The Bartholomew Archive
Mapmaking and printing from 1820 to 2002
The Bartholomew Archive is the remarkable record of the Edinburgh-based firm of map engravers, printers and publishers, John Bartholomew & Son Ltd. It is one of the most extensive cartographic archives available for research in a public institution.
Members of the Bartholomew family were engaged in mapmaking from the first known map engraving work of George Bartholomew in 1825. John Bartholomew junior started printing operations before 1870. For more than a century afterwards the Bartholomew firm specialised in high-quality map production.
Importance of the archive
The Bartholomew Archive enables us to:
& Co, from 1893 calendar.
Full calendar image
- Trace the development of the Bartholomew firm and its operations
- Record the progress of a Bartholomew map from initial idea to publication
- See examples of maps and other general engraving and printing work made for other publishers.
What the archive contains
Material in the archive includes:
printers Banks & Co.
Larger advert image
- Records documenting the firm's daily operations, management and staff
- Maps, plans and correspondence from around the world used to prepare and revise Bartholomew publications
- Engraved copper plates and glass printing plates
- Publicity and advertising of the Bartholomew firm and competitor publishing firms.
Read about items of interest in the Bartholomew Archive blog.
Donated to the National Library of Scotland
Publishers HarperCollins and John C Bartholomew and family donated the firm's business records, working maps and plates to the National Library (NLS) between 1983 and 2013. John Bartholomew & Son Ltd had donated copies of their published maps and atlases for many years previously.
A six-year NLS project to document the archive began in 2007. This project, completed in 2014, was funded by the John R Murray Charitable Trust.
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