Collections > Maps

Maps

With very few exceptions maps were first printed in the second half of the 15th century. Those in the Rudimentum novitiarum published at Lubeck in 1475 are from woodcuts, while the maps in the first two editions of Ptolemy published in Italy in 1472 are from copper plates. Wood engraving kept its ground for a considerable period, especially in Germany, but copper in the end supplanted it, and owing to the beauty and clearness of the maps produced.

Other types of old maps include portolan charts which were mostly made by the Portuguese, Spanish and French and used as practical navigation charts.

A capacity to understand the nature of maps is possessed even by peoples whom we are in the habit of describing as "savages." Wandering tribes naturally enjoy a great advantage in this respect over sedentary ones. Our arctic voyagers—Sir E. W. Parry, Sir J. Ross, Sir F. L. MacClintock and others—have profited from rough maps drawn for them by Eskimos.

+ Read More

Specimens of such maps are given in C. F. Hall's Life with the Esquimaux (London, 1864). Henry Youle Hind, in his work on the Labrador Peninsula (London, 1863) praises the map which the Montagnais and Nasquapee Indians drew upon bark. Similar essays at map-making are reported in connexion with Australians, Maoris and Polynesians. Tupaya, a Tahitian, who accompanied Captain Cook in the "Endeavour" to Europe, supplied his patron with maps; Raraka drew a map in chalk of the Paumotu archipelago on the deck of Captain Wilkes's vessel; the Marshall islanders, according to Captain Winkler (Marine Rundschau, Oct. 1893) possess maps upon which the bearings of the islands are indicated by small strokes.

Far superior were the maps found among the semi-civilized Mexicans when the Spaniards first discovered and invaded their country. Among them were cadastral plans of villages, maps of the provinces of the empire of the Aztecs, of towns and of the coast. Montezuma presented Cortes with a map, painted on Nequen cloth, of the Gulf coast. Another map did the Conquistador good service on his campaign against Honduras (Lorenzana, Historia de nueva España, Mexico, 1770; W. H. Prescott, History of the Conquest of Mexico, New York, 1843).

Peru, the empire of the Incas, had not only ordinary maps, but also maps in relief, for Pedro Sarmiento da Gamboa (History of the Incas, translated by A. R. Markham, 1907) tells us that the 9th Inca (who died in 1191) ordered such reliefs to be produced of certain localities in a district which he had recently conquered and intended to colonize. These were the first relief maps on record. It is possible that these primitive efforts of American Indians might have been further developed, but the Spanish conquest put a stop to all progress, and for a consecutive history of the map and map-making we must turn to the Old World, and trace this history from Egypt and Babylon, through Greece, to our own age.

Our comprehensive collection of maps is now available below:

