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Reports on the General Conferences at Beijing, China, 1996 and Copenhagen, Denmark, 1997

Medium-Term Programme

Standing Committee list

Schedule for the 64th General Conference Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Newsletter of the IFLA Section of Geography and Map Libraries (On-line)

Newsletter 41
June 1998

Reports on the General Conferences at Beijing, China, 1996 and Copenhagen, Denmark, 1997

The 62nd Conference of IFLA in Beijing attracted 2384 delegates from 91 countries under the theme The Challenge of Change: Libraries and Economic Development. It took place in the Beijing International Convention Centre in the 'Asian Games Villages' on the fourth ring road in northern Beijing. Many delegates stayed in the adjacent Continental Hotel, far from the busy hutongs, the traditional building blocks of the inner city. Organization was efficient; the hosts, as could be expected, have an experience of mass meetings. Most impressive was the Wednesday dinner at the Great Hall of the People on the Tiananmen Square: a trail of 75 buses with police escort through the rush-hour traffic, 3 000 persons seated under one roof, ten at the table, band playing the national anthems of all participants; after two hours farewell, into the buses and straight back home!

The Section programme hade been organized by the chairman not without some difficulty and with the help of Swedish and Chinese contacts.

Standing Committee meeting I was on Saturday, August 24. The agenda contained the reports of the chairman and the treasurer and discussions of the presentation leaflet, the Medium-Term Programme for 1998-2001, the present and future conferences.

    Monday August 26

    Visit to Beijing University, Department of Urban and Environmental Sciences (formerly Geography Department). We were received by Professor Xiaofeng Tang, Human i.e. Economic Geography, who lectured on the historical geography of China, as ideology: China as the "Middle Kingdom", the center of the world, and as reality: Xian province as the historic heartland of China, the Chinese people as mainly villagers in origin.
    History Professor Xiaocong Li made a presentation of his Descriptive catalog of pre-1900 Chinese maps seen in Europe (ISBN 7-80105-477-6) Dating of Chinese maps can be made through the changes in administrative subdivision. Other important aspects are the changes in sign-system and placenames.

    picture 1
    Professor Li

    picture 2
    Professor Tang demonstrating the heartland of China

    Tuesday August 27

    Paper Session on the theme Map Libraries and Economic Development.

    1. Developing Map Library Services for the Business User: Experiences from a Provincial University Library, by Patrick McGlamery, University of Connecticut (http://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla62/62-mcgp.htm).

    2. Who needs maps of China? The Western Australian Experience of Map availability, by William Lamble of Perth, Western Australia (http://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla62/62-lamw.htm).

    3. Politiques d'acquisition, de conservation et de diffusion à la cartoteque de l'Institut geographique national, by Pierre Planques of the Institut géographique national, Saint-Mandé, France (http://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla62/62-plap.htm).

    picture 3
    Listeners at the Paper Session. Foreground right our student volunteer Shenlong Han.

    After lunch, we visited the China Cartographic Publishing House in southwestern Beijing. It was founded in 1954, and is the largest map publisher in China with 600 employees including 200 'pensionaries'. Production lines are: 1) China, 2) world maps, 3) history, 4) school maps (75%). Some maps have a print run of 10 million. 70 printers work for the company, in Shanghai, Xian, Tianjin etc. The establishment contains editorial, publishing and sales departments, 4 mapping rooms for the different production lines, a computing center and a reference center with the largest collection of maps in China, visited by research scholars among others. Both old and modern production techniques are used. They cooperate with 20 firms in 10 countries, making multilingual atlases, more than 1000 tourist maps of foreign countries, globes and relief maps. After the visit we could buy some maps and atlases in a small shop on the street.

    Wednesday August 28 included a strictly guided tour of the National Library, where we could make contact with a young English-speaking map librarian. Otherwise we had, as in Turkey, very few contacts with actual librarians.

    The Thursday August 29 workshop on World mapping included presentations by Section members of cartographic products from Australia, France, Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States to an auditorium mainly from China and the East Asian region. Participants then could select materials for their home libraries from the one hundred packages of maps from the different countries, which had been put together during a few busy hours by Section members and student volunteers The workshop was a success in so far that the maps were eagerly accepted. The young map librarian and the head of the Map Section also appeared, and we could make an appointment for a visit the following day.

    Thursday afternoon included a visit to the Peking University Library, less strictly guided than at the National Library. The pleasure of students and staff at meeting foreign colleagues was most obvious, but the lack of language limited contacts to the exchange of friendly smiles. There followed a reception at the Library school, situated on the old campus, which is in fact the old Missionary university, designed in Chinese style by American architects in the 1920-s.

