In this section we gather together information for the collector. We offer advice on building and housing your maps and books, provide biographies of mapmakers, and a glossary of bookselling terms, and we draw together some common themes that span our collections, and tell stories of the histories of exploration and cartography.

The Darién Scheme

Scotland’s one and only attempt at colonisation resulted in thousands of deaths and an economic disaster that paved the way for the 1707 Act of Union.

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Literature’s Most Curious Creations

6 April 2021

A new book takes readers into collector Edward Brooke-Hitching’s madman’s library”

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Petrus Apianus (1495–1552) was born in Saxony as Peter Bienewitz. He studied at the University of Leipzig from 1516 to 1519, where he took a Latinised version of his German name, Petrus Apianus. In 1519 he moved to Vienna, where he was part of the second Vienna school of cartography, including Georgius Tannstetter and Johannes Cuspinianus. He then moved again to Landshut, where he produced the Cosmographicus liber’ in 1524, an extremely popular work on astronomy and navigation which underwent thirty reprints. Based on Ptolemy, it contains paper instruments called volvelles, which Apianus would use so effectively in his work that they are sometimes known as Apian wheels.

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