This small but significant collection consists of over two hundred atlases and several thousand maps, as well as two globes, Cary's New Celestial Globe (1818) and Cary's New Terrestial Globe (1825).
The principal emphasis of the Map Collection is Canadian. The maps are primary research materials which document early exploration, boundary changes, military events and local history and development. The scope of the collection ranges from Mitchell's 1755 map of the British and French dominions and Thomas Jefferys's charts of the St. Lawrence River, published in 1760, to an extensive collection of nineteenth and twentieth century fire insurance plans of Canadian cities and towns which provide detailed information about the early development of many communities. At present, bibliographic access to the bulk of the collection is available only through the printed card files at the Fisher Library.
The atlases, which are part of the general collections and included in the Library's on-line catalogue, illustrate the history and development of cartography. Included are the 1490 Rome edition of Ptolemy's Geographia, Bordone's island atlas or isolario printed in Venice in 1528, a rare copy of the first volume of the Spanish edition of Blaeu's Atlas Maior printed in Amsterdam in 1659, and the sea-charts of Doncker (1666) and Robijn (1683). In addition to such separately issued atlases, many important early maps remain in the books in which they were first published, particularly those used to illustrate the texts of travels and voyages, such as the rare circumpolar map in Fox's North-VVest Fox of 1635, and the maps prepared to accompany Vancouver's account of his voyage to the North Pacific Ocean, first published in 1798.
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