- Rare Maps Collection
Rare Maps Collection
The National Library’s Rare Maps Collection forms part of the valuable Rare Materials Collection held in its Lee Kong Chian Reference Library. The collection contains topographic maps and navigational charts covering Singapore, Southeast Asia and Asia, as well as town plans and street maps of Singapore and Malaya. Majority of the maps were printed by European map-makers before 1945; these maps illustrate the development of European mapping of early Southeast Asia, as well as the history of the region.
The David Parry Southeast Asian Map Collection constitutes 254 maps dating from the 15th to 19th centuries. The majority of the maps were originally published in atlases and books, which may no longer be available in their original edition or as a complete entity. The collection contains maps produced by prominent cartographers of that period, including Gastaldi (c.1500–1565), Linschoten (1563–1611), Bellin (1703–72), Blaeu (1571–1638), Ortelius (1527–1598), Mercator (1512–1594), Hondius (1563–1612), Münster (1488–1552) and de Bry (1528–98), as well as several printed editions of Ptolemy maps, which include some of the earliest references to Singapore and the Malay Peninsula.
A chart of the eastermost part of the East Indies and China, from Cape Comarine to Iapan, with all the adjacent islands Thornton, S. (Samuel), -1715 (1711)
This map of China, Japan and Southeast Asia appeared in The English pilot, the third book in 1711, originally published by John Thornton in 1703. Thornton based the 'pilot' upon confidential Dutch manuscript sea-charts, mostly those of Bleau's. Samuel Thornton took over the publication after his father's death in 1708, producing a new edition in 1711. Few changes were made to the actual content of the maps, although John's name was replaced with Samuel's in the cartouche. -- Dealer's description...
A ilha e cidade de Goa metropolitana da India e partes orientais : que esta en 15 graos da banda do norte Linschoten, Jan Huygen van, 1563-1611 (1595)
An aerial view of the city of Goa, which was the centre of Portugal's Indian Empire and spice trade. Numerous ships occupy the foreground, and the upper part of the engraving is entirely taken up by strapwork cartouches containing the Portuguese and Goan coats of arms, title, dedication to Albert of Austia and a key to sites in the city. This plate was engraved by Baptist van Doetechum and is from Linschoten's "Itinerario", which was a manual for sailing to the East Indies, based on Linschoten's...
A map of Batavia with all itts forts Nieuhof, Johannes, 1618-1672 (1704)
This engraved map of Batavia shows the surrounding countryside and forts. It is illustrated with people and animals in the fields and several ships in the harbour. The title cartouche is shown as the wall of a fortress. The map is from the English edition of Johan Nieuhoff's Gedenkwaerdige zee en lantreize.
A map of Java, Borneo and the islands to the eastward of them as far as Nova Guinea Hamilton, Alexander, -1732? (1744)
This map of the East Indies is from Alexander Hamilton's 1744 edition of New account of the East Indies. Little is known of Alexander Hamilton other than what he tells us in this work, first published in 1727. Written during his retirement, it is a lively account of Hamilton's seafaring life in the service of the East India Company and independently between 1688 and 1723. In one passage, Hamilton states that he was offered the island of Singapore but declined it, explaining that it was "of no us...