Maps and atlases

About 170,000 maps and atlases published after 1850 and approximately 6,000 older cartographic documents are part of Special Collections. These numbers make it one of the larger collection of analogue map material in the Netherlands.

Maps and atlases of all areas in the world on several scale levels. The focus is on material of and about Dutch regions and the European countries surrounding the Netherlands. Five maps and atlases are masterpieces that are kept in the Treasury of Special Collections.

Some special maps and atlases from the collection are explained in detail. These explanations can be accessed via the images below or via these specific entries:

In 1908, the founding of the Geographic Institute as it was called then was the go-ahead for an actively managed academic map collection. Much important map material was acquired in the early years of the Geographical Institute and used in education about the Dutch overseas expansion and voyages of discovery.

Furthermore, two large private map collections stand out: the Gerrit Moll collection (1785-1838) and the Jan Ackersdijck collection (1790-1861). Both men were professors at Utrecht University, and donated or legislated their collection to the university library in the 19th century.

By the arrival of a large amount of soil maps and geological maps from the library of Geosciences in 2010 almost all Utrecht academic map collections are housed in Utrecht University Library.

Do you need help in searching for and consulting maps?

Search maps and atlases

Research into early map material benefits greatly from georeferencing. With the help of this technique changes over time are made visible.

Read more about georeferencing

Highlighted maps and atlases