Tijdschrift voor de Geschiedenis van de Kartografie
Journal for the history of cartography in the Netherlands

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Inhoud 29e jaargang (2010)
Contents of volume 29 (2010)

nr. 1     nr. 2      nr. 3     nr. 4

Caert-Thresoor 29e jaargang 2010, nr. 1

Caert-Thresoor 29e jaargang 2010, nr. 2

Caert-Thresoor 29e jaargang 2010, nr. 3

Caert-Thresoor 29e jaargang 2010, nr. 4


Ruud Paesie
Drawn on parchment: production and extent of the hydrographic business of the VOC

[Caert-Thresoor 29 (2010) 1, pp. 1-8]

Founded in 1602, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) had its own hydrographic offices for overseas navigation. The Company’s official mapmakers of its Amsterdam chamber, its hydrographic service in Batavia, and of its Zeeland chamber produced manuscript charts. Until 1753, from when printed maps and charts were used, a part of the VOC’s output was still drawn on parchment. All outward- and homeward-bound East Indiamen were equipped with around 30 to 35 charts on parchment; after completion of their voyages, these charts were cleaned by official VOC mapmakers for reuse. Charts on parchment lasted around three to four years. Approximately 70.000 manuscript charts on parchment were produced during the 17th and first half of the 18th century by the VOC’s official mapmakers. (back)

Igor Wladimiroff
'Sounded and drafted with one's own hands': Nicolaas Witsen and the charting of the 'Suyderzee'

[Caert-Thresoor 29 (2010) 1, pp. 9-15]

Nicolaas Witsen (1641-1717), descended from a family of merchants and managers, was mayor of Amsterdam, governor of the Dutch East India Company, and performed administrative functions in maritime matters. He was closely engaged in international commercial navigation and deeply interested in cartography: he caused a stir in 1689 with a groundbreaking map of Asiatic Russia. In 1696 Witsen became a member of the ‘pilotage supervisors committee’ by whom he was charged with the navigational safety of the Zuiderzee; his navigational interests and cartographic skills were very handy in this context. He provided for the construction of lighthouses and, by his own sounding of the depths, drew two detailed maps of the Zuiderzee, delineating the unpredictable channels through which the merchant ships sailed on their way to the world’s oceans, returning heavily laden. (back)

Louis van Empelen
Ware afbeeldinge der stadt Jerusalem: an unknown etching by Benjamin Wright from 1625

[Caert-Thresoor 29 (2010) 1, pp. 16-23]

Apart from his engraved work, little is known about the life of the English etcher Benjamin Wright (1575/76-c. 1625). From 1596 onwards he worked in England, Holland and Italy; after about 1620 he disappears from the annals of history. The discovery of an interesting print of a cityscape of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus sheds some light on the period thereafter. The etching, dated 1625, is dedicated to Prince Maurits and the representatives of Holland, Zeeland and West Friesland: this means that around this year Wright was working in the Netherlands. Further analysis shows that the view of Jerusalem is an adaptation of an etching of Adrichomius (1533-1585) that was published by Gerardus Brunius in 1590. In turn, this Dutch priest and cartographer derived his data mainly from the Bible, the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (AD 37-c. 100), and a contemporary woodcut of Adam Reissner. Wright adopted a Renaissance style for the buildings of Jerusalem which shows, above all, in the monumental Tempel des Heeren. This sanctuary is shown as a closed structure and therefore it is impossible to see what happens inside. This constraint caused the etcher to add the tabernacle and other sacred paraphernalia in the surrounding frame. Included are a Jewish high priest, an antique shekel and a floor plan with cross-section of Solomon’s temple. These border decorations were copied from the Biblia Sacra of the theologian, orientalist and humanist Benito Arias Montano (1527-1598). Wright’s etching is an adaptation of a version that he had already etched in 1602. The changes from the Adrichomius example in this etching were made to circumvent a privilege granted in 1598 for a Dutch copy of the original. (back)

Roeland Emaus
Map of the diocese of Utrecht: scientific value of the oldest printed map of the Netherlands

[Caert-Thresoor 29 (2010) 2, pp. 35-43]

