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Images of early maps
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4. World


The only comprehensive listing of early map image sites. The monthly additions are indicated thus, e.g. {March 2002} at the end of the entry. Since the symbols { } are not used elsewhere, you can search on those elements [enter Ctrl+F]; e.g. 2002} will find entries added at any time in that year)

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World atlases

      + online exhibitions
  • 'Expeditions & Discoveries. Sponsored exploration and scientific discovery in the modern age' (including 20 atlases (numbering 1,547 pages) among them the 1708 Cellarius and other star atlases, the 1792 Brion de la Tour world atlas, and the 1892 Berghaus Physikalischer Atlas, enlargeable to very high res. - Harvard University Library Open Collections Program) {June, 2009}
  • Italian atlases. 'Maps and Images' (about 350 images, enlargeable in sections to high res., mostly from atlases published in Naples (16th-19th century) - Vladimiro Valerio) {November, 2008}
  • 'World Atlases' (a growing body of atlases [112 at March 2010], 1731-1937, captured in their entirety, and enlargeable to high res., arranged in chronological order - David Rumsey Collection [for further details about this site see Large general sites]) {May, 2004; amended March 2010}
  • World atlases. 'Facsimile Project for historical maps' (complete scans of the maps and charts in a selection of atlases, initially Ptolemy (1513), Münster, Leo Belgicus, Seller, Neptune François, D'Après de Mannevillette; enlargeable to high res. - MapHist.com) {November, 2006}
  • World atlases (the Geography, Cartography section of digitised titles includes (apparently) high res. images, via the free DjVu Browser Plug-in, of general atlases, e.g. by Peter Apian, Benedetto Bordone, Hugo Favolius, Ptolemy (1511); also titles relating to the Levant [more titles being added regularly] - Jewish National and University Library, Digitized Book Repository) {April, 2006}

