Get to know the collection as we explore the stories behind the creation of these maps, atlases, and books through our series of videos, podcasts, and virtual reality tours.

A composite atlas of Italy, bound for Louis, Dauphin of France

Louis (1729–1765) was the only surviving son of King Louis XV of France and his wife, Queen Marie Leszczyńska. Son of the king, Louis was styled Fils de France, and as heir apparent, he became Dauphin of France. However, he died before ascending to the throne. Three of his sons became kings of France: Louis XVI (reign: 1774–1792), Louis XVIII (reign: 1814–1815; 1815–1824) and Charles X (reign: 1824–1830).

The atlas covers Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and Malta. The maps range in date from 1653–1753, with the majority dating from the first half of the eighteenth century. All but three maps (two by Homann and one by the Spanish cartographer Chafrion) are by the leading French cartographers of the day, these include De Fer, Jaillot, Delisle, Du Val, Le Rouge, and Nolin.

Bernard Ratzer’s plan of New York

Perhaps the finest map of an American city and its environs produced in the eighteenth century” (Augustyn).

The new plan, first published in 1770, lays out a city of about 25,000 inhabitants and its surrounding farmland. It offers a remarkably accurate view of the streets of lower Manhattan and depicts the farms, roads and topography reaching to approximately present day 50th Street; along with the marshy New Jersey shores of the Hudson; Kennedy, Bucking and Governors Islands; and parts of present day Brooklyn along the East River. The map is paired with an idyllic panoramic view of the city from Governors Island.

Astronomique Discourse

First edition of the Scotsman James Bassantin’s (c1500-1568) copiously illustrated, large-format compendium on calculating planetary positions. From the library of Mary, Queen of Scots, bound in Paris with her crowned initial, and with all the illustrations in fine contemporary hand-colour.

Petrus Apianus’ Astronomicum Caesareum

The most spectacular contribution of the book-maker’s art to sixteenth-century science” from the library of Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia.

A magnificent portolan atlas by Batista Agnese

This atlas is in its original Agnese binding, and it can confidently be stated that the order of the sheets is just as Agnese originally produced it: it contains the more or less standard preliminary pages found in most Agnese atlases, including a table of the declination on the sun, an armillary sphere, and a circular zodiacal calendar.

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”

Daniel Crouch talks about the earliest and greatest exponents of cartographic data visualization as part of the lecture series portion of the San Francisco Map Fair 2018.

Show me a map by Tin Pan

Celebrating our fifth anniversary, we hope you enjoy the video and soundtrack, which has been specially written for the occasion by our favourite New York band: Tin Pan.

Matteo Ricci’s monumental world map of 1602

London map expert Daniel Crouch lectures on the Ricci map at the MIA. This lecture is co-presented by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Associates of the James Ford Bell Library and the James Ford Bell Library of the University of Minnesota Libraries.

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