A Mirror of the World: Five Centuries of Geographical Atlases.
The exhibition, entitled Speculum Orbis Terrae: Five Centuries of Geographical Atlases in the Collections of the National Library of Russia, and a published catalogue of the same name marked the completion of the final stage of an eighteen-month project, led by the National Library of Russia in close collaboration with the Netherlands Institute in St. Petersburg, and the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage.
This international project was launched to help the Library safeguard
the unique masterpiece of the 16th-century Netherlandish cartography in collections of the Cartography Department: the Braun-Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum /Atlas of World Towns/ published in Cologne in 1577-1581. Six major Dutch universities (University of Amsterdam, Free University of Amsterdam, Universities of Leiden, Utrecht, Groningen and Nijmegen), and Wilhelmina Jansen Fund supported conservation of the Atlas. In September-October 2004 the restored atlas was exhibited in public.
The exhibition traced the evolution of printed atlases, starting with the very ealiest items to modern-day compact discs.
The exhibition showcased more than eighty printed Russian and foreign atlases, which reflects the major achievements of world atlas-making from the 16th to 21st century. The most valuable exhibits included works by Claudius Ptolemy, Gerardus Mercator, Abraham Ortelius, Johannes Homann and other well known map makers.
An important part of the Cartography Department holdings is its Russian atlas collection that contains both the first publications from the time of Tsar Peter the Great and the present-day
electronic collections of maps.
A special place was occupied by the restored volumes of the Braun-Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum /Atlas of World Towns/and plans of the Dutch towns, whose universities funded the conservation of this marvellous 16th-century Netherlandish atlas.
The exhibition catalogue describes atlases, selected for the exhibition. A bibliographic description includes author, title, details of publication, number of total volumes and pages, size, printing technique, library shelfmark. A catalogue entries also provide brief information about authors and publishers, atlas contents, history of atlas creation and exceptional features. List of atlas and map titles, index of names (authors, compilers, engravers, artists, publishers), and list of sources are printed at the end of the catalogue. The exhibition catalogue housed in the Cartography Department.
An online showcase of eighteen maps that were part of the major exhibition is available on the web:
List of atlas and map titles
Universalior cogniti orbis tabula ex
recemtibus con confecta observationibus. . From: [Collected Maps of
Claudius Ptolemy. Rome, 1508].
Gerardi Mercatoris et J. Hondii Atlas
ou representation du monde universel… Amsterdam, Henry Hondius, 1633. Vol.
Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive Atlas Novus…Editae
Guiljl. Et Joanne Blaeu. Vol.1. Amsterdam, J. G. Blaeu, 1645.
Systema solare et Planetarium.
. From: Atlas coelestis…exhibentur a Joh. Gabriele Doppelmaiero…
Nurnberg, Heredum Homannianorum, 1742.
The West-India atlas or compendious description
of the West-Indies… taken from actual survey actual survey …by Late
Thomas Jefferis. London: R.Sayer a. J. Bennet, 1775.
Atlas of the World's Commerce. Compiled
from the latest official returns at the Edinburgh Geographical institute
and edited by J.G.Bartholomew etc. London: George Newnes, .
[Portolan Atlas von Battista Agnese (1546)].
Disentis, Graz, Moscow: Desertina, Akademishe Druck-u.Verlagsanstalt, Autor, 1993.
The Ñoasts of Central America. From:[Diego Homem. Atlas Universal. 1565]. Barcelona: M. Moleiro, 2002
The Map of Easten Part of the Baltic Sea.
From: [Atlas of the Baltic Sea]. St. Petersburg, 1719.
[The Map of Ingermanland, 1727.] From:
[Ivan Kirilov. Atlas of the Russian Empire. St. Petersburg, 1731.]
The Map of St. Petersburg Province by
A. Vil'brekht. From: [Geographical Atlas of the Russian Empire],
[Atlas of Maps and Drawings of the Voyage in North-East Part of Russia and on the Islands of the Northen Part of the Pacific Ocean by the Fleet of Capitain G.Sarychev.St. Petersburg, 1802].
The Map of St. Petersburg Province. St. Petersburg,
1871. From the Detailed Atlas of the Russian Empire, with Plans of the Most Important Towns. St. Petersburg: A.Ilyin's Cartographic Establishment, 1871.
Geographical and Statistical Pocket
Atlas of Russia. Adolf Marx. St. Petersburg: Adolf Marx's Publishing House, 1907.
Atlas of Asiatic Russia. St. Petersburg:
The Migration Administration, 1914.
Civitates Orbis Terrarum… Libr. 3...
Col. Agr., 
Exactissima Amstelodami veteris et novissimi
delineatio per F. de Wit. /Plan of Amsterdam/ Amsterdam, gedr…by Fr. De Wit, [c. 1690].
Lugduni Batavorum vulgo Leyden sic ultimo
amplificati delineatio. F. de Wit. /Perspective Map of Leiden/ Amstelodami, 1670?