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The University Library Amsterdam is well-known for its extensive collection of seventeenth and eighteenth-century atlases made in Amsterdam. For example, by Hondius, Blaeu, Janssonius and De Wit.

It is less well-known that the University Library also has a large collection of atlases from Antwerp by Abraham Ortelius. Nineteen large folio atlases and sixteen small pocket atlases from the sixteenth and early seventeenth-century to be exact. The number of individual maps can only be guessed at. There must be about 800 of them, on average three or four different printings from over 200 copperplates, coloured in or not, which were used for Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum and his Parergon. The University Library thus has the largest collection of atlases and maps in the Netherlands under its care, and as a matter of fact also one of the largest collections in the world.

On the occasion of the fourth centenary of his death, there has been an exhibition about Abraham Ortelius and his work, and a list of recent publications [Dutch] and a selection from the collection have been put on the UBAweb.
Via an overview, with a short description of the items, you can go to a more extensive description in Dutch, often with an illustration. There are nine categories:
*  Modern world atlas *  Abraham Ortelius
*  Theatrum Orbis Terrarum *  Maps Theatrum Orbis Terrarum
*  The Parergon *  Maps from the Parergon
*  Pocket size Theatrum *  Two contemporaries
*  Amsterdam world atlas

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Last modified: 10 June 1998