When in the late fifties of the twentieth century a book was examined in the library of the University of Leiden four old map fragments were discovered in its cover. Two of these fragments showed a part of the Netherlands and came presumably from the same map, but showing two different areas; one showing the Oversticht (with parts of present-day Gelderland and Overijssel) and the other Friesland. Since their discovery little attention has been paid to these map fragments. Only Van ‘t Hoff made some superficial remarks about the fragments and dated them at 1524. The two fragments alone show over two hundred different churches with the names of their towns written under them. According to these place-names one would expect the fragment with the Oversticht to show the area roughly between Wageningen and Groningen and the fragment with Friesland to show the area between the island Terschelling and the German city Emden. When all the towns shown on both fragments are plotted on a presentday map of the Netherlands it becomes clear that this is not the case. When the fragments are analysed with the computer application MapAnalyst it becomes even more apparent that the map of which these fragments originated has no geometric ground at all! As stated, all the churches on the map are unique. This raises the question if these churches are genuine. To investigate this, a number of churches were compared with Van Deventers city maps for topographical attributes and with still existing churches for their architectural charicteristics. The outcome of these comparisons is twofold: first, the churches on the fragments are not accurately depicted. Second, there is some sort of graphic symbolisation; larger cities are depicted as a church with some adjacent buildings and a citywall and/or -moat whilst smaller towns are depicted as just one church. The 1524 map of which these fragments originated had no geometric ground and stood full of unique churches that were architecturally false. The only scientific value of this map can therefore be that it might provide us with an image of how the churches could have appeared at the beginning of the sixteenth century. (back)

Nikolay Komedchikov
The Russian translation of the texts from the 1613 Mercator-Hondiusatlas

[Caert-Thresoor 29 (2010) 2, pp. 44-47]

As there was a keen interest in geographical knowledge in the Russian state, the texts from the Mercator-Hondiusatlas were translated from Latin into Russian in 1637, based on the 1613 edition. The translations were effected by order of tsar Michael by Bogdan Lykov, translator of the posolsky prikaz (foreign office), and Ivan (Adam) Dorn, the former ambassador of the Holy Roman Empire to Persia. The translations are found in two Russian cosmographies – one with 223, and one with 76 chapters. Russian translators acted rather independently while translating the texts; they made compilations from different translations, considerably edited the texts, and adapted them to Russian readers. Religious tracts were not translated, but the translators extended and supplemented Mercator’s information on the economy, such as on animal husbandry, manufacturing and trade. The examples Komedchikov gives stem from the description of England in the Mercator-Hondiusatlas. (back)

Ferjan Ormeling
Map use aspects of Günter Schilder's Monumenta Cartographica Neerlandica VIII

[Caert-Thresoor 29 (2010) 2, pp. 48-51]

In this extended review of volume VIII of Günter Schilder’s Monumenta Cartographica Neerlandica, Ferjan Ormeling only evaluates the metadata relevant for using the maps covered as sources for contemporary geo-information. He focuses on the completeness of the maps regarding the geo-information categories represented. (back)

Jaap Gestman Geradts
Cornelis de Hooghe (1541-1583), imperial bastard, cartographer and rebel

[Caert-Thresoor 29 (2010) 3, pp. 65-70]

Cornelis de Hooghe (1541-1583), engraver, claimed to be a bastard son of emperor Charles V. He was Philip Galle’s pupil. He copied Van Deventer’s map of Holland and Zeeland (1565) and illustrated De Marchi’s work on fortifications in The Netherlands. In England, he engraved the Norfolk map for the Elisabeth Atlas (1574). He was beheaded in The Hague after his conspiracy in favour of the Spanish King had been discovered. (back)

Louis Saalmink
Covens & Mortier: from governor-King William III to King William III: observations on the appearance of the commercial version of the thesis of Marco van Egmond

[Caert-Thresoor 29 (2010) 3, pp. 71-75]

In this review Louis Saalmink discusses the commercial edition of Marco van Egmond’s thesis on Covens and Mortier. The thesis, is in his opinion, a sound method to apply to historical cartographical research. (back)

Sjoerd de Meer and Ferjan Ormeling
The story behind the Comprehensive Atlas of the Dutch East India Company - an interview with Rob van Diessen

[Caert-Thresoor 29 (2010) 3, pp. 77-87]

