Tijdschrift voor de geschiedenis van de kartografie
In 1802 the Amsterdam map maker Cornelis Covens (1764-1825) published a terrestrial globe (12 inches) with a new construction, accompanied by a manual. By means of a complex mounting with numerous brass rings, this Copernican globe - which was inspired by the one brought out by the English instrument maker George Adams sr. (1704-1772) - had the intention to show the real movement of the earth and other related phenomena.
Initially Covens didn't intend to make a new construction for his celestial globe, because in his opinion the common celestial globe sufficiently shows the apparent movement of the sky. The Leiden professor Jacob de Gelder (1765-1848), however, didn't agree with him. According to De Gelder, the ideal celestial globe was one, which could be adjusted to an arbitrary epoche. Therefore he advised Covens to make a 'new' celestial globe as well. Shortly afterwards, Covens indeed designed a precession globe, which served as the counterpart of his new terrestrial globe.
The 'new' globe-pair of Covens got an enthusiastic scholarly reception. Because the mounting included many brass rings, however, the globes were very expensive compared to common globes. Consequently, Covens's 'unusual' globe-pair was a commercial disaster. Rather than a defending of his position as an entrepreneur, it was Covens's interest in astronomy that took him into constructing such exceptional globes. It represented a last twitching of the euphoria, characterising the transition to the Newtonian scientific thinking. Covens's 'innovation' became therefore nothing more than a curiosity. (back)
A modern way to present cadastral maps
[Caert-Thresoor 22 (2003) 1, pp. 14-16]
The Dutch government has decided that as much information as possible should be digitally available, free of charge, to the public. For historical data a project is defined which - among other items - covers the digitisation of the original cadastral maps and tables of 1832. These are scanned and indexed, and the maps are geo-referenced. This project will be completed in the beginning of 2003, and all data will be freely accessible via the internet to the public. (back)
Cadastral atlases revisited : state of affairs on paper
[Caert-Thresoor 22 (2003) 1, pp. 17-19]
In 1991 and 1997 an overview has been given in Caert-Thresoor of the cadastral atlases, published from 1964 onwards, based on the maps and lists of plots and owners from 1832. On the threshold of digital developments and projects an overview has been given again of all the atlases published till January 2003, ordering addresses included. (back)
Marcel van den Broecke
Historical maps en their texts in the first modern atlas by Abraham Ortelius
[Caert-Thresoor 22 (2003) 2, pp. 29-39]
In this paper the maps and their texts in Ortelius' Parergon (accessory work with reconstructed Roman maps) are discussed. From these maps and their texts it becomes apparent that Ortelius was obsessed with being complete in the listing of his sources, and equally obsessed with finding the truth when these sources contradicted each other, which was often the case. He praises reliable bibliographical sources and provides arguments for this verdict. Also, he dismisses many other sources as being untrustworthy, thus providing guidance to his readers, who are invariably addressed as all those studious in the history of geography. The close connection he saw between history and geography is aptly expressed in the motto he provided for his Parergon, viz. 'Geography is the Eye of History'. Ortelius considered it impossible, impractical and unwise to study geography without considering its historical context. He explains his reasons for this point of view in the texts he wrote to accompany his maps. This proves that, particularly for the Parergon maps, it is impossible to assess the significance of a map without studying the text that belongs to it. The translations in Modern English and their development may now provide a tool for undertaking this task. (back)
Fifty-two views of towns in the Northern Netherlands
[Caert-Thresoor 22 (2003) 2, pp. 41-46]
Besides the well-known folio editions of Guicciardini's Descrittione di tutti i Paesi Bassi [...], in 1613 there appeared an oblong edition by the Arnhem publisher Johannes Janssonius. In this book about a hundred side-views had been inserted, including fifty two views of towns in the Northern Netherlands, which were engraved by Pieter van den Keere, being all copies of older views.
Nine views were copied from the borders of the large wall-map of the Netherlands by Willem Jansz. Blaeu of 1608, ten from the borders of the map of Holland by Pieter van der Keere of 1610, six from the borders of the map of Gelderland by Johannes Janssonius and Jodocus Hondius of about 1612 and five from the town-book by George Braun and Frans Hogenberg. The Frisian towns Franeker and Harlingen were respectively copied from the border of the map of Friesland of 1610 by Pieter van den Keere and from a side-view by Robert de Baudois.
Of the other towns only views exist on which the towns are drawn in bird's-eye view. It appears that the side-views were constructed from these views by taking a n imaginary lower point of view. In this way ten side-views were engraved from the plans in the folio editions of Guicciardini and three from the plans in the town-book by Braun and Hogenberg. The side-view of Breda was composed in the same way from the oldest town plan of Breda.
