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Mickwitz, A., L. Miekkavaara and T. Rantanen, compilers, The A.E. Nordenskiold Collection: Annotated Catalogue of Maps made up to 1800, Vol. 3, Books Containing Maps, Loose Maps, Addenda to Vols.1-2. Helsinki: Helsinki University Library, 1984. ISBN 0-391-02402-7. 30x2lcm., xvii, 253pp., illustrated, cloth. (Humanities Press International, Inc., Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716, $62)

This is the third volume in a series of five projected volumes describing the Nordenskiold collection.  The earlier volumes covered atlases and this volume covers loose maps and books containing maps.  The latter is of particular interest to dealers, since loose maps from books are often difficult to identify.  A total of 417 books are included here.  For each entry, the title is given, followed by the location, title and dimensions of each map found in the book.  Some representative entries are de Bry's works, de Bruyn's voyages to Moscow and the Levant, La Hontan's Voyages, eight assorted works by van Linschoten, John Harris' Voyages, the History of Prevost d'Exiles, Campanius Holm's work on America, the French edition of Esquemeling, four editions of Olaus Magnus' History, Meares' Voyage, and numerous other works.  There is also a listing of 192 loose maps in the collection.  There are some Lafreri-style maps, but the majority of loose maps listed are humdrum since Nordenskiold preferred entire atlases when available.  This work, along with the prior volumes, is an extremely useful source of information for dealers and librarians.  Nordenskiold preferred perfect copies of each work, and the listing can be used to see what maps ought to be in a given work.  A minor drawback is the idiosyncratic coverage.  For example, the only portion of the English Pilot included is the 3rd book.  The typography is excellent, with special characters and even Cyrillic inscriptions duly noted.  Only someone who has sat in a library laboriously copying titles from maps can appreciate the difficulty of that task.  After only a few minutes, oppressive waves of tedium begin to wash over the mind, dulling the senses and eventually cracking even the strongest of wills.  The compilers deserve our gratitude for their quiet labors.  A very thoughtful feature is a cumulative index, by author, of the first three volumes.  This saves having to thumb through three indexes to find an item.  Despite the Finnish origin, the text is entirely in English.  This book is highly recommended for libraries, dealers, and serious collectors.

David C. Jolly, 1986
 

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