Cartographic Collections

The Cartographic Collection holds 9 thousand maps, 1.4 thousand atlases, 3 globuses and 650 books and serials in the reference collection. It was formed in 1948, when cartographic items were separated from the general collection. Since then, the main source of new cartographic publications is the depository program. However, the Library also purchases items most requested by scholars, students, and other users. These are mainly topographic maps and other cartographic material dealing with the area of Northern Poland, Prussia and Pomerania.

Chronologically speaking, the collection contains materials dating back to the 16th century (with the exception of one 15th century atlas) until most recent times. The most valuable in the collection are, obviously, some 200 volumes of old cartographic prints, including 90 atlases published by important European publishing houses. Some of them are considered very rare in Polish library collections. Furthermore, the Library owns the only known copy of G. Merkator's atlas published in Duisburg, in 1595. Another interesting object is a sailor's atlas of Agnese Battista, made as a manuscript and published in the mid-16th century.

Some old maps in the collection were published independently. The most precious in this category is a map of Western Pomerania from 1618 by E. Lubinus. Another such item is a late-18th century plan of Warsaw by Ricaud de Tiregaille, valued for the views of main buildings and the panorama of the city as seen from the Vistula River.


Atlas card catalog   Map card catalog