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winner of Best Paper Award Journal of Map and Geography Libraries/Geoscapes

It gives the Co-Editors of the Journal of Map & Geography Libraries great pleasure to announce that the article authored by Marco Petrella, “Guillaume DeLisle’s Carte du Duche de Bourgogne: the Role of Central and Peripheral Authorities in the Construction of a Provincial Territory in France in the Early 18th Century” has won the Best Paper of the Year Award for Volume 5 (2009). This paper was the unanimous choice of the award committee, based on it meeting all aspects of the committee’s selection criteria. Members of the selection committee noted “it has the most relevance to current issues and trends from an international perspective, has wide ranging relevance to practitioners, high value and was very well presented.” Mr. Petrella’s enthusiasm for historical cartographic research and attention to detail are clearly present in his article about one of early cartography’s well-known masters, Guillaume Delisle, and his map that moved the science and art of mapmaking in a new direction. The waning years of King Louis XIV’s reign saw major changes in society, particularly in the historical timeframe that has come to be known as the Age of Enlightenment, with shifts in political power, military situations, and broader access to knowledge. Delisle’s map, Carte du Duche de Bourgogne, produced in two sheets in 1709, is but one reflection of a host of these changes. Mr. Petrella states, “One of the objectives of this paper is that of reconstructing the evolution of those relationships, which significantly show the passage from the absolutism of Louis XIV to the crisis of the centralizing model.” This article brings out a host of information on many levels, from the founding of France’s Royal Academy of Sciences (Academie Royale des Sciences) in 1666 and Delisle’s role and position within it, to the military situation of the time and how that impacted information shown on the map. It also includes a description of the person of Guillaume Delisle, and his trials and tribulations, and includes the bigger picture of the creation and recognition of a new political province in France, Burgundy. It is a fascinating read with the interplay of various forces at different levels and times, was extensively researched as witnessed by the voluminous footnotes, and is enhanced by several illustrations of not only the specific map in question, but parts of others that played a role in the creation of the Carte du Duche de Bourgogne. Finally, another outcome of this article is that it shows the importance of retaining manuscript and archival materials; many of the details surrounding the creation of this historic map would not be known today had the associated records and maps not been kept and safeguarded for future generations. Congratulations are extended to Marco Petrella for providing readers and researchers everywhere an article that is informative, insightful, and eye-catching, and that will extend conversations about the history of mapmaking in France into the future. Note: this announcement will be published in the forthcoming Vol. 6, No. 1 (Jan. 2010) issue of the journal. Paige Andrew, Kathy Weimer and Mary Lynette Larsgaard Co-Editors, Journal of Map and Geography Libraries/Geoscapes

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