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.

Each year we organise at least one visit to an important map collection in the UK or Europe. 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. More recently there was an exciting weekend in Norwich  and we will be visiting the wonderful city of Durham in 2016.


Figs 1 and 2: Participants during the very successful Norwich Weekend.

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.

This, combined with the London Map Fair (see below) has become a regular entry in every map lover's diary.


International Symposia also include social events; Enjoying a meal at TJ Kim's mother's restaurant in Seoul, October 2014.

The London 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 venue is again the rooms of the Royal Geographical Society and the fair is always well attanded. See our Events page for the latest dates. Attendance to the map fair is free.

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. Recent winners have been Harald Osher, Paula van Gestel-van het Schilp and the current winner, Ulla Ehrensvärd, all well-known and well-respected figures in the map lovers' community.

A group photo of past of winners of the Helen Wallis Award.

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, the Society supported the Mappa Mundi Conference in Hereford organised by Hereford Cathedral Library.

An International Symposium, usually in 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 more than 25 cities in over 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 2014 our International Symposium took place in Korea. In 2016 we will visit Chicago - read about it in our Journal or refer to the Events page!

The IMCoS table at a recent London Map Fair - a MUST for any true Map Lover!