  • Battista AGNESE see also Web articles (People)
  • Atlas Maritimus et Commercialis (1728) (enlargeable details - part of the exhibition at the Folger Shakespeare Library, June-September 2010, 'Lost at Sea: The Ocean in the English Imagination, 1550-1750') {June, 2010}
  • 'L’atlas aux sphinx d’or' (a 16-volume collection, comprising over 1,200 maps, enlargeable to very high res., arranged geographically and covering the whole world (with five volumes devoted to France), created in 1749 by the Parisian geographer Jean de Beaurain for Marie Joseph Savalette de Buchelay and known as the 'Collection Beaurain- Savalette-Dezauche', with maps from 1573 onwards though mostly from the 18th century with a few later additions, and mostly by French authors - Bibliothèque national de France, Département des Cartes et plans) {January, 2014}
  • Atlas Van Loon. ‘Atlases from the Maritime Museum’ ( many hundreds of maps and sea charts from the composite Atlas Van Loon in the Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum, viewable in ‘medium’ res. and zoomable to high res., comprising parts of various atlases by Blaeu, e.g. 6 vols. of the Dutch edition of the Atlas Major (Koeman Bl 57), 5 vols of town books (Northern and Southern Netherlands, Rome, Papal States, Naples & Sicily - Koeman Bl 70-74) and 2 vols from the French edition of the Atlas Mayor (France and Switzerland - Koeman Bl 58); also sea atlases by Goos (1676 - Goos 1A) and Janssonius (1657 - Me 173A); there is no general contents list but you can select ‘Browse’ for alphabetical lists of makers (‘name’) and area covered (’location’) - see Diederick Wildeman, 'De atlas "Van Loon" iin het Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum', Caert-Thresoor 15:3 (1996): 75-6 - Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Memory of the Netherlands Project) {December, 2004}
  • Willem BARENTSZ. Nieuwe beschryvinghe ende Caertboeck vande Midlandtsche Zee (enter in the box Una palabra o frase 'barentsz', for the entire volume, with text and 10 charts of the Mediterranean coasts, enlargeable to very high res.; it is not clear how the charts can be identified but some, at least, have a jpg number starting 'Iam' - Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid) {August, 2010}
  • BLAEU. 'Atlas Maior o Geographia Blaviana' (the entire 10-volume atlas (1659-[72?]), with its 524 maps, enlargeable to very high res. - Biblioteca de la Universidad de Sevilla) {March, 2010}
  • BLAEU. 'Atlas Maior' (the entire 9-volume atlas, in the 1648 Dutch edition, with approximately 600 maps; to see the maps in very high res. click on the 'Advanced zoom' button top left - Utrecht University Library) {December, 2012}
  • BLAEU. 'Le Grand Atlas, French edition' (sample, medium res. images of the title-page and a few of the 596 maps) {May, 2003}
  • BLAEU Atlas. Volume 1: Europe, Germany & the Low Countries (select the 150 dpi option for a much enlarged, high res. scan of all the maps in the atlas, though a few are missing [the 500 dpi image is available for a fee]; the edition is not identified but is 1645 or later; with an index of geographical names (taken from the map titles or the atlas index) - Charles E. Young Research Library,| UCLA Library) {May, 2007}
  • BLAEU. Toonneel des Aerdrycks, ofte Nieuwe Atlas (1659) (scans of the entire 6-volume atlas, enlargeable to high res., with a browsing display of thumbnails of the maps ('Kartenindex') and geographical name indexes - Regionaal Archief Leiden) {March, 2008}
  • Catalan Atlas see under Themes
  • Leonardo DATI, 'La Sfera' (11 medium res. images from the 15th century MS: from the Biblioteca Riccardiana, Florence - Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica "F. Datini": Immagini per la storia economica e sociale) {July, 2003}
  • Hendrick DONCKER, De zee-atlas ofte water-waereld , 1659 (high res., zoomable images of the preliminaries and 17 charts - National Library of Australia) {July, 2003}
  • 'Frederik V's Atlas' (images, viewable in zoomable high res., via the DjVu plugin, from the 55-volume world atlas, comprising 400 maps given to Frederick V at his birth in 1723, expanding to 3,535 plates by the time of his death in 1766; see the 38- page analysis by Ib Rønne Kejlbo: 'Manuscript maps in the Frederik den Femtes Atlas' (1969) - the project started in late 2003 and catalogue descriptions are still to be added [at present, (March 2004) there are no contents lists for the individual volumes] - Royal Library, Copenhagen) {March, 2004}
  • Islamic. ‘The Book of Curiosities of the Sciences and Marvels for the Eyes’ (a hitherto unknown Arabic cosmographical treatise, the Kitab Ghara?ib al-funun wa-mulah? al-?uyun, known as the Book of Curiosities - a copy, probably made in Egypt in the late 12th or 13th century, of an anonymous work compiled in the first half of the 11th century in Egypt. The manuscript (viewable in high res.) contains a unique series of maps and diagrams, most of which are unparalleled in any other medieval work. These include diagrams of star-groups and comets; two world maps, one with a graphic scale (the earliest surviving example); individual maps of islands and ports in the eastern Mediterranean; the Indian Ocean, and Caspian Sea, etc., with fully searchable Arabic text and English translation - online publication by The Bodleian Library (which acquired it in 2002) in collaboration with The Oriental Institute, University of Oxford). [NB. The site is best viewed with Mozilla Firefox] {March, 2007}
  • maproom.org (high res. scans of maps and various atlases, among them: Cary’s Travellers Companion (1790 - England & Wales), Thomas Milner’s A Descriptive Atlas of Astronomy and of Physical and Political Geography (1850 - a World atlas), Philips' Handy Atlas of the Counties of Wales (n.d.)) {July, 2004}
  • S. MÜNSTER, La Cosmographie universelle contenant la situation de toutes les parties du monde, avec les proprietez & appartenances (1552) (medium res. images of all the maps and the other illustrations - Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica "F. Datini": Immagini per la storia economica e sociale) {July, 2003}
  • Sebastian MÜNSTER Geographia (the full text and maps from the 1542 edition of Ptolemy, viewable via the free Microsoft 'Silverlight' browser - Institut Cartografic de Catalunya) {November, 2010}
  • Abraham ORTELIUS: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (53 maps, 1570) (Library of Congress - high res. MrSID images, with the ability to zoom, enlarge and select details)
  • Abraham ORTELIUS (thumbnails of all 234 maps found in the various editions of the Ortelius atlas, with commentary to each) {March, 2002}
  • + 'Abraham ORTELIUS (1527-1598): Patriarch of our atlas' (includes over 30 maps from the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum and Parergon - medium res. images from the University Library, Amsterdam, 1998, with commentary in Dutch; and a related page with sample images from a special edition of the atlas: 'Een aantal afbeeldingen uit het Nederlandstalige Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (1584)') {March, 2001; updated December 2004}
  • Abraham ORTELIUS, Le miroir du monde (the entire contents, text and images, in high res. , of the miniature edition published in Amsterdam by Zacharias Heyns, 1598 - Mannheimer Texte Online (MATEO), Universitätsbibliothek Mannheim) {September, 2004}
  • Abraham ORTELIUS (a selection of images from a 1579 edition of the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, enlargeable to high res. via Zoomify - Maryanne Horowitz, Occidental College Library, Los Angeles) {November, 2011}
  • Reiner OTTENS. 'Atlas Major' (the entire 6-volume atlas, 1725-50, with 584 maps, enlargeable to fairly high res. and scrollable; see Koeman Atlantes Neerlandici 3 p.90: 'the finest illuminated atlas in the Netherlands' - Teylers Museum, Haarlem) {December, 2012}
  • PTOLEMY (search for 'ptolemy' for reproductions of four MS Ptolemaic atlases, enlargeable to high res., namely Burney 111, Harley 3686, 7182 & 7195 - 'British Library, Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts') {March, 2012}
  • PTOLEMY (reproduction of the MS atlas, 1460-66, enlargeable to medium res. - Biblioteca Nazionale di Napoli) {March, 2012}
  • PTOLEMY. 'Fabricius 23 2º: Claudius Ptolemaeus, Geographia (fragment)' ("a bifolium, containing parts of book eight of Ptolemy’s classic work on geography, including three coloured maps", from a Greek MS, dated 1250-1300, the images enlargeable to high res. - Center for Manuscripts & Rare Books, Royal Library, Copenhagen) {June, 2006}
  • PTOLEMY. HM 1092 "Wilton Codex" (a full description and enlarged, very high res. images of the entire contents of the manuscript Geographia (Italy, c. 1480), containing 27 maps and 26 tables - Huntington Library) {March, 2004}
  • PTOLEMY see also 'World Atlases' (above) and Web articles (People)
  • Thomas SALMON Lo Stato presente di tutti i paesi e popoli del mondo naturale, politico, e morale, con nuove (selection of medium res. images: from the Biblioteca Riccardiana, Florence - Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica "F. Datini": Immagini per la storia economica e sociale) {July, 2003}
  • SANSON: 'Raccolta Cartografica' (1673-1686) (select 'tutti gli atlanti' for low res. scans - Astronomical Observatory of Brera)
  • SCHAGEN. 'De Atlas van Schagen' (high res. scans of a group of 18 maps by Gerrit/Gerard Van Schagen (active up to 1690)) {November, 2005}
  • 'School Atlases (1699-1885)' (about 40 works, captured in their entirety, and enlargeable to high res., arranged in chronological order - David Rumsey Collection) {March, 2010}
  • Adolf STIELER, Schul-Atlas (Gotha: Perthes, 1848) (enlargeable very high res. images of the 28 maps - University of Pennsylvania Library, Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Image (SCETI)) {October, 2003}
  • Van der Hagen en Atlas Beudeker (a good selection of high res. 17th century maps of various parts of the world, from the Royal Library, The Hague, and the British Library, with the possibility to zoom in at up to 16 times the size of the original image; with an index of geographical names and authors; also accessible here]
  • VAN KEULEN. ‘Atlases from the Maritime Museum. The Zee-Fakkel by Johannes van Keulen’ (an expanded version of the Nieuwe Lichtende Zee-Fakkel in six volumes, completed about 1790, with 571 maps and coastal views, viewable in ‘medium’ res. or enlargeable to high res.; there is no general contents list but you can select ‘Browse’ for alphabetical lists of makers (‘name’) and area covered (’location’) - Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Memory of the Netherlands Project) {December, 2004}
  • Frederick de WIT. ‘Atlas’ (scans of the 29-sheet atlas, supposedly enlargeable - University of Strasbourg) {March, 2007}
  • Portolan atlases - see also under Themes: 'Portolan charts'
  • Town atlases - see also under other sections of Web Images: Themes - 'urban' and Europe
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World maps

