Alert on map thefts

s a graduate of the University of Wales in Aberystwyth, who made much use of the National Library of Wales, I’d like to help publicise the appeal for the capture of a serial map thief called Peter Joseph Bellwood. Bellwood goes to various libraries, including the NLW, handing over money he claimed to have found on the floor in order to gain the librarians’ confidence (probably his own money), and then cuts out maps from rare books, so he can take them away and sell them. The BBC’s Crimewatch programme has just done an appeal on him; there is a BBC News article on the appeal here.

The NLW is a copyright library, one of five in the UK (the others being in London, Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh) with the right to collect, free of charge, any book published in Britain or Ireland. It has many valuable collections of manuscripts and maps, particularly those of Welsh and other Celtic interest.

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