Friday, August 09, 2013

Cairt: Newsletter of the Scottish Maps Forum

The National Library of Scotland have just published the latest issue of Cairt, the newsletter of the Scottish Maps Forum available to read here. The bulletin, issued twice per year, is a useful resource for information on new websites and online resources, and gives the lowdown on research projects using historical maps.

This most recent issue charts the creative residences of Shetland-based textile artist Diane Garrick and writer and broadcaster Tom Pow. The two were set the task of using the Library's extensive Bartholomew Archive to engage groups of visitors who may not have otherwise used the collection, to experience it for themselves.

During her Residency, Diane produced a number of textile works which were inspired by the archive and the Library's general collection of maps. This made us pause to consider how resources as quantitative in nature as maps can be reconstructed in a creative process which imbues place with personal meaning. With the rise of digital mapping through resources we've blogged about in the past such as Pastmap and Cartogrammar, this is an interesting perspective, reified by considering the painstaking efforts which cartographers in earlier centuries endured to bring us beautifully illustrated maps. Textile mapping is one example of the creative potential contained in map collections, and possibly other, data-intensive resources regularly consulted by architects and engineers.

'Cairt' is the Gaelic and seventeenth-century Scots word for map. Back-runs of previous issues can be found here as pdf files. It's possible to be added to be added to the mailing list to receive the 'Cairt' newsletter and information about events by emailing