At last there are six representations of towns in the neighbourhood of Utrecht, which were made by an unknown engraver. The side-view of Amersfoort is a copy of the view by Braun and Hogenberg, while the representation of the other five towns is for the greater part imaginary. In the large diagram are successively noted the page numbers of the views in the various editions, the direction from where the town was drawn and the map which served as a model for the view. (back)
Dissected Maps to facilitate the teaching of geography
[Caert-Thresoor 22 (2003) 2, pp. 47-51]
Though Linda Hannas' claim for the London map engraver John Spilsbury, being the inventor of the dissected map in about 1763 is very well proven, some doubt is coming up with the many pre 1760 dissected maps by Covens & Mortier of Amsterdam considered teaching aids for the upper classes. Catel and Bestellmeier of Germany did send dissected maps as early as 1785 throughout Europe, probably dissected in the Netherlands. From the 1780's on pictures were dissected as an amusement, but halfway the 19th century, dissected maps still made up a considerable percentage of puzzle sales.
In the 18th century dissected maps were sold in boxes, the pieces jumbled. In the 19th century the Germans sold them made up in flat soft wood boxes, in the Netherlands they were sold made up in folders. The French typically sold boxed sets of three made up maps. The English used thick hard woods to past the maps on, the Dutch used thin hard woods, the French and Germans used soft woods. By 1880 hard pressed white cardboard was used for cutting puzzles, to be replaced around World War I by plywood. Diecutting thin cardboard was first seen in Germany at about 1900, it became the regular puzzle material by 1935, but by then the die usually was no longer shaped to cut on boundaries.
When political borders changed, often after a war, new maps were made. Dutch map puzzles are abundant with 1816, 1839, 1872, and 1918 as dates. (back)
Charles van den Heuvel
'Open kaart': Testimonies of Dirk de Vries' curatorship of the Bodel Nijenhuis Collection
[Caert-Thresoor 22 (2003) 3, pp. 65-70]
Last year Dirk de Vries retired from the Library of the University of Leiden where he had worked for 31 years as map curator of the Bodel Nijenhuis Collection. For that occasion a symposium entitled In de kaart gekeken was organised, in which Dirk de Vries looked back on his career, sketched some historiographical developments in the history of cartography, and explored the future role of the Bodel Nijenhuis Collection in the teaching and research programmes of Leiden University. Three other lectures illustrated the use of maps in various historical disciplines. Marc Hameleers discussed the role of maps in the historical descriptions of the City of Amsterdam; Freek Heijbroek focused on maps as sources for research in the history of art; and Hans Renes underlined the importance of the study of maps for research of the history of the Dutch landscape. On behalf of the Library of the University of Leiden Charles van den Heuvel, successor to Dirk de Vries, wishes to thank the authors for their contributions. Leiden University thanks the Editorial Board of Caert-Thresoor for giving the opportunity to dedicate a special issue to the curatorship of Dirk de Vries. After a brief sketch of Dirk de Vries' career as map curator we focus on his publications and other contributions. They not only give a view of De Vries as a scholar of the history of cartography and as a connoisseur of maps, but also testify in a very open way to his decisions and choices as a map curator. This testimony of Dirk de Vries' curatorship is followed by a complete list of his publications. (back)
Dirk de Vries
The Bodel Nijenhuis Collection 'serving the science'
[Caert-Thresoor 22 (2003) 3, pp. 71-75]
In 1872 Johannes Tiberius Bodel Nijenhuis (1797-1872) donated 37.000 maps (50.000 sheets), 300 atlases and 22.000 topographical prints and drawings to the University of Leiden 'for the profit to the public'. By choosing six key moments in the last thirty years' history of the Bodel Nijenhuis Collection this 'public' role in research and learning is demonstrated. This period coincides with the development of the history of cartography towards a full-grown discipline. On the basis of two inaugurations of Utrecht University, the first of Koeman (1969), the second by his successor Schilder (1982) and of the monumental series The History of Cartography (started in 1987) recent developments of this discipline are explored. Whereas in the introduction to the first volume of the latter work one can read that the history of cartography stands 'at a crossroads' between - on the one hand - 'the interpretation of the content of early maps as documents' and - on the other hand - the 'study of maps as artifacts in their own right and as a graphic language', the author expresses a differing view. He does not position himself at such a cross-roads but states that, by combining these directions and focusing on fundamental new aspects of maps i.e. reading them as a means of communication, the traditional ways of study can be enriched. (back)
Maps in the publications of the great Amsterdam city historians
[Caert-Thresoor 22 (2003) 3, pp. 77-86]