The Comprehensive Atlas of the VOC in seven volumes is a great venture. It makes accessible all manuscript material of maps and drawings of the VOC from the rich collection of the National Archives with additions from many other archives and museums at home and abroad. The editors have interviewed the publisher and co-author of this project, Rob van Diessen, to find out how this atlas series came into being - it is not something obvious. Rob van Diessen studied human geography in Amsterdam. After a short career as geography teacher he got the opportunity to assist in an agricultural development project in Sri Lanka. During his stay there he published his first book, a travel guide to that country. In 1993 Rob and his wife Willy established themselves as independent publishers, called Asia Maior. Between 1993 and 1998 they published a series of portraits of towns of the Dutch East Indies. In 1998 the Stedenatlas van Nederlands-Indië was published containing 95 town maps of the former Dutch East Indies. This was followed by an atlas of the Second World War Japanese civil internment camps. The idea for the next project, the Comprehensive Atlas of the Dutch East Indies, was born in 2002. Available authentic printed maps of the Indies and Dutch New Guinea, in the period between about 1890 and 1963, formed the basis for the project. A fruitful collaboration with the Dutch Royal Geographical Society (KNAG) and the University of Utrecht was started. A printing house was found in Croatia which still had, from the time of the united Yugoslavia, a few wellpreserved binding machines which were able to handle sizes up to about 60 x 40 cm. After the Comprehensive Atlas of the Dutch East Indies, attention was focused on the Dutch East-India Company (VOC). The first plans were developed in consultation with Günter Schilder’s ‘Research programme Explokart’ at Utrecht University. The structure of the series was defined: each volume should have a sheet size of 56 x 40 cm size with 400-432 pages, for which 450-600 still images would be required. The first volume was published in 2007. Until now 5 volumes have been published, and the last two will be published this year. There are plans for an atlas of the Dutch West India Company in the near future. (back)

Thomas Wagemaakers
Hettema and De Bont: A comparison of two historical atlasses

[Caert-Thresoor 29 (2010) 4, pp. 101-109]

Historical school atlases may influence the historic awareness of generations of people. In the Netherlands, this genre goes back to the late 19th century. Two main series are De Bont’s Schoolatlas der Algemene en Vaderlandse Geschiedenis (1893-1960) and Hettema’s Grote Historische Schoolatlas (1896-1968). These have been compared. Both started out with a small number of atlas sheets. Until 1914, the number of pages dedicated to Dutch history was gradually increasing. Thereafter, the number of atlas sheets went up all of a sudden, in order to accommodate the representation of World Wars I and II. Other important changes have occurred in the maps themselves, in particular in Hettema’s series. Overall, De Bont’s atlases have been more neutral and consistent in the representation of Dutch history. Hettema emphasises the colonies and the Dutch ‘Golden Age’ disproportionally, and examples of the religious and colonial histories contain many political connotations. (back)

Wouter Bracke
Two unknown manuscript charts of the Van Keulen firm in the Royal Library of Belgium

[Caert-Thresoor 29 (2010) 4, pp. 110-114]

In 2009 two so-called manuscript charts by the Van Keulen firm emerged in the map collection of the Royal Library of Belgium. They are not mentioned in The Van Keulen Cartography, Amsterdam, 1680-1885 (Alphen aan den Rijn, 2005) – the catalogue by Dirk de Vries, Günter Schilder and others. The charts’ provenance is not yet completely clear; they are large-format loose sheets of the Norwegian and North Seas, and of the Kattegat respectively. (back)

Hans Kok
A base-line for history tuition in the Netherlands from an enclosure with the Haagsche Post of 1930

[Caert-Thresoor 29 (2010) 4, pp. 115-119]

In 1930 the Dutch paper Haagsche Post distributed a map with its Christmas issue. Although the publication took place in an environment of financial and economic crisis, Dutch history, as perceived by the author of the map, is presented in quite a cheerful manner. Major historical events, from pre -Roman times until around 1830, have their locations visualised in small funny drawings with accompanying one-liners. It is interesting to see that those items, important at the time, have continued to be represented to a large extent; currently, however, history lessons in schools suffer from lack of focus and coordination. The Dutch Ministry of Education has recently completed a study to remedy this situation. No reference, of course, is made to this map which, however, nicely reflects the syllabus that was taught in Dutch schools around the time of its publication. (back)

Marc Hameleers
The recently recognized Algemeen Uitbreidingsplan van Amsterdam (1935) on a 1:10.000 scale

[Caert-Thresoor 29 (2010) 4, pp. 120-127]

The urban planner and architect Cornelis van Eesteren made his Algemeen Uitbreidingsplan van Amsterdam (= AUP; or ‘General Development Plan of Amsterdam’) between 1929 and 1935. Several plans on smaller scales of 1:25.000, 1:50.000 and 1:62.500 have been known since that time. A plan on a scale of 1:10.000, and measuring 216 x 270 cm, was recognized on December 24th 2008. Pitifully, it was in a very bad condition; but, because of its enormous historic importance, the plan was conserved in 2009. This article describes the use of the 1:10.000 plan, its production and content, as well as its conservation. Attention is also drawn to two old photographs made in the 1930s which show the Van Eesteren plan. The conclusion is that one photo shows the recently recognized AUP 1:10.000 plan, whereas the second shows it on a scale of 1:5.000. Thus the second photo shows a plan that was hitherto unknown. Nevertheless it is gratifying that a 1:10.000 plan is now known. (back)

Laatst bijgewerkt op 22/01/2011 door Gijs Boink