Maps in Our Collections
Limited access to the Map collections
Parts of the Map collections will be inaccessible until May 2017 due to the installations of new cabinets in the stacks. The installations have been delayed because of an appealed procurement decision.
The National Library has a large collection of old and new maps. You can search for Swedish map sheets printed since 1986, atlases, and all hand-drawn maps in LIBRIS. Only a small selection of the older maps is recorded in the library’s general catalogs. You can search for other maps in special catalogs and in the indices and copies located in the Special Reading Room.
Orbis terrarum nova et accuratissima tabula auctore Petro Goos, Pieter Goos (1615-1675). From De Zee-Atlas ofte Water-Weereld, 1666, AF 150. Hand-colored engraving.
The collection of Swedish maps is essentially complete and consists of about 150,000 map sheets and 700 volumes. Some of the most important historical maps are Olaus Magnus’s Carta Marina in a version from 1572; Andreas Bureus’s map of Lapland, Lapplandskarta of 1611, his map of Scandinavia, Orbis arctoi of 1626, and his unique map of the Mälar valley, the 1614 Mälarkarta.
All recently pubished maps of any significance are entered in LIBRIS.
Important officical cartographic works are: Ekonomiska kartan published 1935 - 1986 in approximately 13,000 sheets, and its successor, Gula kartan, published in 1983-1994. The contemporary equivalent, Fastighetskartan, is available only in print-on-demand format and is not acquired by the National Library. The topographical maps: Terrängkartan, Vägkartan, and Fjällkartan, along with the predecessors Generalstabskartan and Översiktskartan. The older property maps with hundred maps from 1860-1936 may be of particular interest to genealogists and cultural history buffs.
If you are interested in land survey maps, we recommend that you search for them at the Swedish National Land Survey in Gävle or at a National Land Survey office in the relevant county. The MilitaryArchives also has a large number of land survey maps on microfilm.
Other Categories of Swedish Maps
- Geological, vegetation, and other thematic maps
- Historic and contemporary navigational charts
- Address and tourist maps of cities and towns
- Road and railway maps
- War maps and other historical maps
- Orienteering and other recreational maps
- Hermelin’s cartographic works, ca 1800
- Werming’s city maps, ca 1810-1820
- Ljunggren’s maps, ca 1860
- Petter Gedda’s Sea Atlas
- Strömkrona’s Sea Atlas
- Nordenankar’s Sea Atlas
- Klint’s Sea Atlases
Swedish Hand-drawn Maps
Swedish hand-drawn maps of particular interest include Gripenhielm’s large map of the Mälar Valley, Mälarkartan, drawn in 1689, which is framed by views of palaces and cities, and Gripenhielm’s general map of Sweden from 1688. The collection also includes unique mine maps with level sheets from Stora Kopparberget, a customs atlas of Swedish cities from the 1740s, Stockholm maps from ca. 1640, and the masters to Petrus Tillaeus’s 1733 map of Stockholm.
The collection of foreign maps concentrates on the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.
The National Library’s holdings include an unusually fine collection of atlases of about 600 volumes, a few extraordinary hand-drawn maps including Alonzo de Santa Cruz’s world map from 1542, and anthologies containing reproductions of historically important older cartographic works. The atlas collection includes about twenty Ptolemaios atlases, the oldest printed in 1482. The collection also contains the atlas works of Ortelius, Mercator, and Blaeus, and sea atlases by Waghenaer, Goos, van Keulen, Jaillot, Norris, and Des Barres.
Modern Foreign Cartographic Works
The collection includes significant world atlases, general maps of individual countries, facsimile editions, and reproductions of historical maps. Reproductions in the collection include Yussuf Kamal’s Monumenta Cartographica, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum series and a recently published selection of maps from Blaues’s Atlas major.
Foreign Map Sheets
The map collections contain about 120,000 foreign map sheets, primarily older copperplate engravings. The collection also features the Austrian Generalkarte von Mitteleuropa 1:200,000, ca. 1900; parts of the International World Map, 1:1,000,000, which has now been replace by the Operational Navigation Chart and U.S Geological Survey’s Topographical Maps of the United States, which comprise 57,000 map sheets. The Map Section also has a collection of foreign map bibliographies and catalogs, handbooks, and journals on cartography and the history of cartography.
Foreign Hand-drawn Maps
The National Library’s collections of foreign hand-drawn maps include treasures such as Battista Agnese’s portolan atlas from 1540, Alonso de Santa Cruz’s map of the world from 1542, Tilemann Stella’s map of Zweibrücken from 1564, a 1704 map of the former Swedish province of Ingermanland, a couple of 1725 maps of Siberia by Vitus Bering, and maps of Central Asia drawn by Swedish explorer Sven Hedin.