[Image: Fragment of the Gough Map]
[Image: Fragment of the Gough Map]

Linguistic Geographies: The Gough Map of Great Britain

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Gough Map collotypes

Posted on 17 March 2011 by Nick Millea 

Report on a meeting on the Gough Map collotypes, held 3 November 2008 Present: John Barrett, Nick Cistone, Dana Josephson, Nick Millea, Marinita Stiglitz (Bodleian); Terry Hardaker, David Phipps (ex-Oxford University Press) Nick and David examining the Gough Map The meeting was set up following the October 2008 digital capture of the OUP’s negatives for the 1958-produced Gough Map collotype facsimile. Ex-OUP Cartography and Oxford Cartographers mainstay Terry Hardaker had successfully tracked down the individual involved in the creation of the collotypes in 1957/58, David Phipps, who still lives locally, and he was delighted to join us and explain the processes involved fifty years ago. David outlined the following details:

  • The production of the glass plates with glass sensitive gelatine and the successive printing took approximately one year, but David could not remember how long was required for filming and retouching, or whether the original map was available to the retouchers;
  • The photography was completed on OUP premises, using the massive gallery camera, which needed two rooms to operate in – it was manufactured by S.R. Littlejohn;
  • The map was delivered to OUP unframed for the photography, and placed on a sprung copper bed, which gently pushed the map up to a glass cover, thus keeping the manuscript relatively flat;
  • David was uncertain how the map was transported from Bodley to OUP and back;
  • The map was in OUP only for the time the photographs were taken.
The manual retouching of the negatives included some errors, e.g. not all red lines were removed from the green negative. The glass plates now held at the Bodleian consist of:
  • Background x 2 (north and south side of the map)
  • Gold x 1 (south side of the map)
  • Green x 2 (north and south side of the map)
  • Key x 2 (north and south side of the map) – the “key” negative was not necessarily black, but a predominant colour (possible to say which?).
  • Red x 2 (north and south side of the map)
Possible further action: We wondered whether the OUP Archive has any details of the extent of the print run - David felt that 500 would be an absolute maximum for gelatine collotypes.

  • © 2011 King's College London