    Friday August 30 included Standing Committee meeting II, working out the Medium-Term Programme

    In the afternoon, I was the only one to visit, with the help of our student volunteer Shenlong Han, the National library Map Section, which is part of the Rare Book Department. It was most interesting in both its similarities and differences. When I came into the rather large shadowy room I could discern some of the staff taking their midday rest on the office tables, and now they quickly and politely got on their feet. Similarities in size and composition of the collection to that of my own institution were more striking. Maps are about 200 000 in number; in addition there are about 7 000 architectural drawings and some 70 000 photographs and postcards There is a card catalog of maps and in a quick glance I could spot some relatively recent Western and even Swedish maps. So like many middle-sized libraries the maps and pictures collections are united. I was shown a number of fine items, among others the first atlas engraved in 1770 by Chinese craftsmen and issued 1931 in a restrike from the original copper plates, mentioned in a lecture by Hartmut Walravens at the conference. The librarian Zhu Jingmei recommended a visit to the 'Culture Street' Liu Lichang, where I could later acquire postcards, modern exlibrises and other graphics.

    picture 4
    Staff of the Map Section of the National Library of China. To the left, Zhu Jingmei, at center Section head, behind her the photography specialist.

    The IFLA Conference was followed, in Beijing, by the ICA (International Council of Archives) Conference, almost as large. The last day we hade the pleasure of a dinner with Hugo Stibbe from Canada, one of the founders of the Section and now a prominent person in the archival profession.

Report on the Section Programme Copenhagen 1997

The Conference was attended by 2976 delegates from 141 countries under theme Libraries and Information for Human Development.
The Section Programme was admirably arranged by Henrik Dupont, the Royal Library, Copenhagen.

    Saturday August 30

    Standing Committee I
    Present: David McQuillan, Olivier Loiseaux, Göran Bäärnhielm, Pierre-Yves Duchemin, Henrik Dupont, Montserrat Galera, Hermann Günzel, William Lamble, Melissa Lamont, Patrick McGlamery,
    Reports: Chairman's report, Financial report.
    Elections: David McQuillan was reelected as chair, Olivier Loiseaux reelected as secretary, Göran Bäärnhielm elected as treasurer, all until 1999.
    Projects: Olivier Loiseaux reported the distribution of questionnaires for the 4th edition of the World directory of map collections.
    Patrick McGlamery gave a short report on the efforts to locate an Internet mirror server in Stockholm for the Digital Chart of the World.
    IFLA / ICA: Göran Bäärnhielm gave a report of a meeting with the International Cartographic Association Commission for the transfer of digital spatial data on the working out of a metadata standards questionnaire, held at Uppsala the week before midsummer. The goal is to survey a number of existing metadata standards and publish the result in a book. He recommended that the IFLA Geo & Maps section should come to a decision regarding our exspectations for the documentation in cartography and communicate them to the ICA, possibly directly to the ICA Executive.

    Sunday included a boat trip to the Öresund Bridge construction site.

    Monday September 1

    Paper Session I: Slide presentations of the organization of various map collections:

    1. University of South Carolina, Map library (David McQuillan): 250 000 maps.

    2. University of Connecticut, Map and Geographic Information Center (Patrick McGlamery): 170 000 map sheets, 20 000 aerial photos, 15 000 data files.

    3. The Pennsylvania State University, Documents/Maps (Melissa Lamont): 400 000 maps, 12 000 atlases.

    Tuesday September 2

    Excursion to the ScanGlobe Factory at Havdrup, to the southwest of Copenhagen.
    This is now owned by Replogle Globes, USA. Production is -1 million globes/year. They are now making the 5th generation of plastic globes, with sizes 17-40 cms. Export goes to 40 countries in 27 languages. They have been doing digital cartography (Mac) since 1991, in all languages except Japanese and Chinese. The physical globe is not yet finished digitally. The fall of Soviet Union was a serious drawback as the whole stock became obsolete. Now the Eastern European market is most interesting. Chinese globes are only for Taiwan; mainland China copies Scan Globe designs. The globes are sold mainly as furniture decoration objects to private homes. The factory visit was fascinating with all the globe balls in different colours and sizes piled on the shelves; a highly rationalized production with work rotation to make it less boring. It is to be regretted that no photography was allowed.

    picture 5
    From left to right: Hermann Günzel, Göran Bäärnhielm, Lothar Zögner, Gudrun Zögner, Anne Dyhr, William Lamble, Montserrat Galera, Danish guide, Olivier Loiseaux, Ellen Cromley, Pierre-Yves Duchemin, Patrick McGlamery, Henrik Dupont.

    Then followed a visit to the National Maps and Cadastral Survey (Kort- och Matrikelstyrelsen). We were given presentations by Morten Lind on the Danish spatial metadata work, which began in 1994, by Peter Korsgård on the archive and on Danish historical maps, by Anders Nielsen on the mapping of Greenland and on digital products.

    Wednesday September 3

    Paper session II, at The Royal Library.
    Slide presentation of map collections (continued):

    1. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Département des Cartes et Plans (Olivier Loiseaux): 650 000 maps, 10 000 atlases.

