AGM June 2017 Chairman’s report

Good Morning, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our Annual General Meeting has been called in accordance with Article 14 of our Constitution. I would like to welcome you all on behalf of our Executive Committee; it is nice to know that our membership comprises of some loyal members, who participate in the AGM, which is not normally a favourite pastime of members in general We so much more appreciate that you have taken the trouble of attending and act as a sounding board for the Executive Committee, which depends on feed-back from the members ; it would otherwise become a very autocratic institution. I have, like most other years, prepared a statement as chairman’s report in order to ensure that the information provided on our website will be the same as delivered here during the official meeting.
We have received apologies from the following members who are unable to attend: Peter Walker, Ian Harvey, Jenny Harvey, both at this time preparing the IMCOS stand at the London Map Fair in this building.

We have had our usual four Committee meetings in 2016, necessary to run the Society and come up with solutions when problems pop-up, whatever their nature. Extensive E-mail exchanges between Committee members have occurred as being the quickest reliable way of communication complemented with the telephone conversations where indispensable.

By far the most important accomplishment in 2016 was the introduction of a new IMCOS website with more features than before. The main work was done by Peter Walker and Ljiljana Ortolja-Baird with back-up from Jenny Harvey. The selection of the supplier of the website was thankfully fairly straightforward and putting it in operation went also without too many hiccups and delays. As chairman, I tend to be pessimistic on delivery-dates of digital projects, but I must admit that my worries and wish to have a midsummer delivery, avoiding year-end problems with renewals of membership, were largely superfluous in the end. Peter Walker regrettably is unable to attend our AGM, but I feel a round of applause for the whole web-team, including Peter is very much in order.
Remains to be said that your chairman is very happy with the cooperation and support he is enjoying in the Executive Committee and from the President. For myself, old age is encroaching quicker than I want to acknowledge and a successor, more acquainted with the digital world would be a blessing for the Society, I feel. There is a difference between tending shop and devising new ways for our Society’s future; so suggestions are more than welcome.

The IMCoS Journals have been prepared, as usual, by our editor Ljiljana, including the 2016 Summer Journal with Wesley Brown as USA guest editor in view of our Chicago Symposium in October. The chairman and the committee are very happy in this respect and we trust the membership is also. The comments that do reach us are favourable; we realize that the Journal is the only connection between the Society and its members for those living abroad and without any practical access to the proceedings in the United Kingdom. We feel that the regular June weekend in 2016 was as successful as ever and hope the membership has arrived at the same judgement.

In April 2016, we had a nice outing, organised by Valerie Newby, to Durham with our Helen Wallis Award Winner 2015, Professor Paul Harvey, attending. Jenny and Ian Harvey and Raymond Eddy provided the exhibits for a very nice exposition there.

The 2016 Malcolm Young lecture was held by our President Peter Barber, a high quality lecture and delivered in his usual professional and witty way The Helen Wallis Award for 2016 was presented to Catherine Hofmann of the Bibliothèque national de France in Paris As Tony Campbell had to attend a conference in Lisbon, our Vice-President Valerie Newby-Scott delivered Tony’s laudation in his stead and a number of slides showing Madame Hofmann were presented.

The AGM 2016 and the London Map Fair thereafter took place in the building of the Royal Geographical Society again, with the upstairs room being made available by the London Map fair organisers free of charge, just like today. Moreover the participating dealers chipped in for a donation to our Society, much appreciated as such, but also proof of the good relation, that our collectors’ Society maintains with the dealers that do provide collectors with the items they seek and information on these items.

In the international field, IMCoS have participated in the Chicago Symposium, ably organised by the James Akerman team of the Newberry Library there, and part of it was organised by Marcy Bidney’s team in Milwaukee. The main reason for this Symposium was the fiftieth anniversary of the Nebenzahl lectures, instigated by Kenneth and Jossy Nebenzahl and now a well-known part of the Chicago map scene. Kenneth Nebenzahl is the IMCoS National Representative for USA Central and has been a staunch supporter of our Society for many years.

We have been looking for space to house our IMCOS archive on a permanent basis, but so far no housing has been found suitable. It may be a matter of recurrent cost also; the Committee, in particular, Diana Webster, will be exploring options. Should cost become a significant factor, we will be asking for AGM approval in due time

In terms of our financial situation, I feel we may be content under the circumstances, and although a website is not a tangible asset, the Committee’s decision to spread the website cost over three years is prudent and showed to be acceptable to the scrutineers of the Annual Accounts. More information under Agenda item 4 from our Honorary Treasurer, who is honourable, Honorary and honoured in our Committee, all at the same time, but that applies to all members of the Executive Committee as far as I am concerned.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this concludes the Chairman’s report for 2016. I am available for questions but request you to address questions of a specific nature to the IMCOS officers involved as these items come up on the agenda.

Please allow me to add some ‘domestic’ information as well:
You have a choice of action, once the AGM is completed in full. Regulations of the LMF require that we either vacate the building by – say – 11.30 hrs and re-enter through the regular entrance at 12 noon when the Map Fair is open to the general public or remain cooped up in this room until 12 noon and enter the Map Fair from here.

Our 2017 Map Evening is scheduled for Thursday 21 September Details to follow on our website and in the Journal.
Hans Kok, Lisse, 29 May 2017