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Imago Mundi


Imago Mundi: the International Journal for the History of Cartography

General Statement


What is Imago Mundi?

Imago Mundi is the only English-language scholarly periodical devoted exclusively to the history of maps, mapping and map-related ideas. It deals with all facets of the history and interpretation of maps and mapmaking in any part of the world, at any period.

All articles are refereed and represent original research. Only a selection of submitted texts are published, often after extensive revision. Some 70% of the articles and book reviews are by scholars living outside the UK; almost a third of them come from beyond the English-speaking world. The journal is now multi-disciplinary and over the last few years Imago Mundi has carried the insights of geographers, historians, art historians, historians of science, social scientists, and literary scholars. A biennial Imago Mundi Prize (awarded for the first time in 2005) is offered for the full-length article judged to have made the most significant contribution to the discipline.

History and current contents

Imago Mundi was founded in Berlin in 1935 by the Russian émigré Leo Bagrow. That first volume was in German but, thereafter, the text has been in English, with occasional articles in French. Only five volumes were published between 1935 and 1948; since 1975, the volumes have appeared annually. Volumes 27-46 were in hard covers; those before and since are paperback.

Imago Mundi has been published annually, in the summer. In 2003, Routledge Journals (part of the Taylor & Francis group), became the journal's publisher. Starting in 2004, it now appears twice-yearly, in February and August. The format is large (30x21 cm/11.5x8 in) and includes numerous illustrations (with colour added in 1997). Each annual volume has 8-10 articles. Keywords and abstracts are given in four languages (English, French, German and Spanish). All matters concerning subscription and distribution should be addressed to Informa (Taylor & Francis).

The journal's web pages include, among other information, a link to the Table of Contents and Abstracts for recent volumes (2003- ), searchable contents of the earlier run of volumes (1935-2002) and article abstracts since 1996, the editorial in volume 50, and a review article on the Vinland Map. For links to other freely available articles (on the Taylor & Francis website) see the foot of the journal's homepage.

From July 2004, the contents of the first 54 volumes (1935-2002) became available, in a fully searchable form, on the JSTOR website, in the section Arts & Sciences VII. This is a subscription service, accessible through relevant university and research libraries. However, individual subscribers to the current issue are provided with free access to the Imago Mundi backfile on JSTOR. This includes over 25 years of the subject's Bibliography [accessible by selecting 'Articles' on the JSTOR search screen].

In 2009, Taylor & Francis created page views (pdf) of the full run of back issues. Volumes from the present back to 1997 are available to institutional subscribers, while pre-1997 content can be accessed via their charged Arts & Humanities online archive package.

Issues from 2003 (vol. 55 onwards) are available, in searchable form, to subscribing institutions on the Taylor & Francis site.

Journal of record

From the outset, Imago Mundi included the key ingredients of every subsequent volume: illustrated scholarly articles, book reviews, bibliography, and chronicle. The last three elements, which together provide an up-to-date summary of current developments, make it a journal of record. The format of the much-admired Bibliography was established under the editorship of Francis Herbert in 1976, continued by Nick Millea from 2005, who was then temporarily replaced (2010-12) by Wouter Bracke, and has now returned to the post. It is provided with three indexes, of authors, places and subjects. Chronicle, an organized listing of personal and institutional news, conferences, exhibitions, acquisitions and map sales, was introduced in 1977. The Book Reviews Editors, Dr Ronald E Grim and John Moore, aim to feature a large majority of titles within twelve months of publication. The journal also carries obituaries, reports and short notices.

Abstracting Journals

Articles published in Imago Mundi may be found in abstracting journals such as the Bibliography of the History of Art, Historical Abstracts, Elsevier-Geo Abstracts and the British Humanities Index. The relevant articles are also included in Bibliographica Cartographica and the database of Iter: Gateway to the Middles Ages & Renaissance.

Editorial Board and Management Board

The Editor is assisted by two Associate Editors, Prof. Roger Kain and Dr. Mary Pedley, and an Assistant Editor, Mary Alice Lowenthal. Twenty-five National Representatives supply information about their country for the Bibliography and Chronicle. Imago Mundi Ltd is a non-profit-making company registered in the U.K. (Reg. No. 693460; Charity No. 313345). It is governed by a Board of Directors, the majority of whom live outside the U.K.

Other activities

Since 1964, Imago Mundi Ltd has selected the venue for, and then co-ordinated, the series of biennial International Conferences on the History of Cartography. Since 1995, Imago Mundi Ltd has also been responsible for publication of Who's Who in the History of Cartography: the International Guide to the Subject. The ninth edition ('D9'), of what had originally been entitled International Directory of Current Research, appeared in 1998.


Imago Mundi Ltd has no connection with the publication series 'Collection Imago Mundi' (directed by François Moreau), with Librairie Imago Mundi (Senonches, France), a bookseller specialising in History, Religion, Philosophy, &c.; with Imago Mundi Antique Maps Ltd, [formerly of] 40a Museum Street, London'; with Imago Mundi antiquarian booksellers in Buenos Aires, and apparently a publisher, also in Buenos Aires, or with any other organisation or business using that name
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