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NEWS & COMMENTS - 1984
Many thanks are extended to all who wrote with comments, questions, and suggestions. A few dealt with form, such as "add more pictures" or "make the title shorter," while others dealt with substance. Some are of sufficiently wide interest to merit answering in print:
Can a geographical index be added?
This is not easily done under the present system. The book is almost 300 pages long, and adding such an index would mean shortening the listings, adding pages, or using finer print. However, a geographical index is under consideration for the more distant future.
Could the listings be numbered for reference?
At the present time, the disadvantages of a more cluttered format and the space penalty outweigh any advantages. There seems to be little need to refer to specific items in the price guide. If necessary to refer to an item, the page should prove sufficient. Numbering may be adopted in the future if a geographical index is added.
Could the dimensions be given in inches?
The evil, dehumanizing effects of applying the metric system to everyday life are too well known to need comment. In fair competition in free societies, the English system invariably prevails. The metric system makes headway only where the reins of government have been seized by compulsive meddlers and self-important functionaries who bring the full weight of state power to bear on a helpless inch-and-gallon-oriented citizenry. Nevertheless, the trend is toward the metric system for bibliographical usage. To facilitate comparison with reference books, the dimensions must be given in centimeters. It is not possible to give both because of space limitations. Try to remember that 30 cm. is about 12 inches.
Why are the titles not more uniform?
While obvious errors in catalog listings are corrected, the presumption must be that the catalog is correct. Changes cannot be made lightly because the dealer may be offering a little-known variant or the map may be obscure. Most problems occur when dealers paraphrase a title without any indication that this has been done. Dealers may leave out a portion of the title without so indicating by ellipses, or may add their own punctuation marks for clarity without using square brackets. Many actual titles end with "etc.," but some dealers occasionally use "etc." at the end of a partial title, and it is often impossible to know whether this has been done. Another frequent problem is the casual interchange of "&" and "and." Many dealers are sticklers for accuracy in their listings, and their efforts are greatly appreciated.
Could those maps which are illustrated in the catalogs be somehow designated?
Several people requested this. This is not being done since it is felt that most users do not have access to the original catalogs. Further, people interested in a particular map and possessing the catalog will very likely want to look up the original description whether illustrated or not.
Is the price guide advertising in disguise? Do dealers have to pay to have their catalogs included?
By the time the typical user obtains this guide, the listings are from two months to a year old. Although some items listed may still be on the market, the listings are not a substitute for the more extensive information appearing in the catalog listing, and are not really suitable for making purchases. Dealers do not pay anything for inclusion. On the contrary, dealers whose catalogs are used receive a free copy of the guide.
Do people ordering the guide get on all sorts of mailing lists?
No. The list of customers is confidential, and is not divulged to any third party. No unsolicited map catalogs will be received. At worst, buyers may receive brochures announcing future issues of the guide.
Two specialized books were received during the year which may be of interest:
Russell Morrison, Edward C. Papenfuse, Nancy M. Bramucci, and Robert J. H. Janson-La Paime, On the Map, An Exhibit and Catalogue of Maps Relating to Mar land and the Chesapeake Bay Honoring George Washington at the beginning of the Third Century of Washington College at Chestertown, Maryland, February 21-March 6,1983, Chestertown, Maryland: Washington College (Map Exhibit, Clifton Miller Library, Washington College, Chestertown MD 21620, $10.63), 28 x 22 cm., viii, 102 pp. paper.
This is a finely produced, well-researched bargain for the Americana collector and dealer. A total of 58 maps, mostly antique, are reproduced and discussed authoritatively. The horizontal format makes the book a pleasure to read, since the book need not be rotated to view the figures right-side-up. The supply is said to be limited.
Christos G. Zacharakis, A Catalog of Printed Maps of Greece 1477-1800. Nicosia: A. G. Levantis Foundation (P.O. Box 1799, Nicosia, Cyprus, $65 pre-publication price), 1982. 21 x 29 cm., xv, 469 pp. paper.
This work is a valuable addition to any major dealer's reference collection and indispensable to the collector of Greek maps. Like all really good map reference books, it was many years in preparation. A total of 2173 maps of Greece and its regions are listed, and hundreds of these are illustrated. It is surprising that such an expensive book intended as a permanent reference was issued in paperback, but this may be due to a lack of production facilities in Greek-held Cyprus.
Collectors or dealers may wish to subscribe to Mapline, published by the New- berry Library. This is a quarterly newsletter with articles, news of the map world, and reviews of recently published books. The rate is $5.00 per year from Mapline, The Newberry Library, 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60610.
A notice was received announcing the formation of the Delaware Valley Map Society. For further details, write D.V.M.S., 33 Benezet St., Philadelphia, PA 19118, or phone 215-242-4750.
David C. Jolly
Appeared in Volume 2 (1984).
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