Every year IMCoS stages a number of events, both for its members and all those interested in maps and mapping and who may like to accompany us to see whether IMCoS might be an association for them.
A visit to an important map collection in the UK or Europe takes place in March/April. Such visits usually feature collections rarely seen, such as the Queen's private collection at Windsor Castle. In 2009 we travelled to Paris to visit the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
June is an important month in the world of books and maps. The IMCoS weekend in London in late May or early June can comprise a warm-up cocktail party hosted by a London map or book dealer, a Symposium (every other year), the annual Dinner, which is preceeded by the Malcolm Young Lecture and the all-important Map Fair. The 2009 UK meeting, for example, was held at the Royal Geographical Society’s rooms in Kensington and the speaker was Francis Herbert, former Curator of Maps at the RGS, whose subject was Back to the drawing board: 120 years of map-making in the RGS. This weekend is held close to other related events, such as book fairs and auctions at the major London auction houses.
Spring trip 2009 with visit to Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Coronelli globes
The Map Fair has become a major international event which brings together over 50 dealers from different parts of the world offering quality maps, prints, antiquarian atlases, books and prints.
The annual Reception and Dinner is the opportunity for the IMCoS "family" to gather and celebrate its mutual interest in maps. The IMCoS-Helen Wallis Award is presented at the dinner in recognition of the cartographic contribution of greatest merit and widest interest to map collectors world-wide. In 2009 the award was made to Zsolt Torok for his contribution to map collecting.
A monthly lecture series from October to May entitled Maps and Society is held at the Warburg Institute in London and co-sponsored by the Society. The Society actively supports other cartographic events held in the UK; for example, in 1999 the Society supported the Mappa Mundi Conference in Hereford organised by Hereford Cathedral Library. We were fortunate to return to Hereford last year as part of our International Symposium.
An International Symposium in September/October each year is yet another way that IMCoS brings together members and disseminates information about maps. Our first International Symposium took place in Amsterdam in 1982. Since then we have visited 25 cities in 21 different countries. In 2009 our meeting took place in Oslo, Norway under the motto The Mapping and Exploration of Norway and the North and included visits to the National Library, the Norwegian Mapping Authority in Hønefoss and the Fram Museum with a gala dinner on the deck of that famous ship. In 2010 our International Symposium took place in London for the first time. In 2011 we experienced the hospitality of the Maltese. This year we will visit Fairbanks, Alaska in September - read about it in the Autumn Journal!
A scholarship, in the form of a travel grant to the value of £300, is available annually for a young member under the age of 32 to attend a cartographic Symposium outside his or her home country. In return the recipient publishes a report of the event in the IMCoS Journal.