Discovering the Bartholomew Archive
Larger sketch image
A new website offers an introduction to nearly 180 years of Bartholomew mapmaking and printing.
The Bartholomew Archive is the fascinating and extensive record of the Edinburgh firm of map engravers, publishers and printers. Started as a family firm in the 1820s, Bartholomew became internationally renowned, producing everything from charts for explorers to school atlases and globes.
As well as background to the family and firm, our web feature provides:
- An overview of archive contents and access, including inventories and summaries.
of discoveries made during the process of cataloguing the
collection, such as:
- The naming of Antarctica
- Tickets for William Gladstone's Midlothian campaign in the 1880 Election
- Innovations in Ordnance Survey half-inch mapping
- The Bartholomew blog, updated by curators.
The Bartholomew Archive has been growing at the National Library of Scotland for many years, and we are still receiving material. In a three-year project funded by the John R Murray Charitable Trust, we are cataloguing and preserving the firm's Printing Record. This project is due to end in 2010 and will result in a fully searchable database.
20 January 2009
Great Reform Act plans for Scotland go online
The most significant body of maps drawn to illustrate urban boundaries in Scotland is now available on our website.
Plans of 75 Scottish towns were published in 1831-1832 to implement the Reform Act (Scotland) of 1832. These plans are valuable because they:
- Include the earliest recorded printed plans that exist for some towns
- Include 36 towns that were mapped for the first time
- Show a considerable amount of the outskirts and land beyond the built-up area
- Depict and name important urban features, such as streets, public buildings, industrial premises and bridges.
Our maps section on the 'Great Reform Act Plans and Reports, 1832' has zoomable digital images of all 75 plans. Also zoomable are the pages of a complete facsimile of the 153-page report to the House of Commons in which the plans were published. The report also contains details of each of the Scottish burghs, visited by the Parliamentary Boundary Commissioners who produced the town plans.
7 January 2009