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Cartography Reading Room


Opening hours:

Monday to Friday: 9.30am - 5.30pm
Item requests up to 5pm.

Saturday: - Closed

Additional services:
Photocopies, on request up to 5.00pm


21 7982049 / 50

Fax 21 7982138
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There are around 1,200 manuscript and printed titles in the Collection of Atlases.
Among the manuscript items, the parchment Atlas made by Fernão Vaz Dourado in around 1576, the Atlas of the coast of Brazil, which dates from the 17th century after 1646, and the Mapa da configuração de todas as praças fortalezas e baterias do reino do Algarve made by José de Sande de Vasconcelos in about 1788, are of particular interest.


Prime examples of the printed atlases include various editions of Claudius Ptolemaeus’ Geography, Georg Braun and Franciscus Hogemberg’s Civitatis Orbis Terrarum, Abraham Ortelius’s Theatrum Orbis Terrarrum, and Gerard Mercator’s Atlas. The collection also includes an important set of Dutch atlases, above all from the 17th century, such as the Atlas Mayor by Joan Blaeu, the Nuevo Atlas by Johannes Janssonius, and various atlases by Johan Van Keulen, Hendrick Doncker, Frederick de Wit, Lucas Jansz and Waghenaer, among others. There are also various 17th and 18th century French atlases and their Dutch counterfeit copies, such as the Atlas Nouveau by Hubert Jaillot, an atlas by P. Duval and N. Sanson, the Neptune François and the Suite du Neptune François, and the Nouvel atlas de la Chine by Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville, which was published in 1737.

The most significant Portuguese atlases include João Silvério Carpinetti’s Mapas das provincias de Portugal, from the second half of the 18th century; the Novo atlas universal português, which was printed in Lisbon in 1814; and the first Portuguese scientific atlas, Cartas elementares de Portugal para uso das escolas, by Barros Gomes, which was published in 1878. There are also a number of important 20th century atlases, especially Amorim Girão’s Atlas, and various atlases of the former Portuguese colonies.