The IMCoS / Helen Wallis Award

The International Map Collectors’ Society has been presenting an Award since 1983. Initially, it was designated the R. V. Tooley Award, after the famous London map seller and map specialist. In 1995, however, the Award was renamed the Helen Wallis Award, in memory of our Chairman and well known scholar and researcher Dr Helen Margaret Wallis (1924–1995). She held the post of Map Librarian of the Map Room in the British Museum (later British Library) from 1967 till 1986. A Festschrift on the occasion of R. V. Tooley’s 75th birthday was co-authored by Dr Wallis and our past President Dr Sarah Tyacke in 1973. The title and content of My head is a map nicely documents the interconnecting lines between the various categories of IMCoS members, such as collectors, dealers, academics, librarians, map curators, etc. The Award comprises of a salver and – in later years – a certificate, as testimony to its presentation. The salver remains in possession of the Winner for the year and is then returned to the Society for handing over to the next Winner. All names are duly inscribed on the salver; see the list of Past Winners below.

Policy scope
• The winner of the Helen Wallis Award is selected annually in accordance with the current IMCoS policy.
• The Helen Wallis Award sub-committee working with this policy is independent in its decisions; neither during the selection process nor thereafter may pressure be brought to bear with the intention to change, alter or prevent the outcome of the selection process.
• The IMCoS membership may be asked to suggest suitable candidates to be submitted not later than 15 February of each calendar year; it will be up to the sub-committee to consider, accept, or refuse membership suggestions.
• IMCoS as a society comprises of map collectors, map dealers, librarians and academics in the field of historical cartography. In the long term, the list of Award winners should reflect this fact, however, no prescribed sequence is required in the short term.
B Award winner profile
The Constitution of the Society states that IMCoS, as a Society, “shall encourage map collecting and preservation and promote research and publications thereof, all in its widest sense and internationally so”.
• The Helen Wallis Award goes to an individual, who in the opinion of the selection sub-committee has been responsible for cartographic contributions of great merit and wide interest to map collectors worldwide. Though the Award is intended to recognise individual merit, in special circumstances a group of people or an organisation could be eligible.
C Guidelines for consideration of potential Award Winners
• As a matter of principle, “great merit to map collectors” includes all activities of those, actively engaged in collecting early maps, studying early maps or working with early maps, as researching, dealing and collecting are intricately interwoven. No single category can adequately access early maps without facilitation and cross-fertilization by the other categories.
• Map collectors shall, in order to qualify for the Award, have a good collection, and be active in the field and share the knowledge of maps with others and make their maps accessible to others.
• Dealers shall do more than just deal, but be knowledgeable, promote research and maybe, publish on maps and charts as applicable. Their catalogues shall reflect these viewpoints.
• Librarians shall actively promote the history of cartography and be known to assist collectors in researching maps and charts.
• Academics shall be of reputable status and have published on map history for an extended period of time.
• All categories shall display their enthusiasm by actively promoting the history of cartography, be that through study, publications, assistance to other categories (for example as benefactors) or in the field of organizing societies, visits, symposia, exhibitions, talks, internet activities or the like.

IMCoS policy prescribes that the Award Winner will be selected by the Helen Wallis Award Selection Sub-Committee, consisting of a Chairman and two members, each with a different term of office, to ensure both fresh ideas becoming available and maintaining a measure of continuity. In general, the Award is handed over during the Annual Dinner of the Society in the June weekend in London, normally held in conjunction with the London Map Fair. The current Chairman of the selection Committee is Peter Barber, past Head of Maps at the British Library.

The IMCoS R. V. Tooley Award has been bestowed upon:

1983 Valerie G. Scott
1984 Kenneth Nebenzahl
1985 Rodney W. Shirley
1986 Helen Wallis
1987 Mireille Pastoureau
1988 Malcolm R. Young
1989 Eila M. J. Campbell
1990 The Cultural Foundation of the Bank of Cyprus
1991 Margaret Wilkes
1992 David Woodward and J.B. Harley
1993 Nico Israel
1994 Catherine Delano Smith
1995 Francis Herbert

The IMCoS Helen Wallis Award has, so far, been bestowed upon:

1996 Montserrat Galera i Monegal
1997 Norman J. W. Thrower
1998 Susan Gole
1999 Günter Schilder
2000 Tony Campbell
2001 Oswald Dreyer-Eimbcke
2002 Joseph H. Fitzgerald
2003 Hans D. A. Kok
2004 David Webb
2005 Peter C. J. van der Krogt
2006 Tomasz Niewodniczanski
2007 Peter Barber
2008 Wulf Bodenstein
2009 Zsolt Török
2010 Jonathan Potter
2011 Albert Ganado
2012 Harold Osher
2013 Paula van Gestel-van het Schip
2014 Ulla Ehrensvärd
2015 Paul Harvey
2016 Catherine Hoffman
2017 Vladimiro Valerio
2018 Roger Baskes
2019 Jürgen Espenhorst
2020 No award as in Covid-19 pandemic lockdown
2021 Philip Burden                                                                                                                                                                          2022 No award made                                                                                                                                                                    2023 Hans-Ulli Feldmann