      + online exhibitions
  • 'Cartes anciennes diverses - Planispheres' (16 world and polar maps, viewable in high res. via the 'Taille' link [most of the enlargement options beneath the thumbnail do not work] - reproduced under licence from the Bibliothèque nationale de France (Gallica) by Jacques Zan) {November, 2005}
  • 'Cartes du monde connu' (comprising low res. reconstructions of 1-4 century maps, Ptolemaic maps, and mappemondes - part of Delphine Dumas-Acolat's 'Terra Antiqua' site) {September, 2006}
  • Wall-maps. 'Wandkarten' (a hypertext note by Jan Werner about the maps in Amsterdam University Library, leading to high res. Zoomify images) {February, 2010}
  • 'Wereldkaarten' (10 world maps, 1570-1725, enlargeable to high res. - Amsterdam University Library, Kaartencollectie) {November, 2005}
  • 'World Historical Maps' (17 [original not 'historical'] maps, 1507-1720, enlargeable to high res. via LizardTech ExpressView Plugin - Yale University Library) {November, 2007}
  • World maps (zoomable, medium to high res., but slow-loading - a selection of 60 world maps, 1200-1700 from Richard B. Arkway, Inc. on the mapsage.com site) {August, 2001}
  • World maps (5 low res. images - Amsterdam University Library) {April, 2001}
  • World maps (medium res. images from the Bibliothèque Royale Albert 1er, Brussels)
  • World maps. 'Exploring the Early Americas...Mapping the World' (a selection of enlargeable early world maps from the ongoing Library of Congress exhibition) {August, 2010}
  • World maps. ’Immagini da mostre, manoscritti e libri’ (click on Immagini/Images; scroll down left margin to Carte/Maps, for slow-loading images (enlargeable to high res.) of the following maps: ‘Catalana’ (15th c.), Cantino (1502), Castiglioni (1525), Stati Estense (1580) - Biblioteca Estense Universitaria Modena) {July, 2004}
  • World map. International Map of the World, 1:1,000,000 (high res. images - University of Texas Libraries) {April, 2010}
  • World map. 'Planisferio ó carta general de la tierra' (Madrid, 1800) (search for 'planisferio', to see the 12-sheet wall map by Juan Antonio González Cañaveras, enlargeable in sections to high res. - John Carter Brown Library) {April, 2010}
  • + World maps. ’Immagini da mostre, manoscritti e libri’ (click on Immagini/Images; scroll down left margin to Mostre/Exhibitions - ‘2002 Cartografia’, for 26 medium res., slow-loading images of world and regional maps - Biblioteca Estense Universitaria Modena) {July, 2004}
  • + World maps. [The world of historical maps] (an online exhibition, with a pdf catalogue and an image gallery of the exhibits, which include Japanese maps of the world and Japan, enlargeable to high res., in Japanese - Tulips, University of Tsukuba Library, October 2007) {October, 2007}