    2. Universitätsbibliothek Marburg (Hermann Günzel).

    3. Royal Library Maps and Prints Department (Göran Bäärnhielm): 250 000 maps, 3 000 atlases.

    picture 6
    Henrik Dupont demonstrating the Royal Library Map Collection.

    Paper session III:

    1. The presentation of the Computerization of the library of the French Institut Geographique National by Charles Etienne Nephtali was cancelled because the author was unable to attend. An abstract was distributed.

    2. The British MODMAP Database was presented by Robin Richardson of the Military Survey, UK.

    3. A system for indexing map sheets using ArcView was presented by German map dealer Joachim Lamatsch.

    Thursday September 4

    Workshop at the Copenhagen University Geographical Institute: Managing Digital GeoData in Libraries, convened by Patrick MacGlamery, University of Connecticut, with the assistance of Preben Sonne Jørgensen of the Geo Library. Speakers were Dr Ellen Cromley, Department of Geography, University of Connecticut, and Melissa Lamont, Penn State University. Instructor at the ArcView exercise was Kerstin Geitner, Informi GIS, Lyngby.

    An illustrated report is at URL: http://magic.lib.uconn.edu/ifla/97_ifla.htm
    The workbook is at: http://magic.lib.uconn.edu/ifla/workbook.htm

    Friday September 5

    Standing Committee II
    Mainly a discussion - sometimes heated - on the program of the Amsterdam Conference. Theme: The future of maps in libraries - looking forward into the 21st century. There were put forward a number of sub-themes, collected under four headings: Acquisition, cataloguing, reference, preservation.

    Patrick McGlamery later arranged a discussion with Sun Microsystems people on sponsoring a mirror server for the Digital Chart of the World to be located in Stockholm.

    As usual, the evenings were filled with social events, within the Conference in general and within the Section. Especially nice were the Section dinner at the Tivoli and another evening at the Langelinie, with the view on the Sound.

table 1

Figures are in Sterling

  1. The following projects were closed at IFLA, Istanbul: GEO-2 Microdigital, GEO-3 Dictionary of cartographic terms, GEO-4 Manual, GEO-5 Digital information policies.

  2. The money from former GEO-2, 3, 4 & 5 has been vired into the new projects (GEO-1,, GEO-3 & GEO-4). GEO-2 already had a budget.

  3. This sum was credited to the account on 10 May 1995, but notification was not received until March 1996.

  4. Bank charges.

Tony Campbell, Financial Officer
12 August 1996

table 2

Figures are in Sterling

  1. Nothing requested or received from HQ this year.

  2. Reduced to cover Admin expenses.

  3. 119.78 was Beijing (1996 conference) expenses; the rest is for bank charges.

  4. A notional sum for future Admin expenses.

Tony Campbell, Financial Officer
20 August 1997

NB This is my final report as the section Financial Officer

Medium-Term Programme


The Section is an international forum to promote and coordinate the collection, storage and access to geographic and cartographic information. It provides communication between and the professional development of map curators. The Section's objectives are to initiate projects and studies, the findings of which are published in the form of technical monographs, occasional papers, standards, cataloguing rules, manuals, directories, bibliographies, newsletters, etc. In addition, close liaison with cartographic, geographic and related organizations is created and maintained.

Goals, 1998-2001

  1. Improve the international audience of the Section by encouraging others to join from all parts of the world and reissue the Section's brochure in all IFLA languages.

  2. Study the automation of bibliographic records, the standardization of geographical (in liaison with the Permanent UNIMARC Committee) and the retrospective conversion of map catalogues.

  3. Monitor digital mapping and study problems implicit for map collections.

  4. Organize workshops for managing map and spatial data collections in developing countries.

  5. Update its own database in order to publish the 4th edition of the World Directory of Map Collections.

Standing Committee list

Chair/Information Coordinator
David C. McQuillan
University of South Carolina, Thomas Cooper Library
Division of Libraries and Information Systems, COLUMBIA, SC 29208, USA
Tel. +1-803-7774723, Fax +1-803-7774661
E-mail: david@tcl.sc.edu

Olivier Loiseaux

Bibliotheque Nationale de France
58 rue de Richelieu, 75084 PARIS Cedex 02, France
Tel. +33-1-47038356, Fax +33-1-47038361
E-mail: olivier.loiseaux@bnf.fr

Göran Bäärnhielm

Royal Library,
Box 5039, S-102 41 STOCKHOLM, Sweden
Tel. +46-8-4634180, Fax +46-8-4634004
E-mail: goran.baarnhielm@kb.se

Standing Committee 1995-1999
Göran Bäärnhielm, Sweden (2nd Term)
Carmen Liter Mayayo, Spain
Olivier Loiseaux, France
David C. McQuillan, USA (2nd Term)
Pierre Planques, France

