Appeals: Maps

Click to follow
The Independent Online
(Photograph omitted)

A later engraved impression of Captain John Smith's map of New England, first printed in 1616, and now belonging to the Map Library of the British Library, in London. Captain Smith's map, drawn during a voyage of exploration in 1614, gave the Indian villages new British names, so that they appeared to be European settlements: London, Boston, Ipswich, Edinburgh and Sandwich are all mentioned as 'colonised' four years before the Mayflower landed. 'The new names suppressed Indian cultural identity and began to make them aliens in their own land.' So wrote the late Professor Brian Harley, the historical cartographer.

The JB Harley Research Fellowships in the History of Cartography have recently been formed in memory of Harley by the British Library, the National Maritime Museum, the Public Record Office and the Royal Geographical Society: they are designed to help scholars from any country to study the exceptional map collections at all four institutions in London. Each award will ease the cost of living in London; many young graduate students are deterred from coming to do research in the capital because of the expense. The foundation needs to raise a capital sum of pounds 40,000 to provide an annual two or three fellowships to be awarded, of two or four weeks' duration, each year. Candidates must be studying the history of cartography, be working towards publication and prepared to participate in activities in the history of cartography in London. Research need not be limited to British topics.

Professor Brian Harley (1932-1991) was widely known amongst scholars for his pioneering work in the study of maps. He maintained that there was more to a map than simply geography, that it reflected cultures and events and was a social document. Harley's career - teaching at three British universities and a spell in book publishing - ended with a professorship of geography at Wisconsin-Milwaukee University, in the United States, on the strength of his multi- disciplinary project 'The History of Cartography', involving over 130 scholars throughout the world. It is the first comprehensive history of maps in world cultures; unfortunately, Harley died before reaching the 18th and 19th centuries, periods in which he particularly specialised.

For further information, contact: The JB Harley Research Fellowships, c/o Map Library, British Library, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG, telephone 071-323 7525.

The Ullapool Museum Trust, which formed in 1988, is trying to raise funds to convert its local parish church, built in 1829 by Thomas Telford but unused since 1935, into a local museum. The trust is building on the success of a bicentenary community exhibition held in 1988 showing local life during the previous two centuries, including crofting, fishing, education, religion and emigration. Local people have lent artefacts, photographs, letters, handmade quilts and their memories about the history of the land and the people of Lochbroom and Coigach. Since then the exhibition has attracted over 9,000 visitors each year. Once the church is converted the exhibition will include further information about the area's local natural history: the district has one of the richest collections of lichens in western Europe and a wide range of marine life in the sea- lochs. Building work to the church, so that it is suitable as a permanent museum while retaining its important historical features, will cost about pounds 150,000.

The Ullapool Museum Trust, 7 & 8 West Argyle Street, Ullapool, Ross- shire, Scotland IV26 2TY, telephone 0854 612751.

Youth Adventure, founded four years ago, assists young people from deprived backgrounds throughout the UK to achieve a personal challenge, adventure or enterprise. The young person might have a learning difficulty, be homeless or in residential care; they may not be able to join organised activities because of lack of parental funds, or may not have access to a local youth club because it has closed down or not got facilities for the disabled. So far, Youth Adventure has helped 2,000 individuals: Leroy, for instance, recently planned to go on a mountaineering trip with some friends but his mother could not afford the pounds 250 cost. So he organised a sponsored walk and raised all but pounds 80 of the total - he approached Youth Adventure which gave him the top- up because he had shown a commitment to self-help. Others helped have been an 18-year-old who needed pounds 20 for a stained-glass window- making course and a 15-year-old Asian girl who needed pounds 100 for batik equipment. Youth Adventure needs to raise pounds 52,000 and find more volunteers if it is to continue its work next year.

Youth Adventure, Malden Hall, Herbert Street, London NW5 4HD, telephone 071-267 3286.