E.G.R. Taylor Collection of historic printed maps
A collection of over 900 map sheets, representing 96 individual and series titles, and dating between 1700 and 1900.
The collection was presented to Senate House Library by Birkbeck College, where E.G.R.Taylor was chair of the department of geography from 1930 until 1944.
The collection comprises an interesting mixture of fine maps as well as the work of important mapmakers worthy of Professor Taylor’s interest in the art and science of cartography. History comes alive as its stage is revealed in maps, and family historians in particular will find the detail of these maps of great use. Those interested in cartography and its history will discover some very interesting and unusual examples of the work of important 18th and 19th century European practitioners.
Gems of the collection
A number of series of detailed mapping of Europe mostly from the first half of the 19th century represent the forerunners of today’s national topographic maps. Amongst these are series of Belgium (1865-1872); France (1832-1863); the German states of Baden (1849), Hesse (1850) and Wurttemberg (1851); Italian states including Lombardy-Venetia (1833), Naples (1820), Parma (1828), Sicily (1769 and 1826), and Tuscany (1830 and 1851); Illyria and Styria (1834); Netherlands (1850-1870); Spain (1865); and European Turkey (1829). There are also French maps of the coasts of northern France (1792) and Algeria (1835-1854); Morocco (1848); and Tunis (1857). Of special interest are Semyon Aleksandrovich Mukhin’s early classic of Russian military topographical mapping of the Crimean Peninsula from 1817, and Thomas Best Jervis’s English language reworking of the same map in 1854 for presentation to Queen Victoria at the time of the Crimean War.
Also included in the collection is the work of such cartographers as Ivan Islen’ev, Alexi Hubert Jaillot, Pierre Lapie, Georges-Louis Le Rouge, Guillaume de L’Isle, Filippo Morghen, and Gilles Robert de Vaugondy. Of special interest are an unrecorded variant of E.H. Friex’s Atlas des Pays Bas (1745); an incomplete set of sheets in preparation for assembly of Bernard de Roy’s Nieuwe caerte van de Provincie van Utrecht (1743); nineteen maps of Spanish provinces and regions by Tomas López de Vargas Machuca (1768-1787); and a preliminary draft of a Russian map of the northern part of the North Pacific Ocean which later appeared in one of the first atlases of the region (1849).
There are maps from the collection of Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, which was later subsumed into the Topographical Collection of George III, and maps belonging to Henri V de France, Comte de Chambord.
Thanks to a generous grant from SHeLF, the Friends of Senate House Library, the E.G.R.Taylor Collection of Historic Printed Maps was catalogued in 2008, and records are now available on the main Library Catalogue and COPAC. To gain an overview of the collection do an author search on “Taylor, E G R” as associated name. The maps are available for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room in Senate House Library.