Standing Committee 1997-2001
Ms Natalia Kotelnikova, Russian Federation
Patrick McGlamery, USA
Lothar Zögner, Germany Observers
Ms A.M. Casassas Ymbert, Spain
Pierre-Yves Duchemin, France
Ms L. Dubreuil, Canada
Egon Klemp, Germany
Jan Smits, Netherlands
F. Wawrik, Austria

Corresponding Member,
Nancy Machado Lorenzo, Cuba

Special Adviser
Gary W. North, USA

Editor of the Newsletter of the IFLA Section of Geography and Map Libraries
Göran Bäärnhielm,

Royal Library, P.O Box 5039, S-102 41 Stockholm, Sweden.
Tel.: +46-8-4634180, Fax: +46-8-4634004.
E-mai1: goran.baarnhielm@kb.se
Frequency: Bi-Annual.

Schedule for the 64th General Conference Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam RAI Congress Centre
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1998
#References are to the item number in the programme.

Friday, August 14

14:00 - 18:00: Special Libraries Coordinating Board I (#4)

Saturday, August 15

9:00 - 11:50: Geography and Map Libraries Standing Committee I (#14)

Evening: Reception for IFLA Officers (on invitation only)

Sunday, August 16

Evening: Opening of Exhibition/Reception (#77)

Monday, August 17

8:30 - 10:30: Open Session (#81)

  1. English and Dutch Cartographic Resources at New York Public Library; or "What's Happening in New Amsterdam!" - ALICE C. HUDSON (Chief, Map Division, New York Public Library, New York, NY, USA)
  2. The American Geographical Society Collection -- two decades after the move. - CHRISTOPHER M. BARUTH (American Geographical Society Collection, University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA)
  3. Le Nouveau Center de Documentation de L'Institut Geographique National. - PIERRE PLANQUES (Chef, Service de la Documentation Geographique, Institut Geographique National, Saint-Mandé, France)

10:45 - 12:45: Special Libraries Division Open Forum (#88)

    "What's Special About Special Libraries?"

  1. DAVID BENDER (Executive Director, Special Libraries Association)
  2. CARLA FUNK (Executive Director, Medical Library Association)

16:00 - 18:00: Opening Session (#92) and Reception (#93)

Tuesday, August 18

9:00 - 11:00: Train to Enschede (2 hours)
International Institute for Aerospace Surveys and Earth Science (ITC)

11:00 - 11:15: Coffee

11:15 - 12:15: Tour through the ITC

12:15 - 13:30: Lunch

13:30 - 14:00
WWW: Offering and Finding Maps. - MENNO-JAN KRAAK (Chair, Dutch Cartographic Society)

14:00 - 14:30
A Project Teaching Remote Sensing Classification Techniques: Monitoring Land Cover in Southern France. - BAREND KOEBBEN (Utrecht University and the ITC)

14:30 - 15:00
Archiving Metadata: From Ideas to Implementation. - WAN BAKX

15:00 - 15:30: Tea

15:30 - 16:00
Demonstration of ILWIS, a GIS for land and water information

16:00 - 16:30: Drink

16:30 - 18:30: Train back to Amsterdam

Evening: Ministry of Culture Event (#119)

Wednesday, August 19

9:00 - 11:00: University of Amsterdam. - Host: JAN WERNER (Map Librarian, University of Amsterdam)

  1. Tour Ortelius Exhibition
  2. Visit to the Map Department

11:30 - 12:30: Train to The Hague

12:30 - 14:00: Lunch

14:00 - 16:00
Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Royal Library), Map Department. - Host: JAN SMITS (Map Curator, Koninklijke Bibliotheek)

Evening: Extended visit in The Hague or return to Amsterdam by train

Thursday, August 20

Vrije Universiteit (Free University) Room OE-35

9:00 - 18:00: Geography and Map Libraries: Workshop

    Theme: "Managing Digital GeoData in Libraries"

    Convenor: PATRICK MCGLAMERY (University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA)

Evening: Library Visits and Receptions (#162)

Friday, August 21

8:00 - 9:50 : Geography and Map Libraries Standing Committee II (#167)

12:00 - 13:50: Special Libraries Coordinating Board II (#200)

Saturday, August 22

Full and half day excursions to cultural sites (#209)

The 65th IFLA Council and General Conference will be held from August 20 through August 28, 1999, in Bangkok, Thailand. Future conferences are: Jerusalem, August 11 through August 19, 2000; Boston, Massachusetts, USA in 2001; Glasgow, Scotland, UK in 2002; and Berlin, Germany in 2003.

This Newsletter was edited on June 12, 1998, by Göran Bäärnhielm, The Royal Library, PO Box 5039, S-102 41 Stockholm, Sweden. E-mail: goran.baarnhielm@kb.se


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