Historic Towns Atlases Forum

Dear Visitor,

This Historic Towns Atlases Forum is a service established by the Institut für vergleichende Städtegeschichte (Institute for Comparative Urban History) – IStG in Münster, Germany. It is intended to provide an easy means for information, exchange and discussion about the European Historic Towns Atlases.

Its primary purpose is to serve those who work in the national and regional projects publishing such atlases under the auspices of the ‘Atlas Working Group’ of the International Commission for the History of Towns. These independent regional and national projects in twenty European countries aim to produce a corpus of cartographic and pictorial source material, as well as historical data, from which to explore the topographical history of European towns in a comparative way.

In order to achieve this goal and develop a repository of usable sources, comparability and standardisation of the output must be a common focus. This was one reason to initiate this forum. The other, not less desirable, is to be able to help each other with questions and problems regarding the theory and practice of atlas making.

This is more important than ever as the projects are adapting to the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for producing the printed atlases and digital research data. In doing so, the forms and formats of data become more and more important if the material is to be used and processed digitally by other researchers in their studies: ‘compatibility’ is a prerequisite for ‘comparability’. For that reason, the forum should also act as a bridge between the Historic Towns Atlas projects and the scientific community dealing with European towns, topography and urbanism at large.

Reading access to the forum is limited to establish an exchange in a closed and protected enviroment. However you are very welcome to bring your expertise into the discussion. To obtain credentials for accessing the forum, please contact Dr. Daniel Stracke.