatively small number of map dealers sell this more valuable type of material, this search was quite targeted. However, the detective work has been difficult, not helped by the way some maps have been extensively disguised for sale, and complicated by the discovery of other stolen maps not from Wales. So far, after nearly a year and a half, only 15 of the stolen maps have been retrieved, and Mr Bellwood is still at large, with the police waiting for firmer evidence to apprehend him. Robert ended by warning the map library profession to be more suspicious of users, to be alert to the dangers of theft and to advertise losses, and to stress (to the managers and directors) the importance of maintaining collections securely through proper staff funding.
There was a lively discussion after these talks which raised many practical concerns, including the importance of the "reference interview" for detecting suspicion, the need for constant staff surveillance of materials being consulted, the possibilities of using digital or facsimile surrogates, the types of razor blades used by thieves to cut leaves from books, and the importance of securely holding data, as well as physical originals.
After lunch, Francis Herbert of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers), gave a paper entitled "Map Office of the Nation" : BM or RGS?" Taking its cue from the 'collections, data, institutions' themes of the conference, this was a brief exploration of policies relating to cataloguing, arrangement and access to maps in the collections of the Royal Geographical Society and the British Museum from the 1830s to the 1850s. From the founding of the RGS in 1830, one of the Fellows, Colonel J.R. Jackson, suggested the use of detailed forms of registration for maps and atlases. The pressure for detailed recording of maps, including scale information and a geographical hierarchical arrangement received further backing in the 1850s from another Fellow, William Hughes, and resulted in the first (and last) Catalogue of [the] Map Room of the Royal Geographical Society... published in 1882. By 1854, when the RGS had moved into its own premises, appointed its first Map Curator, and had been awarded an annual government grant, its President, Sir Roderick Muchison could, with justification refer to the Map Room as the "Map Office of the Nation". From the 1830s the RGS had also provided map curatorial assistance to the British Museum, particularly stressing the importance of a geographical perspective in arrangement and of cartographic detail in description, as well as assisting them in revising the Catalogue of the manuscript maps, charts and plans and of the topographical drawings in the British Museum (1844). Herbert furnished his history with several quotes from the archives, and concluded with the hope that map curators would continue to be involved in formulating these policies on cataloguing and recording today.
Finally, Benedicte Gamborg Briså, of the National Library of Norway in Oslo, spoke about the "National Library of Norway's new database of 22 manuscript maps concerning the Swedish King Charles XII's campaign in Norway in 1716 and 1718". The Library is planning to digitise about 1,500 manuscript maps, and so in the last two years, there has been a pilot project to digitise a small sample of 22 maps relating to King Charles XII's unsuccessful attempts to conquer Norway in 1716-1718. Benedicte briefly described the digitisation process, which has used 6 x 7 cm transparencies of the maps, the PhotoCD format, and 4 different resolutions of JPEG images. She also demonstrated the preliminary website, which allows the ability to search using placenames, countries, counties, shelfmarks and various combinations of these, to then choose a particular map and zoom in and out of it. The historical background to the maps is of great interest, and Benedicte spent the rest of her talk explaining and illustrating this. Charles' first campaign in 1716 to capture Oslo and Fredriksten was unsuccessful. However, the second campaign in 1718, fought on two fronts, initially went better for the Swedish army. In the North, General Armfeldt won a victory at Stene in September 1718, although he failed to go on to take Trondheim close by. The Norwegians fought back and there are maps showing the position where King Charles was killed by a bullet near Halden in December 1718 in the south of the country by Oslo, and the disastrous retreat of General Armfeldt's army through the Tydal Mountains south-east of Trondheim. Although Armfeldt himself survived, about 3000 men and 500 horses perished in early 1719, frozen to death in extreme cold conditions without shelter.
On Saturday 7 September we were treated to a full day excursion in pleasant warm weather visiting various different Finnish sights and residences in the environs of Helsinki. First of all we went to Porvoo, one of the oldest towns in Finland, about 50 km east of Helsinki. After a morning walk through the narrow streets we drove on to Mäntsälä, (some 50 km to the North) to the former residence of the famous Nordenskiöld family. After a visit to the house, today a museum, we had a light lunch at the restaurant next door. In the afternoon we drove on about 20 km west to Järvenpää and Tuusula, where, at the beginning of the last century, many Finnish artists had their houses built near Lake Tuusula. We were shown the house of the most famous Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957) and were given a tour of the wooden house built in national Finnish style by the Finnish painter Pekka Halonen (1865-1933) by the shore. Finally, after a quick walk around Lake Kuusijärvi (or for some, a swim!) we drove back to Helsinki.
LIBER Quarterly, Volume 13 (2003), No. 1