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Beudeker collection: maps and views of the Lowlands

The Beudeker Collection is a collection of mainly printed maps and views of the Netherlands and Belgium, gathered by the Amsterdam merchant Christoffel Beudeker (1685-1756). 

The collection is built around two volumes of Joan Blaeu’s  maps of towns of the Netherlands, Tooneel der Steden van de Vereenighde Nederlanden (1649), and the section of Blaeu’s Atlas Major that covers the Netherlands. To these, Beudeker added further volumes containing hundreds of maps, drawings, views, portraits and historical and satirical prints ranging in date from 1600 to 1756. Further additions made after Beudeker’s death extend the coverage of the collection to 1815.

Major Dutch mapmakers are featured in the collection, such as Ortelius, Visscher, de Wit, Blaeu, Hondius and Schenk.

Detail of Leo Belgicus.

Detail of Nicholas Visscher's Leo Belgicus, 1650. Maps C.9.d.1

Access

Print

  • Contents of the 24 volumes are listed in a card index in the Maps Reading Room. Entries occur for geographical headings, personal name headings (authors, engravers, artists, publishers) and other selected subjects.
  • Volumes of the Beudeker collection should be ordered via the Integrated Catalog where many of the individual maps are listed. The Beudeker Collection may be viewed in the  Maps Reading Room of the British Library.

Digital

  • The British Library has scanned and made available online one volume, Maps C.9.e.7 "Country houses and gardens of the Netherlands – part one". Entitled Dutch Baroque Gardens in the Turning the Pages online exhibition, it features color prints of Dutch country houses and gardens. 
  • A joint project with Koninklijke Bibliotheek - the National Library of the Netherlands - has seen volume 21 of the Beudeker Collection digitised, accessible via Memory of the Netherlands (Atlas van der Hagen and Atlas Beudeker).

Arrangement

The maps are contained in 24 large folio volumes out of an original set of 27, and were purchased by the British Museum in 1861. The volumes have been arranged by geographical area, and are located at the following shelfmarks:

Maps C.9.d.1  --  to --  Maps C.9.d.11

Maps C.9.e.1  --  to  -- Maps C.9.e.13

Each volume contains a typed list of contents in the inside front cover. Summary titles occur in gold tooling on the spines and are translatable as follows:

  • Maps C.9.d.1         A description of the Austrian Netherlands
  • Maps C.9.d.2         A description of Gelderland, Zutphen etc.                     
  • Maps C.9.d.3         A description of Holland and West Friesland
  • Maps C.9.d.4         The towns of Holland – part one
  • Maps C.9.d.5         The towns of Holland – part two, section one
  • Maps C.9.d.6         The towns of Holland – part two, section two
  • Maps C.9.d.7         The towns of Holland – part two, section three
  • Maps C.9.d.8         The towns of Holland – part three
  • Maps C.9.d.9         The towns of Holland – part four
  • Maps C.9.d.10       the town hall of Amsterdam                                             
  • Maps C.9.d.11       A description of Zeeland – part one
  • Maps C.9.e.1         A description of Zeeland – part two
  • Maps C.9.e.2         A description of the environs of Utrecht
  • Maps C.9.e.3         A description of Friesland and Groningen, etc.
  • Maps C.9.e.4         A description of Brabant. Limburg and Luxembourg
  • Maps C.9.e.5         A description of Flanders
  • Maps C.9.e.6         The towns of Artois, Hainault, Namur and Mechelin etc.
  • Maps C.9.e.7         Country houses and gardens of the Netherlands – part one
  • Maps C.9.e.8         Country houses and gardens of the Netherlands – part two
  • Maps C.9.e.9         Country houses and gardens of the Netherlands – part three
  • Maps C.9.e.10       The expansion of the Netherlands
  • Maps C.9.e.11       The River Vecht and Amstel
  • Maps C.9.e.12       Portraits of the earls and dukes of Brabant
  • Maps C.9.e.13       The notable figures of Amsterdam

Further reading

  • Simoni, Anna E.C, 'Terra Incognita: the Beudeker Collection in the Map Library of the British Library'. British Library Journal 11 (1985), 143-75.