We are pleased to announce that we have posted “The Nuremberg Chronicle”, Registrum huius operis libri cronicarum cum figuris et ymagibus ab inicio mundi [Liber cronicarum] by Hartmann Schedel, printed in 1493, to the website.

   This 520 year old atlas is distinctive for a number of reasons, described in the History of Cartography: Volume Three (Part 2) [OML ref GA201 .H53 1987], also available online.

“A milestone in the history of German science and printing, it was the first historical-geographical description of the whole world, newly elaborated in the age of humanism. Its sources stretched from the Bible to contemporary leaflets. Problems in layout and printing—combining letterpress and woodcuts on the same page—were overcome for the first time. Among the illustrations were thirty-two double-sheet town views, which were fairly realistic, and eighty-four smaller views of other towns, which were more fantastic.”

“The Nuremberg Chronicle was a collective achievement of a congenial group of Nuremberg humanists. The project was financed by the merchants Sebastian Kammermeister and Sebald Schreyer. The general editor and main author of the text was the physician and bibliophile Hartmann Schedel, and the widely traveled physician Hieronymus Münzer is regarded as the author of the two maps. The woodcuts were made in the workshop of Michael Wolgemut, probably in collaboration with the young Albrecht Dürer, and the work was printed in the famous shop of Anton Koberger. This lavish book appeared in both Latin and German editions the same year.” http://www.press.uchicago.edu/books/HOC/HOC_V3_Pt2/HOC_VOLUME3_Part2_chapter42.pdf

   Those interested in the artist Albrecht Dürer may know that he apprenticed at Michael Wolgemut’s workshop from 1486 to 1489.

    “We know that the preparations of this gigantic enterprise were underway from about 1488. Dürer’s hand may be recognized on some of the woodcuts…furthermore young Dürer may be responsible for some incidental features in the topographical illustrations and for the bust first appearing as King Mamylas’ on Fol. XXV. ” ( Wilson, Adrian, 1976. The Making of the Nuremberg Chronicle. A. Asher & Co., B.V., Amsterdam, Netherlands.,p. 199)[OML ref Z241.S37 W54 1978]

    “Equally indicative of Dürer’s hand is the frequent use of white-line cutting in black areas, so that a figure or an anatomical part is dramatically placed against a dark zone. This is clearly seen in the Creation of Adam, V recto, the winds in Sanctification of the Seventh Day, V verso, and many of the individualized portrait cuts. It is not implied here that every cut showing this technique is Dürer’s, but it suggests that he learned and developed it in Wolgemut’s workshop…” (Wilson,p.205).


One of my favorite historians/comedian actors, yes Mr. Monty Python himself Terry Jones did a series called ‘Terry Jones Great Map Mystery.’ Espisode One covers the John Ogilby’s ribbon road map atlas. A copy of the very same atlas is available at the Osher Map Library (SM-1698-1, Barcode: 1798). Here is an example of a map that can be found in the atlas here at the Osher Map Library. The Road to York to Lancaster