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Subject guide

Cartographic Collections

In addition to the Bodel Nijenhuis Collection, the map collections of the former library of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), and the map collection of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), the collection of Maps and Atlases includes several smaller sub collections.

The atlases and the maps of the Netherlands and Belgium and the maps of the former KIT-library are catalogued online. Digital images of a part of the maps are available on the internet. The total collection of maps and atlases (except the KIT-collections) is catalogued in a card index system. Literature about the collection is also available.

The collection Maps and Atlases consists of:

  • Collected maps and atlases from the founding of the University Library in 1587 onwards.
  • Vossius Collection: 25 atlases and 187 Italian maps from the 16th century (acquired in 1690).
  • Bodel Nijenhuis Collection: c. 50,000 maps, 300 atlases and 22,000 topographical prints and drawings (bequeathed 1872).
  • Siebold Collection: c. 250 Japanese maps and geographical works (acquired in 1881); see Serrurier Collection
  • Van Keulen Collection: 330 manuscript charts 1704-1726 (acquired in 1908).
  • Maps and atlases of the former Department of Colonies (acquired in 1963 and 1979).
  • Wieder Collection: Youssouf Kamal Archive of Monumenta Cartographica Africae et Aegypti (bequeathed in 1988).
  • Koeman Collection: 340 (school)atlases from the 19th and 20th centuries (acquired in 1990).
  • Deys Collection: 28 copies of Guicciardini's description of the Netherlands (gift in 1998 and 2000).
  • Kern Institute Collection: 13 early maps and c. 600 modern maps of India (2010).
  • Colonial Collection of the Royal Tropical Institute: c. 11,000 map sheets of the Dutch colonies and c. 250 atlases (State loan since 2013).
  • Post-colonial Collection of the Royal Tropical Institute: Over 15,000 map sheets and c. 750 atlases of tropical and sub-tropical regions (donated in 2013)
  • Coomans-Eustatia Collection: c. 200 maps of the Netherlands Antilles and the Caribbean (donated by the Royal Tropical Institute in 2013).
  • Map collection of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV):  over 15,000 maps and 500 atlases of Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles (given on loan by the KITLV learned society in 2014).
  • The atlases, c. 60,000 maps, and collection guides can be accessed via the Catalogue. This mainly concerns maps of the Netherlands, Belgium, and the former Dutch colonies. It is also possible to search exclusively for maps: in that case, select Maps under Material Type in the Advanced Search.
  • You can also search Digital Collections for digital images and online exhibitons.
  • About 14,000 digital images of topographical prints and drawings of the Netherlands are available on the Memory of the Netherlands website.
  • The c. 11,000 digitised map sheets of the Colonial Collection of the Royal Tropical Institute are available online via the separate map viewer Dutch Colonial Maps.
  • Circa 8,000 digitsed map sheets of the collection of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) are available online via the Digital Collections.
  • 171 maps of the Dutch East- and West-India companies are included in the Atlas of Mutual Heritage website.

The other parts of the collection are searchable via a card index, ordered by region and alphabetically by mapmaker/publisher. Separate card indexes for topographical prints and topographical drawings are available. The card indexes are located in the catalogue room, room 211 (second floor).

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