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Dear colleagues in the history of cartography, a happy 2012 to you all!

This passing of another threshold in the years that we have been - and will be 
- working on the Atlas der Neederlanden project may be a suitable occasion for 
a concise review and perspective of this multi-sided enterprise.

The Atlas and the project:

The Atlas der Neederlanden [= Atlas of the Netherlands], kept in the Special 
Collections of the University of Amsterdam, is a 9-volume composite atlas 
including over 600 map sheets covering virtually the whole territory of the 
Dutch Republic in the eighteenth century. Although the size of all volumes is 
of a regular folio-atlas type, the maps included are very different in size, 
contributing to the typical looks of a private collector’s atlas. Many of them 
are oversized and multiple folded within the atlas volumes. This collection was 
completed and bound together in the second decade of the nineteenth century. 
The many multi-sheet wall maps included found protection against all kinds of 
threats like insects, light, dust, dirt etc. within the safe covers of the 
bindings. Therefore, their appearance is almost mint in many cases, bright, 
fresh, as if printed and hand coloured only yesterday. This is in great 
contrast to the rather few surviving mounted counterparts, which have been on 
display on walls for a long period, often bearing visible scars of hardship and 
restoration. Nevertheless, although the paper quality is generally very fine, 
in the course of two centuries numerous assembled, mounted sheets have suffered 
severely from being folded out and in repeatedly. Inevitably tears, holes, 
cracked paper and bad wrinkles are very often encountered.

This huge atlas is the focus of a project including map-by-map cataloguing, 
restoration, digitization, reproduction and exhibition. Map cataloguing was 
completed in 2008, preparations and planning for further action were done in 
2009 and 2010, the paper restoration was completed in summer 2011, and 
digitization is in good progress at this moment, to be completed by March 2012.
Preparations for a full-size facsimile edition are well underway.

In the course of this year 2012 the first steps in the direction of an 
exhibition on the Dutch landscape at the end of 2013 will be taken. In 1810, 
two hundred years before the start of this project, the Netherlands were 
annexed and became part of the French Empire. In 2013, two hundred years after 
the withdrawal of the French and the inauguration of sovereign prince Frederik 
Willem (to become King Willem I), the project will reach its end. The 
well-preserved atlas will then be the monumental focus of an exhibition on the 
Dutch landscape, both celebrating the bicentennial of the foundations of the 
Kingdom of the Netherlands, which was definitely established in 1815, and the 
bicentennial of this Atlas der Neederlanden.
The project will be fully completed as soon as the final restoration of the 
bindings will have taken place, early 2014.

Web site and facsimile:

Half-way the project now, digitization, image processing and the 
facsimile-edition are the core business of all project activities at this 
moment. That’s why we are happy to announce the Atlas der Neederlanden website 
which was completed last December. In my opinion it’s a nice introduction and 
it offers a first visual acquaintance with the atlas and some of its contents, 
and – last but not least – the envisaged facsimile edition, which is a project 
of Asia Maior / Atlas Maior Publishers in cooperation with the Special 
Collections of the University of Amsterdam. Asia Maior is well-known for the 
recent multi-volume publications on the cartography of both the Dutch United 
East India Company and the West India Company.

At this moment it’s in Dutch only, but the information above is a concise 
summary of the information to be found on the AdN website:

Because this facsimile publication will be extremely limited, and investments 
will be high, and a lot of professional handwork will be involved, and 
expensive materials will be used, the price will inevitably be €6995 per set of 
9 volumes + 1 volume introduction (P+P included for the Netherlands and 
Definite realization of the facsimile project will be dependent on a minimum of 
subscribers by April 2012. So your interest and support is highly appreciated!

For more information you can address to Asia Maior / Atlas maior on: , or you can alternatively contact me on:<>.

Some interesting additional external information on the Atlas der Neederlanden 

With kind regards, Jan Werner

Drs. Jan W.H. Werner
Conservator Kaarten & Atlassen, Kaartenzaal
Curator Maps & Atlases, Map Room
Bijzondere Collecties - Universiteit van Amsterdam
Oude Turfmarkt 129, 1012 GC  AMSTERDAM
P.O. Box 94436, 1090 GK  AMSTERDAM NL
T +31(0)20 5252354, F +31 (0)20 5257301<>
Beelddatabank Kaarten & Atlassen:
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