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Detail of map of Europe by Frederico de Wit.

Chronicling the history of discoveries in the New World and Asia from the 16th-19th centuries, as well as the art and technology of map and atlas production.

Includes world, European, British, Welsh, and specialist atlases.

Amongst the volumes in the Cardiff Rare Books collection 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, William Camden's Britannia, 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 Library.

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Special Collections and Archives