Featured Maps
Read some background information on the maps that will be featured during the 2015 Symposium

1) Henry Lichtenstein Maps of southern Africa - READ HERE

2) Bartholomew’s miniature maps of Southern Africa A scarce edition of The British Colonial Pocket Atlas revealed - READ HERE

3)‘Nieuwe Naauwkeurige Land- en Zee-Kaart, van ... Caap de Bonne Esperanc[a]’  - A little-known landmark map of the Cape of Good Hope in the seventeenth century - READ HERE

4)‘The Dutch Colony of the Cape of Good Hope’ A map by L. S. De la Rochette - READ HERE

5)A Meticulous Cartographer William Burchell’s map of South Africa - READ HERE

6)A Mystery Resolved Lacaille’s map of the Cape of Good Hope - READ HERE

Tabu nova partis Aphri

The map was printed from a woodblock; it is 42.5 X 30.5 cm. The title and scrollwork above the map make this the 1535 publication by Melchior & Gaspar Treschel in Lyons. This is the first printed map of Southern Africa reasonably available to collectors. This particular map is the Laurent Fries reduction of the map by Martin Waldseemüller, a German priest and cartographer that was an appendix to the Ptolemy.

Early VOC maps

The United Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC in Dutch, literally "United East Indian Company") was a chartered company which was established on 20 March 1602 when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it an initial 21-year monopoly to undertake trading between the Cape of Good Hope and the Strait of Magellan. At the height of its power in the 17th and 18th centuries, the VOC was the greatest commercial concern in the world. It was also arguably the world's first megacorporation, possessing quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, negotiate treaties, coin money and establish colonies.

First Dutch Sea Voyage to the East (1595 – 1597)

Theodore de Bry (1528 – 1598) engraved this two-panel chart for the German edition of Petit Voyages: Dritter Theil Indiae Orientalis, published by De Bry in 1599 in Frankfurt. The map was republished in 1616 by Theodore & Israel de Bry. The two-panel chart is 34.9cm x 67.2cm. The AMPR records only eight sales in 33 years of the eastern hemisphere sheet and no sale of the western

hemisphere or both together.

L'Afrique ou sont exactement decrites Duval 1684

This scarce, large 4-sheet wall map is one of a set of four continents by Pierre Duval, the prolific son-in-law of Nicolas Sanson. The map was published in three editions of Cartes de géographie; this example of the map is in its 2ndstate, published in 1684. The first state was published in 1678; a third state was published in 1688 by Duval’s daughter who inserted her name as author. 


To see all 4 maps seperately as they are actually printed, click HERE


The Mapping of South Africa 1813-1912 - Elri Liebenberg

This paper reviews the mapping of South Africa during the 19th and early 20th centuries by tracing the relationship between mapping, land tenure and land surveying, and by explaining the phenomenon that different parts of the country were at different times mapped for different reasons. As such it covers the mapping undertaken by early travellers and explorers; the early military mapping of the Cape Colony; the first attempt by the British government to establish a trigonometrical survey; the effect the Cradock system of perpetual quitrent tenure had on mapping, and the topo-cadastral mapping undertaken by the Surveyors-General of the Cape and Natal during the 19th century.

Notable Maps of the Cape of Good Hope

The Cape of Good Hope is a small promontory at the southern tip of the peninsula at the most south-westerly point of Africa. It is a few hundred metres south-west of Cape Point, the popular tourist attraction with the lighthouse. The Cape was known to the first Portuguese sailors as the Cape of Storms but, with the exciting prospect of a new trade route to India and the Far East, it became known as the Cape of Good Hope (CoGH).

To view this collection of maps, please click on the MAP INDEX button below.  To read the article click on MORE.

Prima Tavola, Ramusio - Gastaldi, 1563

Ramusio published this "upside down" map in volume 1 of the three volume Delle Navigationi et Viaggi. This book included the travel accounts of Marco Polo and Magellan. The first version of this map was printed from a woodblock and first appeared in the 2nd edition in 1554. This is a milestone map. It is the first printed map of Africa correctly to locate and show all of Madagascar. It is named S. Lorenzo Isola.

History of South Africa

If the history of South Africa is in large part one of increasing racial divisiveness, today it can also be seen as the story of – eventually – a journey through massive obstacles towards the creation, from tremendous diversity, of a single nation whose dream of unity and common purpose is now capable of realisation.


History of Africa

African history is a massive and intricate subject, world-s­haking events have shaped the continent’s history, from the early men and women who left their footsteps in volcanic ash to the liberation of Nelson Mandela, and a whole lot of wars, conquests, civilisations and revolutions in between.

© 2014 Roger Stewart / created with

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