  • BLAEU. ' Nova totius terrarum orbis tabula' (a joined example, enlargeable to high res., of the Joan Blaeu wall-map of 1648 [300 x 204 cm, nearly 10 x 7 feet] - Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin). [See also 'The Great Wall Map Revealed' by Richard Oram, describing the technical difficulties in reproducing it, 30 April 2013] {April, 2013}
  • DESCELIERS. 'Die Weltkarte des Pierre Desceliers von 1553' (the uncoloured 1924 Eugen Oberhummer facsimile, in 18 scanned sections, zoomable to fairly high res. - National Library of Australia) {March, 2013}
  • EBSTORF Map and Hereford Mappamundi, see under Themes
  • Giovanni LEARDO (1452 or 1453) (enter 'Leardo' into the top box for an image zoomable to high res. - American Geographical Society Library Digital Map Collection){September, 2011}
  • Giovanni LEARDO mappamundi, 1452 (high res. image, enlargeable in four quadrants - American Geographical Society Library) {September, 2004}
  • Gerard MERCATOR (high res., but slow-loading, details of the 18 sections - select 'AD USUM NAVIGANTIUM', then 'Die Weltkarte 1569' and then click on 'Die Karte' (for a scrollable, low res. image of the entire 1569 world map/chart); 'en detail' (for the separate sheets); and 'Die Legenden' (for the 16 legends - given only in German translation) - Wilhelm Krücken) {November, 2001}
  • Peutinger Table/Tabula Peutingeriana see under that heading on the Themes page of the Images or Texts section
  • 'The SAWLEY Map' (click on the picture for a high res. image of the Sawley Map, from the 'Imago mundi' by Honorius Augustodunensis, probably drawn in Durham, c. 1190 (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, MS 66, Part 1); see also the general note Mapping the world ; featured in the 2009 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 'Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages') {June, 2009}
  • Philippe VANDERMAELEN’s Atlas universel (1827) (six volumes with c.380 conically-projected maps were digitised and a virtual globe constructed (on which see a short video) - Princeton University Library, Historic Maps Collection) {August, 2011}
  • Ferdinand VERBIEST. World map, 1674 (zoomable scan - National Library of Australia); see also (the Eastern hemisphere of the globe (in 'Complete map of the world' [Kunyu quantu]), i.e. Europe, Asia and Africa, in a circa 1860 printing; zoom in to high res.; with some translations of the text blocks - J. Paul Getty Museum) {December, 2007; updated April 2010}
  • WALDSEEMÜLLER world map, 1507 (browse the Creator index for the author’s name, once this is retrieved click on the picture; this leads to MrSID images of the recently acquired 12-sheet map, from which details can be seen at very high res.; an alternative, quicker route is to go straight to the map and download the MrSID software - Library of Congress) {March, 2005}
  • 'WALDSEEMÜLLER Maps' (comparison between medium res. images of the world maps of 1507 & 1516 - Library of Congress) {October, 2012}
  • WILLIAM of Conches 'De Philosophia Mundi' (a facsimile [France, second half of 12th century] including enlargeable, very high res. images of circular world maps (ff. 13r and 15r) and various astronomical diagrams - University of Pennsylvania Library, Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Image (SCETI)) {October, 2003}
  • de WIT. Frederick de Wit wall-maps of the world and four continents (click on "Naar de viewer" at the foot of the first screen for split- screen comparisons, enlargeable to very high res., of the five maps (late 17th century) before/after restoration; text in Dutch - Westfries Museum} {July, 2008}
  • For medieval world maps see, under the name of each, or under 'Medieval', in Themes
  • For portolan charts see also under Images (Themes): 'Portolan charts'

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