An interview with Marco van Egmond, curator of maps, atlases and (early) printed works at Special Collections of the University Library
What do you do?
My main task is the cataloguing and sustainable preservation of our documents. We have quite a few of them actually; in our depositories 1.5 million items are stored.
We think it is very important to make this material digitally available for education and research and we invest a lot in innovative projects. I write articles and give presentations about our works and of course we try to save our heritage for future generations.
Generally speaking we have four kinds of documents at Special Collections: manuscripts, printed works, archival collections and cartographic works. The last category, maps and atlases, is my speciality.
Often we give items on loan to exhibitions. For instance, manuscripts from our collections are part of the exhibition Perkament in stukken (‘Parchment to pieces’) in the Utrecht Archives. Sometimes our works go on longer journeys and I may accompany them in my role as curator. Cartographic top pieces have been given on loan to Museum aan de Stroom in Antwerp and I have travelled to the National Library in Singapore together with the Buginese Sea Chart.
What do you like most about your job?
I have always been into maps.