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The Cairns Mitchell Map Collection The Cairns Mitchell Map Collection

A collection of 65 early maps and sea charts relating primarily to Scotland.


About the collection

Abraham Ortelius Scotia Tabula. 2nd copy. 1573. From the Cairns Mitchell Map Collection

A collection of 65 early maps and sea charts relating primarily to Scotland. They were originally part of a larger donation given to The Mitchell Library in 1923 and 1928 by the Rev. John Cairns Mitchell, a retired clergyman, who lived in Ardnadam in Argyllshire.

The maps provide an excellent overview of the way Scotland and its coastline has been depicted from the 16th century until the late 1800s. Many of them were published abroad, including a number of French maps. For some strange reason, there is a solitary map of Denmark, dated 1814. 

Most of the maps have been taken from atlases or books and the collection includes many well-known map-makers and engravers: Mercator, Ortelius, Joan and Willem Blaeu, Jan Jansson, Robert Gordon, John Adair and James Dorret.


Image gallery

snapshot from gallery

A selection of images from this collection can be viewed in the galleries here.


Finding aid

This collection is not available in the online catalogue. To view more please contact Special Collections specialcollections@glasgowlife.org.uk, Level 5, Mitchell Library or 0141 287 2988.


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