In this article two different types of researchers of urban history are distinguished: descriptive and thematic. Both types might choose the whole city as well as a part of it (neighbourhood, street, canal, or house) as their area of study; several examples are mentioned here. From the 17th until the 19th century historians of Amsterdam never published more than five maps in their books. These maps show us different stages of the city's growth and appeared within their relevant chapters. Only very few maps of parts of the city were published in these books, and only Johannes Isaakszoon Pontanus published several dozen maps of areas beyond Amsterdam itself. Other than maps, dozens of topographical prints - especially of the most important buildings - were published. Up to the 19th century the maps that depict Amsterdam in the 13th or the 14th centuries (see illustration no. 5) were largely fantasy. Those that depict the situation of 1482 (or 1500) should have been based on archival sources in combination with the information that is offered by Cornelis Anthonisz.'s 12-sheet map of 1544. All the other maps in these historical studies are based on published predecessors, with the possible exception of Pontanus's map of Amsterdam published in 1611 and 1612 which forecast future urban growth (see illustration no. 10). As far as we know there was no older map available that might have served as his model. It is, nevertheless, quite reasonable to presume that it was drawn one or two years before Pontanus needed it for his book. That map has probably not survived. (back)
Old maps as a source for the study of landscape history
[Caert-Thresoor 22 (2003) 3, pp. 87-94]
In the first part of this article the study of the history of the cultural landscape is presented as an old tradition within geography. During the first half of the 20th century the study of 'landscape' was part of mainstream geography. After 1970 human geography, as a whole, turned its back on landscape, and landscape studies became a specialised field for a small number of historical geographers. From the 1970s they built up a tradition of advising governments and others on the management of historic landscapes. During the 1990s landscape studies became part of a revived cultural geography. With each phase the term 'landscape' itself was redefined. In the second part of the article maps are analysed as a major source for the study of landscape history. In the use of maps as a source four phases can be distinguished.  During the first phase, the cartographer observes the landscape, which he next  organises into a classification (the map legend). Later, the map user tries to decode the map , for which knowledge of the original aims of the map is necessary, and from there reconstructs the original landscape . Each phase has its own problems and challenges. (back)
The making and use of a Gemeenteatlas van Amsterdam revised to between 1892 and 1903, that was originally published by J.C. Loman jr. in 1876
[Caert-Thresoor 22 (2003) 4, pp. 105-111]
At a November 2001 auction the Gemeentearchief Amsterdam (Amsterdam Municipal Archives) bought a revised Gemeenteatlas van Amsterdam at a scale of 1:1.250 that was originally published by Jan Christiaan Loman jr. in 1876. The Archives hold several exemplars of the 1876 atlas as well as several thousand sheets of the map of Amsterdam on a scale of 1:1.000, of which the oldest sheets were printed in 1909. The map images of the recently bought atlas can be dated to between 1892 and 1903. Thus this acquisition fills a 'cartographic gap' in Amsterdam's urban development of this period.
The Gemeenteatlas van Amsterdam was originally printed in 101 sheets. The recently bought exemplar, however, contains 159 sheets: 17 of the original printed sheets of 1876 were replaced by hand-drawn ones, and 58 newly-drawn sheets (to show annexations of parts of neighbouring villages in 1896) were added. The remaining printed sheets of 1876 were updated (to show the latest urban developments) by having hand-drawn pieces of paper pasted over them. The original printed sheets gave us the house numbers; the cadastral numbers of all parcels were then added in red ink. The hand-drawn maps, in contrast, do not show house numbers; this is an important reason to think that the atlas was updated for the use of a mortgage bank. In 2002 the atlas was restored, and in 2003 the images were reproduced by scanning. For the Amsterdam Municipal Archives this recently bought atlas is one of the most important cartographic acquisitions of the past years. (back)
The sheet with the town views of Groningen, Brouwershaven and Gorinchem in the Civitates Orbis Terrarum
[Caert-Thresoor 22 (2003) 4, pp. 112-117]
Of this sheet three states exist, two of which depict Groningen in reverse; and, of these two states, the cartouche of one indicates that Gorinchem is a Flemish town. Tabulating the data compiled by R.A. Skelton - in his introduction to the facsimile edition (Amsterdam, 1965) - provided us with a base for this study, whose objective was to determine the years in which the alterations took place. We were simultaneously able to establish that the same copperplate had been used for all prints of sheet I, 21. Another result of the study was that some of Skelton's data need slight amendments. (back)