Wednesday, 25 March 2009

O-maps archive handed over

A reception was held in Trinity College, Dublin, on 25th March, to mark the handing over of about 1000 Irish orienteering maps to the Glucksman Map Library in the College. IOA Chairman and Mapping Officer, Marcus Geoghegan, formally handed the maps to College Librarian Robin Adams (see photo) who accepted them on behalf of the library. The coordinator of the project, which was first proposed 15 years ago, was Brian Hollinshead, with help from provincial mapping enthusiasts Pat Healy (Leinster), Paul Hourihan (Munster), Bill Simpson (Ulster) and Frank Ryan (Connacht), all of whom were present.
In his handover speech, Marcus illustrated the many types of information on an orienteering map which might be of use to non-orienteers in years to come: old boundaries, ruined buildings and changes in vegetation among them. Much of the man-made detail on orienteering maps dates from Famine times when the population was far greater than in is today, so that old walls and field boundaries are captured on our maps but could be ignored by other map makers.
The orienteers present represented a cross section of the O-community but with a good representation from those who were involved in the early days: Joss and Nora Lynam, Seán Rothery, Liam and Hazel Convery, Robert Garrett, Ted and Brendan McGrath were there; so too were elder statesmen like Andrew Bonar Law (or just plain"ABL" as he used to put on his control card, in the days when we used control cards), Brian Power, Mick Kellett, Brendan Doherty and more, with representatives from the Ordnance Survey, TCD and the Dublin Mountains Initiative.
The project involved many orienteers scouring their dusty attics looking for obscure maps, old and new, and could not have been accomplished without the cooperation of many orienteers from all clubs and all parts of the country. Now that the ground work has been done, IOA plans to supply the map library with copies of every new O-map. Map Librarian Paul Ferguson was almost too polite to point out that they are already entitled to a copy of every map printed in any case, but they were grateful for this recent addition to their archive and, particularly, that it had already been catalogued by the time they received the collection.
A display of some of the maps, dating back some 40 years, was also mounted by the Library staff.
The Map Library is open to the public for research purposes and visits on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and Wednesday mornings, but the staff like visitors to contact them in advance to make an appointment. Visit their web site here.

No comments: