Exhibit gives rare glimpse into early days of exploration

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Georgia Tech’s Price Gilbert Memorial Library and the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking are giving visitors a unique passport back in time to the early mappings of the earth.

The exhibit, hosted by the museum, opened Feb. 27 and will be on view through June 26.

In conjunction with the exhibit, a lecture presentation by Dr. Paul F. Gehl, “Collecting Book and Paper History: An American Tradition,” will be held Thursday, March 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. Dr. Gehl serves as the George Amos Poole III Curator of Rare Books, and Custodian of the John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing, Newberry Library.

 Joan Blaeu’s Grooten Atlas, also referred to as Atlas Major, was published in Amsterdam between 1662-65. The nine-volume atlas remains the foremost European atlas published in the 17th Century.

“We are thrilled to host this precious artifact, one of the few remaining editions of its kind,” said Teri Williams, director of the Williams Museum. “It is a rare treat to have this on display for the larger community to enjoy.”

Georgia Tech acquired the atlas in the 1960s. This edition is one of the few remaining hand-colored, gold-embossed, deluxe editions bound in Moroccan leather.

Exhibited maps include European views of Africa, the Americas and Asia, depicting important trade routes and ports. Detailed views of European cities and countries provide insight into a continent developing the geopolitical regions known today. Original volumes of the atlas will be on exhibit along with reproductions of select maps from the collection.

Visitors will follow the advancements of this revolutionary era as the study of astronomy, the development of papermaking, printmaking and mapmaking culminate in Blaeu’s atlas. A second-generation mapmaker, his extensive research and attention to detail provide important examples of evolving cartographic technologies and rich material exploring the idea of Europe after the Thirty Years War.

For more information regarding the exhibit or lecture, please visit us at or call 404.894.7840. Both are free and open to the public. Ample parking is available on site.



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Kelly Smith
  • Created:02/26/2015
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016