Joel Kovarsky announced on the MapHist listserv yesterday that the The International Antiquarian Mapsellers Association (IAMA) "is funding the development of a stolen map database." They hope to have a prototype up and running by April 2008.
Kovarsky notes that the database will be "free of charge, fully searchable, international in scope, and accessible using individual usernames and passwords." There will be a standard submission form for reporting thefts, and the database will include images (when available) of the stolen items. He writes "We recognize that this project will evolve over time, but sincerely hope that the database will help with the increasingly publicized problem of early map theft, and will also encourage more complete descriptions of valuable materials. This project has been in the planning stages for a number of months, and is the result of cooperation between dealers, collectors, librarians and curators."
This is an excellent idea - far too long in coming but welcome just the same. Once the site is live, I'll certainly post about it again and will include a prominent link to the database.