Hand-drawn maps


The heterogeneous holdings of more than 750 hand-drawn maps include eight portolan charts, two globes, world maps, atlases and individual maps, in particular of Bavaria, from the 15th to the 20th century. The collection bears the classification mark "Cod.icon." and is catalogued both in BSB DISCOVER! and in a special database.


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Portolan charts

The eight portolan charts (hand-drawn nautical maps) are among the top works of this collection. Due to their rarity and importance, they are of outstanding value to research. They bear the classification marks Cod.icon. 130, 131, 132, 133, 136, 137, 140, 162 k and Cod.turc. 431 and date back to the 15th or 16th century. Cod.icon. 162 k is the only chart that was crafted in Malta only in 1707. In addition to the coast of the Mediterranean, individual sheets also show the coasts of the new world in amazing accuracy.

The oldest portolan chart (Cod.icon. 130) was drawn by the cartographer Battista Beccario from Genoa. It was crafted in 1476 in Liguria.

The portolan atlas by Fernão Vaz Dourado (Cod.icon. 137), drawn in Goa in 1580, is one of the cartographic masterpieces of this epoch.

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Kupčik, Ivan; Kunstmann, Friedrich: Münchner Portolankarten: „Kunstmann I – XIII“ und zehn weitere Portolankarten. Überarbeitete und ergänzte Neuausgabe des Originalwerkes von Friedrich Kunstmann aus dem Jahr 1859 (…). München, 2000.

Wolff, Hans: Die Münchener Portolankarten einst und heute. In: America: das frühe Bild der Neuen Welt. München, 1992. p. 127-144.

Nautical atlas by Battista Agnese

One of the top works among the hand-drawn maps of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is the nautical atlas of the Genoese cartographer Battista Agnese published in Venice in 1541/42. In the small, luxuriously equipped volume, both the old and the new world are captured cartographically and the direct reference to the expeditions of Magellan and Pizarro is obvious (Cod.icon. 136).

Nautical atlas of the Genoese cartographer Battista Agnese  (Cod.icon. 136)


Baumgärtner, Ingrid: Die Portolan-Atlanten des Battista Agnese. In: Bischoff, Michael; Lüpges, Vera; Crom, Wolfgang (ed.): Kartographie in der Frühen Neuzeit: Weltbilder und Wirkungen. Marburg, 2015. p. 19-36.

Hand drawings of the cartographer Philipp Apian

With the hand drawings produced for the large map of Bavaria (Große Karte von Bayern, Cod.icon. 142) by the cartographer Philipp Apian (1531 – 1589) between 1554 and 1561, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek owns the only surviving remnants of this large wall map, which had originally had the size of 6 x 6 meters. Six of the originally 16 hand-drawn scrolls have been preserved. They represent a source of enormous value and are a central part of the personal papers of Philipp Apian preserved by the library.

In addition to the two globes, the map formed part of the Court Library's equipment at the time of its founder, Duke Albrecht V. Among the personal papers of the cartographer there are also the manuscript of the topography of Bavaria (Apiana no. 1 – 5 and Clm 1243), the drafts of the Bavarian cartographic work and of the topography (Cgm 5379), as well as a collection of coats of arms (Cgm 2287).

A scaled-down version of this map was published in print in 1568 as "Bairische Landtaflen" (Hbks/F 15 b).
Bairische Landtaflen  (printed version of 1568, Hbks/F 15 b)

Hand drawings:
Part 1  |  Part 2  |  Part 3  |  Part 4  |  Part 5  |  Part 6  |  Part 7

Views of locations

Repertorium Apiana (personal papers)


Jahn, Cornelia: Die Gründung der Münchener Hofbibliothek und ihre Ausstattung. In: Die Vermessung Bayerns: 450 Jahre Philipp Apians Große Karte. München, 2013. p. 197-202.

Jahn, Cornelia: Zum Nachlass Philipp Apians. In: Die Vermessung Bayerns: 450 Jahre Philipp Apians Große Karte. München, 2013. p. 203-207.

Philipp Apian und die Kartographie der Renaissance. Weißenhorn, 1989. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: Ausstellungskataloge. 50.

Hand-drawn maps from the Mannheim Court Library

From the rich collection of the Mannheim Court Library there are the following illustrated cartographic works, among others:

  • Dudley, Robert: Arcano del mare. 3 volumes. Florence 1636 (Cod.icon 138 – 140 incl. portolan chart)
    The lively depiction of the drafts hand-drawn by the English engineer and cartographer who had served the Grand Duchy of Tuscany since 1606 is absolutely captivating. At the same time, the drafts document the so-called Mercator projection which was applied here for the first time.
  • "Atlas de France", a 12-volume strong atlas of France from the beginning of the 17th century, hand-drawn on parchment, with an overview map and 87 special maps (Cod.icon. 143 – 154)
  • 24 illuminated army plans of the French troops from the Nine Years' War, 1690 (Cod.icon. 155 – 159)

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