With timely financial backing from the University—the USOE award was not to be drawn upon before 16 June—the Project was able to convene a planning conference from 26 May to 28 May. Twelve outside participants, representing ten American universities, then joined fourteen Minnesota scholars, the director of the University of Minnesota Press, and Mr. Ames to discuss in detail the atlas work already completed, the proposed contents, research procedures, manner of presentation of findings, and various methodological issues associated with the work. Given the wide range of disciplines and specializations represented, the meeting generated a stimulating exchange of ideas, not a few of which were sub- sequently utilized. Further, the discussions dispelled any lingering doubts about the practicability of the undertaking. To further the work of the conference a thirteen-member Editorial Advisory Board (whose members are named in the acknowledgments) was selected. Although this board never held a plenary session after its establishments, the individual members were regularly kept informed of the progress of the work, and each of them was on various occasions able to pro- vide the Project with valuable advice or substantive assistance.
In view of the timing of the USOE award, recruitment of a new atlas staff at first proceeded slowly. The autumn of 1966, however, did witness a number of staff additions, among whom we must note Eleanor Zelliot and Raj B. Mathur. Zelliot, then a doctoral candidate working under Further at the University of Penn- sylvania, replaced Stein in the Department of History and was given a concurrent part-time position with the Project. Mathur, having demonstrated his abilities as a cartographer while working for Schwartzberg in India, was induced to leave his job with the Regional Planning Section of the Indian Statistical Institute to come to Minnesota to pursue a doctoral degree in geography while also holding a half- time atlas research fellowship. In May 1967 Shiva G. Bajpai, a new Ph.D. in his- tory from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and a former teacher of ancient Indian history at Banaras Hindu University, joined the Project full time, Bajpai, a student of A. L. Basham and J. G. de Casparis, was "discovered," as it were, by Stein while the latter was en route to India for a period of research. Recognizing in him certain abilities that made him uniquely qualified to work on the atlas, Stein recommended that he be invited to do so.
In June 1967, the deluge! The atlas staff was suddenly expanded to seventeen persons, most of them full time, and by July there were eighteen. Most of the new- comers were Minnesota graduate students in geography; two were in other disci- plines; and two doctoral students (one in geography and one in history) were enrolled at other universities. In addition there was Hume Crowe, a long-time career officer in the British Indian Army and since 1947 a member of the French Foreign Legion, a lumberjack in Canada, and a jack of divers trades elsewhere, who had recently earned a master's degree in history in the South Asian program at the University of Wisconsin. Of the summer appointees only Crowe remained beyond September.
The summer of 1967 was a season of buoyancy, experimentation, and accom- plishment, even though there were substantially more atlas workers than could be efficiently supervised. Although many new and varied maps were produced, the quality of work at times left much to be desired. Certain maps were pushed through to "completion" before the problem at hand was fully thought out, mak- ing later integration of the work with other parts of the atlas difficult. In short, much—perhaps most—of what was achieved later had to be redone. But collec- tively, largely through trial and error, what seemed to be the optimal methods for researching and drawing a diversity of maps became apparent. This was particu- larly true in regard to the mapping of political history for those periods—most of South Asian history—when discrete political boundaries did not exist.
A major achievement of the summer was the preparation of a complete dummy atlas, laying out what each atlas plate was to contain and indicating the format and scale of each of the proposed maps and of ancillary tables, graphs, and illus- trations. Only then did the awesome dimensions of the task become evident, and only then did it become clear that the previously anticipated total of about 250 maps was probably less than half the likely total. (Ultimately it proved closer to a third.) While never punctiliously followed, the dummy did serve as a general working guide for the rest of the period of map compilation and proved highly useful in later dealings with funding agencies and publishers as an illustration of the anticipated product.
The Twenty-seventh International Congress of Orientalists, held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in late August 1967, provided a climax for the summer's labors. This large gathering afforded an excellent opportunity for subjecting the atlas work produced till then to the critical scrutiny of South Asianists from all parts of the world, a selected group of whom were invited to view a large display of atlas maps and informally discuss them. As anticipated, criticism of the work, mostly con- structive, was offered in abundance, happily mixed with an encouraging measure of praise. Among those present was Dr. Lawrence Leshnik, an archaeologist, who pointed out a number of significant lacunae and misconstructions in our maps re- lating to pre- and protohistory. In light of the depth of his interest and expertise, Leshnik was invited to submit to the atlas his own versions of what the maps ought best to contain; his agreement to do so led to years of fruitful collaboration. The congress also provided the editor the first of many meetings with A. L. Basham, who over the years to follow was to render the Project much valuable advice and substantive assistance. A final notable benefit of the congress was that word of the atlas was spread to many foreign scholars not aware of the Project's existence.
