Mappae Antiquae
2 volume set [Includes Map Inserts]
Utrecht Studies in the History of Cartography, No. 6

Edited By Paula  van Gestel-van het Schip
& Peter van der Krogt
October 2007
HES & De Graaf                            
Distributed by
ISBN: 9789061944799                          
696 pages, Illustrated, 9 3/4 x 12 3/4"
$395.00 Hardcover

This book about old maps is a Liber Amicorum that came about especially for a man who traveled to the farthest corners of the world to study those historic documents with love and passion throughout his entire life, then describing and analyzing them down to the smallest detail.

It was presented to him on 16 February 2007 by the editorial staff and all the others who worked on this publication to mark the occasion of his 65th birthday as well as the fact that he has been the holder for over 25 years of the only chair in the history of cartography in the world. The MAPPÆ ANTIQUÆ was presented to him during a study day organized especially for that purpose at the Marine Kazerne in Amsterdam.

Putting together this Liber Amicorum for Günter Schilder was an extraordinarily enjoyable task. A task that commenced during a flight from Madrid to Amsterdam on Sunday the 8th of July 2001. On the return flight from the International Conference on the History of Cartography in Madrid Paula van Gestel, Peter van der Krogt and Marco van Egmond were sitting side by side discussing the experiences of the previous days. Somewhere above Paris, some 10 kilometres up in the sky, the conversation was about Günter, his career and the top position that he had already held for over thirty years in historic cartography. And thus came about the idea of putting together a book of friends on the occasion of his 65th birthday, also his retirement age and probably the end of his official scholarly career.

The list of participants in the Programme of the conference in Madrid was a first guideline on the basis of which to approach some possible authors. Already in the airplane on the 8th of July 2001 some fifty scholars were selected and a provisional Programme was prepared. A time schedule was established bearing in mind that potential authors would have to be given the opportunity to carry out new research on behalf of this special publication and to write an article about historic cartography that would not be published before that time. In the subsequent months, the plan was elaborated further.

The first contacts with possible authors were established during the ICHC in Boston in July of 2003. Paula approached all the envisaged authors that were present and requested that they write their articles, at the latest by August 2005, in Dutch, German, English or French, whichever one they preferred. All of this had to remain, of course, strictly top-secret. After the conference in Boston the remaining authors, those not in that city, were contacted in writing.

The reactions were overwhelming and extraordinarily enthusiastic. The demonstrated willingness to cooperate in this project was unprecedentedly great. Only some authors were unable to make their contributions, these for a variety of personal reasons. To balance this, however, by way of recommendations among the group a number of authors who had not yet been contacted ear-lier were added to the list of contributors.

The articles as these were written by the authors demonstrate a great variety of cartographic subjects and are sometimes very personal in nature. In addition, at the request of the editors the authors also wrote quite personal messages to or about Günter, placed before each article followed by the photo and signature of the relevant author.

Thanks to the decision to invite as many colleagues from around the world as possible to collaborate on this publication, the editors observed that a very high scholarly level was realized. In view of the professional status of Günter Schilder himself this fact was a significant objective from the very beginning.


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