One of the most popular highlights in the calendar is the annual International Symposium.
It convenes, usually for three or for four days, in a different country each year, normally in September/October, giving members a chance to gain an insight into the culture and history of the host country through its maps as well as a program of visits.
In 2012 we were pleased to put on a wonderful Symposium in Vienna. The format of the programme was typical of previous events – three mornings of talks from experts in their field related to a designated cartographic theme followed by afternoon visits to sites of cartographic interest. In 2012 the event was in Commemoration of Mercator's 500th Birthday.
In 2013 the International Symposium will be held in Fairbanks, Alaska 8th-11th September. We hope you will be able to join us. Keep checking the website as we add more information. We do hope that as many of you will join us as possible. Non-members, too, are always cordially invited to join us. Check out the programme.
Speaking to regular attendees who have participated in the Symposium programmes in many parts of the world, they will tell you that it has provided them with the opportunity to see some of the most important maps and related documents in existence, for example the Juan de La Cosa map in Spain, the Cantino World Map in Italy, the Treaty of Waitangi between the Maori’s and the British in New Zealand, and many others. Each host country visited has set out its best cartographic material for IMCoS and members are indeed privileged to see it. Participants experience the warm hospitality of hosts happy to share their cartographic treasures with a global audience.
Studying cartography in this manner naturally provides exposure and insight to local history and culture. In Budapest, for example, participants discovered how varied, and at times vulnerable, the history and culture of a nation can be when it is situated in the heart of a great continent, where the ambitions of peoples from north, south, east and west create tidal waves of conquest and the redrawing of maps in the process.
As well as the excitement and intensity of the Symposium, more relaxing pre or post-conference tours may be arranged. This gives further exposure to the culture of the host country and a wonderful opportunity to consolidate new friendships and spend more time with old friends who you might have missed during the hectic days of the Symposium itself. In London in 2010, for example, the main tour visited Hereford to see the Mappa Mundi and two typical but different stately homes, and a further day was devoted to the map collection at Hatfield House.
Our series of International meetings began in 1982 and except for 1983 and 2006 we have held an International Symposium every year. The following is the complete list, showing a wide variety of places in the Americas, Europe, and Australasia.
David Webb, the official IMCoS photographer can be seen here with a (self-made) T-shirt depicting all International Symposium meetings since IMCoS’ inauguration. David is the only member to have been to all but one of the international meetings. David has provided the majority of the photos to these web pages.
|2006 -||1992 Madrid, Spain|
|2005 Denver, USA||1991 Singapore|
|2004 Modena & Florence, Italy||1991 Sydney, Australia|
|2003 Nicosia, Cyprus||1990 Washington D.C., USA|
|2002 Amsterdam, The Netherlands||1989 Athens, Greece|
|2001 Chicago & Milwaukee, USA||1988 Dubrovnik & Zagreb, Yugoslavia|
|2000 Reykjavik, Iceland||1987 Jerusalem, Israel|
|1999 Istanbul, Turkey||1986 Barcelona, Spain|
|1998 Tokyo, Japan||1985 Helsinki, Finland|
|1997 Budapest, Hungary||1984 Nicosia, Cyprus|
|1996 Riga, Latvia||1983 -|
|1995 San Francisco, USA||1982 Amsterdam, The Netherlands|
|1994 Antwerp, Belgium||1981 -|
|1993 Mainz & Bonn, Germany||1980 Founding of IMCoS|