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The Library's collection of Printed antiquarian maps and atlases

The Library’s collection policy is geared mainly to obtaining antiquarian mapping, of Wales, or by Welsh cartographers; however, a large amount of other antiquarian material has been collected over the years.

In addition to maps that were published flat the Library also has many maps that were originally bound in atlases, but which were disbound at some point prior to arrival in the Library.

These items are on the Library’s Catalogue and can be consulted in the South Reading Room.

There are also over 200 antiquarian atlases in the Library. There are 3 main collections:

  • The NLW Folio collection contains items obtained by the Library from various sources
  • The Mervyn Pritchard collection was purchased from the estate of a London collector of Welsh origin in 1940
  • Smaller antiquarian atlases

All of the volumes have been catalogued and many of them have also had their maps individually catalogued. You can search this collection via the Library Catalogue.

For security and preservation reasons there are special arrangements for viewing pre-1800 atlases. Readers may be provided with a facsimile edition of the work, if one is available.


  • D Huw Owen, Early printed maps of Wales (Aberystwyth, 1996)
  • National Library of Wales, Early printed county maps of Wales: a carto-bibliography and catalogue of the exhibition (Aberystwyth, 1980)
  • Rodney Shirley, Early printed maps of the British Isles 1477-1650. Rev. ed. (East Grinstead, 1991)
  • Rodney Shirley, Printed maps of the British Isles 1650-1750 (Tring, 1988)
  • R A Skelton, County atlases of the British Isles 1579-1703 (London, 1970)
  • Donald Hodson, County atlases of the British Isles published after 1703 3 vols. (Tewin & London, 1984-97)
  • P. van der Krogt, Koeman's atlantes Neerlandici. 8 vols. ('T Goy-Houten, 1997-)
  • Mireille Pastoureau, Les atlas Français XVIe - XVIIe siècles (Paris, 1984)