Image Name
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Indumenta Germania Vrbs (1596)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Hardales Cartama 1564 (1596)
Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine [Atlas-Vol. 2] - Carte Generale de l'Indo-Chine (1873)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Suecia et Norwegia (1595)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - British Empire Throughout the World Exhibited in One View (1872)
The Theatre of the Empire of Great-Britain - Spaine (1676)
Journals Kept in Hyderabad, Kashmir, Sikkim, and Nepal Vol. 1 - The Territories of the Maharaja of Jummoo and Kashmir (1887)
Cosmographie Universelle - Cinquieme Projection (1555)
Panama-Pacific International Exposition - Winter and Summer Belts of Temperature (1913)
Visits to High Tartary, Yarkand, and Kashgar - Sketch Map of the Country North of India (1871)
Vallard Atlas - North America, East Coast (1547)
The Theatre of the Empire of Great-Britain - Northumberland (1676)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. De La Gironde (1856)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Formosa [I] (1690)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 1 - Tshertogenbosch Loeven Machelen (1572)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Conimbriae In Lusitania (1596)
Observations on the Neilgherries - Map of the Neelgiries and the Different Approaches to Them [1834] (1834)
Mitchell's New General Atlas - Map of Hindoostan, Farther India, China and Tibet (1861)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. De La Dordeogne (1856)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Westfalia [I] (1595)
Atlas National Illustre - Amerique Meridionale (1856)
The Illustrated Atlas - Southampton (1851)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Lagao (1690)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. De Vaucluse (1856)
Account of a Voyage of discovery to the West Coast of Corea - Napakiang Roads (1818)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Sumatra, Banca, Borneo, Succadana (1690)
A Two Years Cruise off Tierra del Fuego Vol. 1 - Plan of Banner Cove, Picton Island, Tierra del Fuego (1857)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Artesia (1595)
Vallard Atlas - Northwest Africa (1547)
Cartes et Tables de la Geographie Physique ou Naturelle - Profil ou coupe des differens fonds du Canal de la Manche (1757)
The Illustrated Atlas - Cape Colony (1851)
Atlas de Historia fisica y Politica de Chile Vol. 1 - Provincia de Aconcaqua (1854)
The Illustrated Atlas - Northern India including the Presidency of Calcutta (1851)
The Story of Atlantis - Map No. 4 (1896)
Monuments anciens du Mexique - Carte de Yucatan, dressee par M. de Waldeck (1866)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 4 - Arnsberg (1588)
Journal of a Tour in the Levant Vol. 3 - Map of the Countries on the East Coast of the Mediterranean Sea (1820)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Holsatiae Plona 1593 (1596)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Palanka Superioris Hungariae Civitatas (1617)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - British West Indian Possessions Northern (1872)
A Svmmarie and Trve Discovrse of Sir Frances Drakes West Indian Voyage - Map of Drake's Voyage Around the World (1589)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 3 - Halberstadivm et Qvedelinbvrga (1581)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - Countries in the Northern Tropical Regions of Africa (1872)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - Spain and Portugal (1872)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map of the Southern Part of the Kaibab Plateau [Composite] (1882)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Malapi (1690)
The Theatre of the Empire of Great-Britain - The Counti of Nottingham (1676)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. De La Lozere (1856)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Septentrionalium Regionum Descrip (1570)
Atlas National Illustre - Algeria Colonie Francaise (1856)
The Cruise of H.M.S. Galatea - Track Chart of H.M.S Galatea 1867-1868 (1869)
Cosmographie Universelle - Troisieme Projection (1555)
An Historical Account of the Colony of New South Wales - Plan of Port Macquarie, Including a Sketch of Part of Hastings River on the East Coast of New South Wales (1821)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. De L'Herault (1856)
Journals Kept in Hyderabad, Kashmir, Sikkim, and Nepal Vol. 2 - Sketch Map Showing the Mountain and River Systems of Sikkim (1887)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - Ports and Harbours on the West Coast of Scotland (1872)
The Illustrated Atlas - Persia (1851)
Vallard Atlas - Southern Africa and Southwest Indian Ocean (1547)
The Illustrated Atlas - The British Isles. (with) inset map of the Shetland Islands. (1851)
Atlas Maritimus, or a Book of Charts - A chart of the eastermost part of the East Indies with all the adjacent islands from Cape Comorin to lapan (1672)
Atlas National Illustre - La France (1856)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Anglia [VII] (1595)
Atlas de Historia fisica y Politica de Chile Vol. 1 - Plano de la Bahia de Talcahuano (1854)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. Du Bas Rhin (1856)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 4 - Soest (1588)
Journals Kept in Hyderabad, Kashmir, Sikkim, and Nepal Vol. 1 - City and Environs of Srinagar in Kashmir (1887)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Avgvsti Apvd Venetos Templi et Palatii Senatorii Apvd Venetos Conflagratio (1596)
Taboas Geraes de Toda a Navegação - Chart of the Mediterranean Sea (1630)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Hannonia (1595)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 4 - Rotterdam (1588)
The Illustrated Atlas - West Canada (1851)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - Denmark with Schleswig and Holstein (1872)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - England and Wales Cities Ports and Harbours (1872)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Bardewick 1588 (1596)
Travels in the Island of Iceland - Map of Iceland (1811)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Lombardia [I] (1595)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Amstelodamvm (1617)
Observations on the Neilgherries - Plan of the Compounds in the Cantonment of Ootacamund [1834] (1834)
Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine [Atlas-Vol. 2] - Carte Itineraire No. 7 (1873)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Boulongne (1595)
The Illustrated Atlas - Plymouth, Devonport and Stonehouse (1851)
Catalan Atlas - Leafs 11 & 12 (1375)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 1 - Calechvt Ormvs Canonor S. Georgii Oppidum Mina (1572)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 3 - Vilna Litaniae Metropolis (1581)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Alsatia inferior (1595)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Europae (1570)
Magalhaes-Strasse und Austral-Continent - Globus des Johannes Schöner A.D Jahare 1515 (1881)
A Visit to the Suez Canal - Sketch Map of the Suez Canal (1866)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - Russian Empire in Eastern and Western Asia (1872)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. De L'Aude (1856)
The Highlands of Central India - Map of the Central Indian Highlands (1871)
Mitchell's New General Atlas - Map of Canada East in Counties (1861)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 2 - Damascvs (1575)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Ceiloan [III] (1690)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Varadinvm (1617)
Gateways to the Pole - Circumpolar Map Exhibiting the Inter-Oceanic Circulation (1872)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Daniae Regni Typus (1570)
The Illustrated Atlas - United States (1851)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Zurichgow (1595)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Owar Vizzegrad 1595 (1596)

References:

1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 17. pg. 633