16 August 2018: Preserving the evidence: the trials of an early modern map

When a map was first opened by the conservation team at The National Archives, out fell endless fragments of paper and began an investigation back to 1725. In this talk, Sonja Schwoll, ACR, and Susan Littledale, take you behind the scenes of how conservation scientists rescued a map that lay at the heart of a 70 year dispute and reveals the court battle that took place over the will of a Mr Samuel Travers.

Sonja Schwoll is Senior Conservation Manager at TNA, and prior to this she was an independent book conservator and has taught book conservation at Camberwell College of Arts and West dean College for over ten years. Susan Littledale is a former producer for BBC Radio Four and is one of our members. Since retiring she has undertaken historical research on a variety of topics and she, and Sonja Schwoll, recently published an article on Samuel Travers and the map in Magna, the Friends’ magazine.


30 August 2018: Great escapes: the story of MI9’s secret maps

In 1939, MI9, a newly-established intelligence branch of the War Office, was charged with organising the escape and evasion of British military personnel. Maps were identified as the basic need for any successful escaper and so began a huge map production programme. In this talk, Dr Barbara Bond will draw on The National Archives’ collection of World War Two escape and evasion maps previously held by the Ministry of Defence, revealing the methods used to get maps to prisoners, the human stories behind these maps and the significance of this collection on historical military mapping.

Dr Barbara Bond spent her career as a cartographic researcher in the Ministry of Defence. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, former President of the British Cartographic Society and was inducted into the United States National Geospatial Intelligence Agency’s Hall of Fame in 2017. She is a long time user of The National Archives and is also one of our members, and author of Great Escapes, which is based on her doctoral research and long-standing interest in MI9’s mapping programme.


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