Browse This Collection
The maps in this digital collection are from volume 11, the New World, of the 1662 edition of Joan Blaeu’s Atlas Maior (Grand Atlas). Considered a masterpiece of seventeenth-century cartography, this atlas was created by Willem Janszoon (1571-1638) and his son Joan (1596-1673) and published in Amsterdam in various compilations from 1635 to 1665. Originally titled Theatrum Orbus Terrarum, sive, Atlas Novus (Theatre of the World, or, New Atlas), the atlas positioned itself as a worthy successor to the seminal sixteenth-century atlas of Abraham Ortelius, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. In the 1662 edition, Joan Blaeu changed the latter phrase in the title from Atlas Novus (New Atlas) to Atlas Maior (Grand Atlas), and this edition lived up to its name as the most comprehensive world atlas produced up to that time, containing more than 530 maps accompanied by extensive textual descriptions. This collection is dedicated to Dr. James and Beverly Mershon, strong supporters of Special Collections and University Archives, Wichita State University Libraries, who share its commitment to preserve and provide access to maps documenting local, national and global geography.