Cartography, Geography and Travel
The Allard Pierson possesses one of the largest collections of maps in the world. Amsterdam was the map capital of the world after all.
The Allard Pierson Maps and Atlases collection is one of the largest in the Netherlands and among the world’s major collections. This is only to be expected, considering that, in the 17th century, Amsterdam was the most important map producer in the world.
The Allard Pierson depot contains around 135,000 loose maps, 4,500 atlases and a number of globes. The library and map collection of the Royal Dutch Geographical Society (KNAG) from 1880 forms a significant part of the collection. In outline, the collection reflects the history of Western, and in particular Dutch, cartography right up to the present day. Hundreds of the maps are described as unique or extremely rare. The two main clusters, the KNAG collections and the collections acquired later by the University Library are strongly interconnected, both with respect to their contents and physically; they have grown together over 125 years.