Welcome to Issue 5 of MapForum.com

As this issue goes on-line, London sees the start of what used to be conveniently termed the "June Book Fair season".  This year, however, the main events have been organised considerably earlier, with the first fair starting on May 29th, the Bonnington Map Fair on May 30th, the IMCoS Map Fair on the 31st, and the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association Fair on June 3rd.

Coupled with any number of other book fairs, auctions and other events, the veritable feast of material serves as a powerful magnet for dealers and collectors.  This makes for a very entertaining but also very hectic time. If only there were more hours in the day!

As part of our on-going research into methods of archiving MapForum, we have supplied a British Map Collection with the journal on CD-ROM, to see how accessible the information is in a working environment, and to see the pitfalls of cataloguing a CD.  In a competition (see elsewhere in this issue), we are offering the opportunity for five readers to win the first five issues of MapForum on CD.   Hopefully, that should provide further feedback on the CD alternative.

As MapForum has now settled into a format that we feel pretty happy (and the e-mail 'Inbox' seems to agree), we will be expanding the range of sections contained herein.  The principal addition will be a classified section, to include dealer's lists, but also open to private individuals.

An area of imbalance that we intend to address is the imbalance of coverage given to material passing through the hands of auction houses.  In future, the catalogues received section will also include announcements of updated web-sites.  Furthermore, in recognition that the vast majority of dealers buy and sell items without them ever appearing in catalogues or on their web-sites, we will be encouraging advertisers to supply descriptions and illustrations of rare, unusual or interesting maps from their stock.

So far we have relied almost exclusively on word-of-mouth for publicising the Journal.  We have placed advertisements in three locations, all issued this month or next, and have therefore decided that the first six issues will remain on line until the appearance of Issue 7, towards the end of July.  From then on, the new issue will replace the oldest remaining issue.  Superceded issues will be made available in collected form at the end of the year.

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