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
David Parry Southeast Asian Map

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.