van der Aa Nouvel Atlas

Van der Aa began his career as a bookseller and printer of classics. Over time, his printing operation expanded to include maps and other geographic work, such as this atlas. Van der Aa’s business succeeded and he was eventually appointed the official printer of the University of Leiden and then for the city of Leiden itself. This work is notable for its inclusion of maps depicting India, Africa, the Cape of Good Hope, South America, Brazil, and China. Asian and American maps were less prominently featured in earlier atlases, due either to their recent discovery by Europeans, lack of knowledge and information, or a more inward-looking interest. Van der Aa himself was not a cartographer; he simply compiled and printed existing maps. This atlas stands out from the other Dutch works on display as being published after the “Golden Age” during which time the scientific, economic, and cultural influence of the Dutch Republic were dominant, due in part to their participation in the slave trade.

Bequest of Duncan Payne, class of 1963.

Pieter van der Aa (1659-1733).
Nouvel Atlas, très-exact et fort commode pour toutes sortes de personnes, Contenant les Principales Cartes Géographiques.
A Leide: Chez Pierre Van der Aa, Marchand Libraire. Avec Privilege. [1714].

Lehigh University Catalog Record:

A version of this text has been digitized and is available through the David Rumsey Map Collection.