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61st IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 20-25, 1995

Section of Geography and Map Libraries

Annual Report 1994

Pierre-Yves Duchemin
Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Département des Cartes et Plans
58 rue de Richelieu
75084 Paris Cedex 02
Fax (33-1) 429684447
is Chair of the Section of Geography and Map Libraries.

Monserrat Galera Monegal

Institut Cartografic de Catalunya
Blames 209
08006 Barcelona
Fax: (34-3) 2188959
is Secretary.

Standing Committee and Membership

The Section has 11 Standing Committee members from eight countries, four observers, one corresponding member, and one special advisor. Members registered for the Section total 44.

During the Havana Conference the Section celebrated its 25th anniversary. Created in 1969 as a sub-section (Round Tables were not yet part of the IFLA structure) the Section soon established its term s of reference and work plan. Its programme, as reflected in the MTP 1992-1997 reflects the major changes in map libraries brought about by numeric geographical data, in contacts with sister organiza tions such as LIBER and the International Cartographic Association, and in the organization of training workshops for developing countries.


Manual for Practical Map Curatorship

This project, which began in 1983, was to have been canceled in 1994. However, during the Havana Conference it was possible to obtain a full paper copy of the manuscript. As several chapters were out of date, Ralph Ehrenbrg (USA) the new editor of the book, managed to have new versions of these chapters. The former editor, Hans van de Waal (Netherlands) submitted some chapters on floppy. The Sec tion is reworking the manuscript to obtain a coherent and relevant publication, which could be published by IFLA.

Seminar on Preservation of Maps and other Spatial Information

The Section, together with the PAC Core Programme, organized a training workshop held at the Russian State Library, 27 September-1 October 1993. Topics covered included mass deacidification processes , encapsulation, "splitting" techniques, use of polymers, proper restoration techniques and materials to be used, digitalization, storage places, conditions for conservation, etc. Simultaneous transl ation in Russian and English was provided. Unlike previous meetings organized by the Section, this seminar was less a training workshop than a meeting to exchange experiences.


During the Barcelona Conference in 1993 several new projects were designed, but work on them has not yet begun: Multilingual Dictionary of Digital Cartographic Terms; Digital Cartographic Information Policies; Study of Microform Material in Map Libraries; and Catalogue of Electronic Cartographic Products.



The Section issued its 36th Newsletter in June 1994.

Barcelona Conference Papers

All of the papers given during the satellite meeting held in the Institut Cartografic de Catalunya and during the open session of the Section in the 59th IFLA Council and General Conference in August 1993 were published in a special 200 page issue of INSPEL, Vol. 28, No. 1, 1994. Most of the 13 papers are available in English, French and Spanish.

Future Conferences

Istanbul 1994

The Section will focus its programme on the use of scanning maps in libraries, including technical aspects, juridical aspects and the readers' point of view. The Section also plans to hold a full-day workshop on the advancement of retrospective conversion projects.

Havana Meetings

Open session

The Section held a very well attended open session at which the following papers were presented:

CD-Atles de Catalunya: un ejemplo para el uso de la informacion cartografica a partir de un atlas electronico

Cuba dans la bibliothèque et les publications de la Société de géographie de Paris

La communication a pour objet de montrer la place occupée par Cuba dans les publications et la bibliothèque de la Société de Géographie de Paris. Dans la premi&egra ve;re partie, la naissance de la Société de Géographie et l'environnement scientifique qui l'a entourée sont brièvement retracés, avec notamment l'influence qu'a eu le voyage scientifique d'A. de Humboldt en Américque latine et la publication qu'il en a faite. Dans une seconde partie est évoquée l'oeuvre des principaux voyageurs, &ea cute;rudits, scientifiques français qui se sont faits les interprètes de la réalité cubaine auprès de la Société de Géographie. Notre conclusio n est que c'est essentiellement au 19 ème siècle, et principalement dans la première moitié de ce siècle, que la Société de Géographie s'est in téressée a Cuba.

Ecological Maps as One of the Directions of the Maps for the Social Development

In recent years the development of ecological research has meant the creation and use of maps as a means of recognition. The broad definition of ecological maps is used in this paper. Ecological maps can be grouped under seven headings: 1) the natural ecological potential; estimation of natural conditions and resources; 2) unfavorable and hazardous natural and anthropogenic natural processes and phenomena; 3) use of the natural ecological potential of the territory and anthropogenic influences; 4) alternation of the state of components of the geographic environment as a consequence of anthr opogenic influences; 5) protection of nature; 6) complex ecological maps; and 7) control of the ecological situation. The complex ecological maps classified in the seventh heading arouse the most int erest. In recent years the extension of publishing opportunities beyond the system of the state cartographic enterprises has furthered the emergence of original cartographic works created as a reflec tion of complicated ecological situations and of the human environment. Hence maps with ecological subjects reflect the development of society in its fullest measure.

Colecciones de mapas para el desarrollo social en Cuba

Se presenta una información sobre la producción de mapas en Cuba y sobre las colecciones más importantes que existen en las bibliotecas del país. Se explica el impacto soc ial de estas colecciones a partir del análisis que se hace de su utilización.


In addition to its open session, the Section held a full-day workshop in the Biblioteca Nacional "José Martí", where participants viewed an exhibition of ancient maps and atlases of Cub a from the 16th to the 19th century. They also saw a demonstration of conservation techniques by high-level craftsmen in the restoration of ancient maps. Participants heard reports from Pierre Planq ues (France) on "La conservation du patrimoine documentaire à l'Institut géographique national"; William Lamble (Australia) on "Legal Deposit and Social Development"; Charles-Etienne Ne phtali (France) on "Le bibliothèque de l'Institut géographique national, France" and Maria Cristina Gonzalez and Manuel Landaburo Nieblo (Cuba) on "Colecciones de Mapas para el Desarrol lo Social".[Note: papers not available.] After the workshop visits were organized to the Map Division of the Biblioteca Nacional "José Martí" and to the Instituto Cubano de Cartografia y Geodesia. The Section was also invited to visit the Instituto de Geographia, a part of the Academy of Sciences, which also hosts the Cuban Geographical Society.