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Welcome to issue 13 of MapForum.

Summer in London has been an interesting and active time for me, with a heavier than usual round of dealing and cataloguing, and less time in the British Library than normal.  One magnet there, however, is their excellent Map Exhibition, which is discussed elsewhere.  I would highly recommend it to any one who is in London who has a couple of hours (or preferably longer) spare.

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August also saw the retirement of Tony Campbell as the British Library’s Map Librarian, after some fourteen years in the post.  Tony’s career has been a time of dramatic change for the Map Library.  The first and most important has been the removal of the entire collection from the old home in the British Museum building in Bloomsbury to the new library on the Euston Road.  Despite the massive amount of material involved, from the collections, the offices and so on, this was achieved and the new reading room opened with only one month closure to readers.

A second major development was the CD-ROM Map Library catalogue, which now allows much greater ability to access the collection by speeding up catalogue searching, and to “number crunch” compared with the old printed catalogue.

Tony has also been closely involved in other projects - International Conferences, Imago Mundi, the Warburg ‘Maps and Society’ lectures, and establishing and updating his Map History website, an important and very useful portal into the world of maps.

With all his official duties and other roles, Tony has always been generous with his advice and expertise - I certainly have benefited greatly from his wit and wisdom - either in person or the many books and articles that he has written.

While one may talk of his retirement, I am sure - and John Speed as usual has the apposite quotation - that retirement is merely “setting this hand free from the daily imploiments of a manuall trade, and giving it full liberty thus to express the inclination of [Tony’s] mind  ...”   I look forward to a further flowering of his pen.  I believe, after a short break, Tony will return to the fray to continue to work on his important listing of manuscript cartographic items within the Library, while maintaining his many other projects, and I look forward to seeing him before too long in the BL.

As the Proclamation goes, “The King is dead, long live the King”, and I am delighted that the mantle has passed to Peter Barber, the Deputy Map Librarian, and I wish him, and his staff, every success in the coming years.

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