[ISHMap-List] List of maps found missing as a result of the Smiley affair

Tony Campbell tonycampbellockendon at gmail.com
Thu Jun 19 15:42:19 CEST 2014

Further on Michael Blanding's/The Map Thief: the gripping story of an 
esteemed rare-map dealer who made millions stealing priceless maps/(New 
York: Gotham Books, 2014).

Apart from the author's psychological insights intoForbes 
Smiley'scharacter and motivation, the book also contains valuable 
appendixes. The first (pp.223-232) lists the 'Maps Smiley admitted 
stealing'. Of considerably greater value, is the second (pp.233-48, 
itemising the 'Additional maps libraries reported missing'. As explained 
in the note (p.291) this was based on the list compiled by John Woram. 
However, and this is the significant bit:

"I have supplemented this list with my own research and reporting, 
verifying the information whenever possible with the curators at the 
institutions, most of whom were very open to assisting me. I also 
visited each of the six affected institutions and examined the books and 
maps themselves, in most cases personally viewing and photographing the 
items that have been recovered. While inevitably there may be errors in 
the listing, the final lists are as close to definitive as I have been 
able to make them."

Even if rare map dealers do not acquire the book they should certainly 
make sure to have those lists beside them when considering a future 
purchase of any similar item listed there. Otherwise the requirement for 
'due diligence' will not have been met.

Tony Campbell


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