Four Decades, Three Libraries: A celebrated career in maps

Birmingham’s ‘BIG PEN’!!!!

The Iron Room

The new Library of Birmingham is now open and map resources are progressively in place and available.  However, one of our ‘institutions’ will not be there with us. For Richard Abbott, our long-serving map librarian, retired in September 2013 and his extensive knowledge and experience will be sorely missed by customers and staff alike.  Richard joined the reference library from the geography department of the University of Birmingham in the mists of time (1971 is mooted) and his knowledge of maps and mapping has shone through ever since.  Our guess is that retirement will not dim this enthusiasm!

In advance of the move to the Library of Birmingham, Richard has been working steadfastly to improve online access to map-based material by updating entries on our archival cataloguing system (see  In addition he has supervised the physical re-location of maps, atlases etc to our new home on floor…

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