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Poseidon riding a Hippocumpus, detail from Tarritoria Angelen et Schwansen, Blaeu Atlas Maior, Joan Blaeu, Amsterdam 1665

Poseidon riding a Hippocumpus, detail from Tarritoria Angelen et Schwansen, Blaeu Atlas Maior, Joan Blaeu, Amsterdam

Poseidon riding a Hippocumpus, detail from Tarritoria Angelen et Schwansen, Blaeu Atlas Maior, Joan Blaeu, Amsterdam 1665

The  Cosmographia Blaviana or Blaeu Atlas Maior was published in 1662-5. It is a splendid and one of the largest examples of the multi-volume Dutch world atlases. It contains 3,368 pages of texts and 594 maps and presents the world as it was understood in the mid 17th century. Volume VI of the work contains maps of Scotland and Ireland. The Atlas Maior was the most expensive book that could be acquired in the mid-17th century.

When it was published, the Blaeu Atlas Maior was the largest map publishing project the world had seen

Territoria Anglen Et Schwansen
Courtesy of NLS. Blaeu Atlas Maior, Joan Blaeu, Amsterdam 1665

The National Library of Scotland, Special Collections

The National Library of Scotland on George IV Bridge in Edinburgh contains a fascinating holding of books, manuscripts and archives. The Library’s Special Collections are particularly eclectic, ranging from witchcraft to the French Revolution, from beekeeping to Esperanto and from the Reformation to cookbooks. Rare books include Stirling’s ‘Annals of the Artists of Spain’ the first illustrated art history and Fox Talbot’s ‘Sun Pictures in Scotland’. With over one million books to consult all you need is a library card and time to delve history.

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Let's work together

If you truly treasure something the best way to show that love is to share it. The Keyhole Collection is dedicated to bringing artwork and artefacts to a new audience. We do this by sharing and collaborating. Working with museums, archives, organisations and stately homes we unearth the quirky and the curious. Images and objects which may have lain unloved and out of sight for centuries can be admired and appreciated again. The stories behind their creation seen through new eyes. The cards we produce celebrating the original work and the history behind it but with a fresh, colourful approach designed to appeal to everyone. So if you are curator or archivist and would like to bring your collection to life and attract new visitors please just get in touch. We also work with families and individuals who own special collections and would like to share these in memorable ways with friends and loved ones. Find out more about how we work and the organisations we work with.