The experience at Ann Arbor set a precedent for future relations with the scholarly community. Thereafter, when suitable opportunities presented them- selves, the Project sought to have one or more of its staff members present papers relative to atlas research in progress or completed, or to the work as a whole, and to arrange map displays as a means of eliciting useful criticism and stimulating
The editor's trip to South Asia to attend the congress in New Delhi was ex- tended for two months to permit him to participate in the Thirtieth Indian History Congress, which soon followed in Bhagalpur; to give talks on the atlas at a num- ber of universities or at extramural scholarly gatherings; to visit many government agencies and libraries to obtain needed data; and to contract with Shri G. D. Khullar of the Indian National Museum to provide the Project with basic data and photographs from the archives of the Archaeological Survey for atlas plates relating to art history. Continuing his trip in Europe, the editor made further schol- arly contacts at several major centers for South Asian studies, discussed at length the mapping of archaeological data with Leshnik at Heidelberg, and visited sev- eral cartographic firms to investigate the prospects of their handling the final drafting of atlas plates.
After the Ann Arbor congress, atlas work settled into a more normal routine. Given the major reduction in staff, the rate of output inevitably slowed down, but the quality of the work was on the whole notably improved. The United States Office of Education renewed its grant for a second eighteen-month period extend- ing through the spring of 1969. But because the Project could not attract all the personnel it needed or retain certain staff members, especially graduate students who left on completing their degrees or to do field research, a portion of the USOE award remained unspent when the full three-year grant period expired. The period was accordingly extended to September 1969, and an additional grant permitted the Project to continue through the summer of 1970. A small final USOE grant late that summer supported several of the atlas staff for one more year.
The period saw a number of major and minor changes in personnel. Depar- tures included Murton and Crowe in June and September 1968. Zelliot in Sep- tember 1969, Bajpai in August 1970, and Mathur in August 1971. Broek, whose principal role had been advisory, retired in June 1970, and Schwartzberg became the sole director of the Project. New research staff included Emmanuel Divien and Donna Ismael, both graduate students in South Asian history, who worked on the Project from May 1968 to September 1969 and from June 1969 to August 1972, respectively. An important addition to the staff was Dr. Hameed ud-Din, a professor of history from Harvard University, who spent four periods of one to three months at Minnesota after July 1969, working on the history of the sultanate and Mughal periods. Finally, there was considerable turnover of nonresearch staff. Cartographers who gave particularly noteworthy service included Shawky Bishay, Mohinder Singh Datta, Robert Hyde (also used as a staff artist), Robert Lund- gren, and James Tidwell.
At the outset of the Project it was assumed that publication would be entrusted to the University of Minnesota Press. That press, however, had never before under- taken the publication of any work of the scale and complexity of the proposed atlas. As the probable dimensions of the work became increasingly clear in the summer and fall of 1967, it was realized that a larger press might handle the work more expeditiously. Accordingly, contacts were initiated with another university press that expressed interest in publishing the work if a substantial publication subven- tion could be raised. Various federal agencies were approached in hopes of raising the needed funds, but the Project was informed that as long as there were private firms that might be interested in undertaking publication, the prospects of utiliz- ing public funds were remote. Visits to various commercial publishers followed. One of these, the Aldine Publishing Company of Chicago, which had recently suc- cessfully brought out a new edition of Hermann's classic Historical Atlas of China, indicated in September 1968 that it was willing to consider publishing the atlas.
Before any agreement could be reached with Aldine, it was necessary to arrange for drafting the atlas plates in press-ready form. The map compilations finished thus far and those yet to be completed at Minnesota would all have to be redrafted to uniform specifications, with machine-set type and with color separations for each shade of color used in the published work. The cartographic drafting called for was technically demanding and costly. Estimates of the cost of final drafting were solicited from a number of cartographic establishments. Three responses worthy of serious consideration were obtained: from the American Geographical Society of New York (AGS), from one of two firms approached in Europe, and from the cartographic laboratory of the Department of Geography at the Univer- sity of Minnesota. On the basis of these estimates a search for the necessary funds was begun in December 1968; but a firm decision in favour of the AGS was not made until July 1969. The first award to defray a portion of the costs of map drafting at the AGS was announced by the National Endowment for the Human- ities in March 1970. On the strength of this grant and the seemingly good pros- pects for additional support—made available in modest amount by the USOE that summer and, more generously, by an NEH grant renewal the following year— Aldine drew up a contract with the University of Minnesota in July 1970 stipu- lating, among other matters, the terms of delivery of the finished atlas plates and related texts and the specifications of the atlas to be produced. At the same time a memorandum of understanding between the American Geographical Society and the University was prepared, setting forth a schedule for delivery of original map compilations, completion of final map drafts, and payments for the work.