Vandermaelen Atlas (1827) • First atlas of the world with all maps on the same scale

With funding from the Rare Book Division, the Friends of the Library, and the Historic Maps Collection, in March 2009, the Library acquired a copy of the Philippe Vandermaelen, Atlas universel de géographie physique, politique, statistique et minéralogique . . . (Brussels, 1827), consisting of approximately 380 folio foldout sheets of maps and 40 pages of statistical tables. This is the first atlas to have been printed using lithography; it is also the first to show the whole world in maps using a uniform scale (about 26 miles to the inch).

The atlas was digitally photographed at high resolution in 2010, and is now available in two forms: in the Princeton University Digital Library [link] and on a stand-alone website, which includes a video showing a virtual rotating globe constructed from the Vandermaelen continental maps: the world as it was mapped in 1827 [link].