Árni Magnússon's


Sea Charts

Exploring the most widely-travelled manuscripts in the Árni Magnússon Collection

There are more maps on the covers of manuscripts in the Arnamagnæan Collection than there are inside them. This project explores the manuscript and early printed sea-charts used by Árni Magnusson to rebind manuscripts in his collection. These eighteenth-century bindings are now important in their own right as witnesses to the cartographic culture of Scandinavia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the contemporary working practices of Copenhagen book makers. However, these important maps have yet to be comprehensively described or analysed, and we know nothing at all about their provenance or dating.

These charts depict coastlines from the English Channel (AM 244 fol.) to the East China Sea, Korea, and Japan (AM 70 4to), and, having been developed for practical use by pilots at sea, may be the best-travelled manuscripts in the Árni Magnússon Collection, having been used aboard ships sailing these seas.

This project is a work in progress...

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