Map Collection (Exploration and Travel)

The map collection consists of about 6,000 maps and 500 atlases, dating from 1556 to 1940. The collection strengths are discovery and exploration of North America, Montreal and Europe. Early atlases include Claudius Ptolemy's Geografia (Padua, 1620-1621), Thomas Porcacchi's L'Isole piu famuso del Mondo (Padua, 1620), and Andreas Cellarius's Harmonia macrocosmica (Amsterdam: Jansson, 1661). Significant maps in the collection include plates from the atlases of Willem Blaeu, Gerard Mercator and Abraham Ortelius.

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The strength of the collection is the discovery and exploration of North America. Among the earliest accounts of voyages to North America is Ramusio's Navagationi et Viaggi (Venice, 1556). Maps of discovery include Cornelius Claesz's Nova Francia (Amsterdam, 1594), Willem Barents Deliniatio Cartae trium navagationum (1598) and Hessel Gerritsz's Tabula Nautica (Amsterdam, 1612). Manuscript plans of New France by Jehan Bourdon dated 1635-1642, are also worthy of mention. Some of the notable maps of New France are included in a set of fifty maps (1556-1850) donated by McGill graduate and management professor William H. Pugsley (1912-1993). As well, there is Admiral Henry W. Bayfield's Charts of the River St. Lawrence (1828-1865).

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Montreal maps span the years 1556 to 1940. Examples of these are: Gastaldi's La Terra de Hochelaga nella Nova Francia (1556) from Ramusio's Navagationi, John Adams Map of the city and suburbs of Montreal (1825) and James Cane's Topographical and pictorial map of the city of Montreal (1846). Early maps of Quebec include the manuscript map of Samuel Gale and John B. Duberger's Plan of part of the Province of Lower Canada, 1794 & 1795, Jean Deshayes La grande rivière de Canada (1715) and Gabriel Pelegrin's manuscript map Fleuve de Saint Laurent, 1755. The Division has four major collections of fire insurance atlases for Montreal: Henry W. Hopkins Atlas of the city and island of Montreal (1879), Chas. E. Goad's Atlas of the city of Montreal (1890), Pinsoneault Atlas of the island and city of Montreal (1906) and Chas. E. Goad's Atlas of the city of Montreal and vicinity 4 vols. (1911-14). There are also a number of county atlases for the province, as well as fire insurance maps for about 100 cities and towns in the province, dated 1896-ca 1940.

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There are some excellent maps of London and Paris, as well as some regional plans of England and France. Louis Bretez's Plan de Paris (Paris, 1739) is a magnificent bird's-eye view. Joseph Nicolas de L'Isle's Atlas Russicus (St. Petersburg, 1745) exemplifies the French contribution to Russian cartography. Dmitriy Petin's [General map of the Russian Empire] (Moscow, 1785) is an important example of Russian cartography.

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The Division has some 2500 guidebooks. One of the earliest Canadian guidebooks is Gideon Miner Davison, The Fashionable Tour: A Guide to Travellers Visiting the Middle and Northern States, and the Provinces of Canada 4th edition (Saratoga Springs: 1830). There are many nineteenth century guidebooks of Europe, such as: Oxford University and City Guide (Oxford : Munday and Slatter, 1818); Ludlow Guide, 4th edition. (Ludlow : H. Procter, 1831); Black's Picturesque Tourist of Scotland, 8th ed. (Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1850). In addition, there are many guidebooks by Baedeker, who started publishing in 1839. Also included in the collection are a number of eighteenth-century guidebooks, for example Forestiere illuminato... della citta di Venezia (Venice: Giovanbatista Albrizzi q. Girol, 1740).

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Last modified 97/4/25.