Vol.1 of Blaeu’s Atlas Major

OML’s Digital Imaging Center has just uploaded volume one of the exquisite, eleven-volume Atlas Major, sive cosmographia by Joan Blaeu, published 1662-65 (SM-1662-9.1). This volume covers the Arctic, Norway and Denmark [van der Krogt, 2:601.1, OML ref Z6028.K6 2000] Before long, all eleven volumes of this remarkable atlas will be viewable on this site.

These atlases were bound in vellum and while it is not possible to open the book fully without damaging the binding, we were able to open it up enough to photograph each side with a good amount of overlap, thereby facilitating beautiful joins when we created composite images of the maps.

Among the gorgeously etched and hand-colored images of regions, technological instruments, wildlife and architecture here are a few that stood out to the digitizing team:

Regiones Sub Polo Arctico

Figura animalis Walrus dicti, & pulli ejus.

Arcis Uraniburgi...

Armillae Aequatoriae Maximae...