World map

Map Collection


Historical maps (16th – 19th century)

  • Use: after prior consultation (Tel. +49 (0)251 83-24072 or through our order form) in the manuscript reading room only
  • Reproduction: Order form for reproductions (fee required)
  • Digital: A collection of digital works is made available in the ULB’s online portal Digital collections [de]

Modern maps
The 'modern' maps can be found in the ULB catalogue and are available for loan.

'Modern' maps

It was only after the Second World War, that a map collection was established at the University and State Library of Münster. Apart from continuously obtained official maps, such as the topographical, geological, hydrogeological maps and the German basic map which were all issued by the Landesvermessungsämtern of the German states (Ordnance Survey), the University and State Library of Münster obtains, according to the deposit copy right (Directive about the Provision of Printed Works) of North Rhine-Westphalia, a specimen copy of each map released by publishers or municipal corporate bodies. These are especially city and site maps, hiking, touring or street maps from the areas of the governorates Arnsberg, Detmold and Münster. We are currently developing a special catalogue providing a list of geographical maps.

Historical maps

Apart from the more recent maps, the University and State Library of Münster offers a collection of historical maps from the 16th to the 19th century. This collection consists of two parts:

  • Maps acquired by the library over the years (about 500 map sheets, 450 titles) with the thematic priority of the areas of Westphalia and of the historical German eastern territories
  • Map collection of Baron August von Haxthausen which was acquired in 1967 (about 1,500 map sheets, 1,000 single and collective titles)

Regional distribution of map sheets: World maps (spherical surface, eastern and western hemisphere), large-scale maps of the European States, few of Northern and Southern Europe, numerous sheets are representative show pieces of the Amsterdam and Nuremberg-Augsburg era, Prussian provinces and German states and regions as well as city maps.

Dating of historical maps: The end of the 16th and 17th century is represented through famous mappers such as Gerhard Mercator and Abraham Ortelius, as well as through the publishing houses Hondius, Janssonius, Blaeu, Visscher, Schenk, Valck, Ottens, Mortier and Danckerts.
Maps from the southern German centers for cartography, represented by Johann Baptist Homann in Nuremberg as well as by Seutter and Lotter in Augsburg date back to the end of the 17th and 18th century.
The strongest presence, however, has the 19th century with Berlin mappers such as Simon Schropp, D. F. Sotzmann, F. W. Streit and others, examples from Weimar, Gotha and Leipzig (Landes-Industrie-Comptoir Weimar and Geographical Institute of Weimar), Adolf Stieler, Justus Perthes, Hellfarthsche Verlagsanstalt (Hellfarth Publishing House).

The collection is listed in the Systematic catalogue [de].

Map collection of Baron August von Haxthausen

The spectrum of content of the map collection ranges from general maps of the earth and sky, special regional maps (region of Westphalia), topographical-military maps, battle plans, maps of the soil culture, land cultivation and agricultural constitution to city maps from the first half of the 16th to the middle of the 19th century. Furthermore, it includes travel and boundary maps.
The maps are searchable in the ULB catalogue [de] and are available as digital copies [de].

Bertram Haller / Günter Tiggesbäumker: Die Kartensammlung des August von Haxthausen in der Universitätsbibliothek Münster. Münster: Institut für Geographie und Länderkunde 1976
Location: reading room WES 2.72 MUS 26 and manuscript reading room WES 2.61 Hax 150