THE Bodleian Library in Oxford is seeking support for its unparalleled and internationally recognised collection of 1.3 million maps.

Staff say 2019 is the year of the map at the Bodleian, during which it will be celebrating its maps, the stories they tell, and the people that made and use them.

To launch this programme of activity, the Bodleian is hoping to raise over £50,000 towards the work of its Maps Department – home to one of the world’s principal cartographic collections.

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Led by Map Librarian Nick Millea, the department operates on an acquisitions budget of £30,000 a year, and relies heavily on the generosity of donors to help preserve rare and historic maps for research and public exhibitions.

Mr Millea said: “We couldn’t grow and preserve our map collection without philanthropy. It’s just great to know that there are people out there who have an interest in maps, and feel as passionately about them as we do.”

The money raised through the appeal will enable Mr Millea and his team to make important new map acquisitions, both historic and modern. It will also allow them to support research at the highest level and preserve the most fragile maps. An exhibition entitled Talking Maps will run from July 5 to March 1, bringing together many of the Bodleian’s greatest map treasures. Highlights include The Gough Map from the late medieval period.