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Atlases collection (17th-19th C.)


The atlases collection represents a cross-section of the developments in the art and technology of map and atlas production, and which chronicles the history of discoveries in the New World and Asia from the early 1500s to the late 1800s. The atlases include world atlases, European atlases, British atlases, and specialist atlases. Amongst the volumes are Ortelius’ 1606 English edition of his world atlas, and early volumes of Mercator, Speed, and Ogilby. Peter Heylyn’s Cosmographie (1652) is held in many editions, and is one of the first attempts to describe in detail every aspect of the known world, from geography and climate to customs, politics, and belief systems. The wide range of British atlases and road books include several editions of John Cary’s maps of England and Wales, the Britannia of William Camden, and copies of Emanuel Bowen’s Atlas Anglicanus. Bowen’s maps were distinctive in that they were filled with additional historical and topographical notes, and a wide range of British atlases and road books are held. Associated atlases for Wales are held in the Salisbury Collection.

Date range: 17th-19th century.

Significance: Of international significance.

Size: c. 250 volumes

Languages: English, French.

Keywords: Cartography, atlases, maps, Europe, Great Britain.