Maps and atlases

The diversity of the map collection
© NL

This collection which consists of more than 45'000 maps and atlases, is a very complete representation of Swiss cartographic output over the last 150 years.
The collection contains all types of cartographic documents such as maps, atlases, aerial views and panoramas either printed or in digital format. If one third of the territory covered by a foreign map represents Switzerland, then this map can also be included in the collection. Furthermore, the collection includes specimens of foreign maps published by Swiss map publishers.

The collection is in great part made up of Official topographic maps such as:
• Topographic map of Switzerland, Dufour map (1845-1939)
• Topographic atlas of Switzerland, Siegfried map (1870-1949)
• National maps of Switzerland 1:25 000 (1952-), 1:50 000 (1938-), 1:100 000 (1954-)

There are no constraints limiting the themes treated in this collection. It contains every type of map: topographic maps, geological maps, hydrologic maps, maps of vegetation and cultural heritage, hiking and ski maps, orienteering maps, road maps and cycling maps etc.

Due to the fact that the NL is a relatively young institution established in 1895, our collection of older maps dating back to the 19th century is rather modest. However the library strives to collect specimens published since the foundation of the Swiss federal state in 1848. For those wishing to consult older maps, they can be found in other Swiss collections, particularly at Zurich’s Zentralbibliothek.

The map collection of the NL can be consulted in the library’s online catalogue Helveticat.

Last modification 16.05.2013

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