1868 Holland Map of the Sinai Peninsula

The Peninsula of Mount Sinai. A Sketch from Observations on the Ground by the Rev. F. W. Holland. M.A. - Main View

1868 Holland Map of the Sinai Peninsula


A 'valuable map' of the Sinai Peninsula - RGS


The Peninsula of Mount Sinai. A Sketch from Observations on the Ground by the Rev. F. W. Holland. M.A.
  1868 (dated)     16.5 x 16.75 in (41.91 x 42.545 cm)     1 : 506880


This is Frederick Whitmore Holland's 1868 map of the Sinai Peninsula. The peninsula's mountainous terrain is illustrated in detail, with numerous peaks labeled with transliterations of their Arabic names. Holland traces the many wadis (valley, ravine, or channel that is dry except in the rainy season) and provides some commentary on the terrain. Mount Sinai, labeled here as J. Musa (its Arabic name), appears just south of the center of the peninsula.
Creating the Map
Described as a 'valuable map of the Peninsula' by the Royal Geographical Society, Holland undertook a 'preliminary exploration' of the peninsula, entirely on foot, to create this work. He believed the most important aspects of this expedition were
tracing out its main wadys, which form the roads, fixing the positions of the most prominent mountains, and determining more accurately the Arabic names.
Red lines on the map trace Holland's 'main routes,' although his smaller side trips are not noted. Holland states that the map is 'a record of what I saw and sketched on the spot' and that he 'always travelled with [his] compass, watch, and note-book…sketching the country roughly in as [he] walked along.'
Publication History and Census
This map was created by Frederick Whitmore Holland and published by John Murray in the 1869 edition of The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, Volume the Thirty-Ninth. Two examples are cataloged in OCLC and are part of the institutional collections at Stanford University and the State Library of Victoria. Another example is also part of the collection at Princeton University.


Frederick Whitmore Holland (1838 - August 27, 1881) was an English minister and traveler, particularly to the Sinai Peninsula. Born in England, Holland attended Eton and Trinity College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1860 and a Master of Arts in 1864. Holland was ordained in 1862 and served as Curate of St. Andrew in Manchester from 1862 - 1865, Assistant Minister of Quebec Chapel from 1865 until 1872, and as Vicar of Evesham beginning in 1872. Holland first visited the Sinai Peninsula in 1861 and went back again in 1865. He read an account of his second journey to the Sinai at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) in 1866. Holland read a subsequent paper to the RGS in 1868 and published a 'valuable map of the Peninsula' in the 1869 volume of the Geographical Journal. Holland played a major role in raising the Sinai Survey Fund, which he accompanied as a volunteer, about which he present another paper to the RGS in 1869. He traveled to the Sinai Peninsula six times over the course of his life. Holland was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1867. Holland died suddenly, likely of a heart attack, near Thun, Switzerland. More by this mapmaker...

John Murray I (1737 - 1793) founded the British publishing firm John Murray (1768 - present) in London. Born in Edinburgh, Murray served as an officer in the Royal Marines and built a list of authors that included Isaac D’Israeli and published the English Review. Murray the elder also was one of the founding sponsors of the London evening newspaper The Star in 1788. John Murray II (November 27 1778 - June 27, 1843) continued the family publishing business and developed it into one of the most important and influential publishing houses in Britain. The list of authors published by the firm grew to include Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott, Washington Irving, George Crabbe, and Lord Byron under his tenure. Murray II also moved the business to 50 Albermarle Street in Mayfair, which became famous for Murray’s tradition of ‘four o’clock friends’, which was afternoon tea with his writers. John Murray III (1808 - 1892) continued to grow the business, and the firm published the first English translation of Goethe’s Theory of Colours, David Livingstone’s Missionary Travels and Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species during his tenure. Murray also published Herman Melville’s first two books. The firm began publishing Murray Handbooks in 1836, an ancestor of all modern travel guides. Sir John Murray IV (1851 - 1928) was publisher to Queen Victoria. Three successive Murray’s after Murray IV led the business until it was purchased by Hodder Headline in 2002, which was acquired by the French conglomerate Lagardère Group in 2004. Today, Murray is an imprint of Lagardère under the imprint Hachette UK. Learn More...

Royal Geographical Society (fl. 1830 - present) is a British Society established in 1830 to promote geographical science and exploration. Originally titled the "Geographical Society of London", the RGS received its royal charter from Queen Victoria in 1859 shortly after absorbing several similar but more regional societies including the African Association, the Raleigh Club and the Palestine Association. The RGS sponsored many of the most important and exciting voyages of exploration ever undertaken, including the exploration of Charles Darwin, David Livingstone, Robert Falcon Scott, Richard F. Burton, John Speke, George Hayward, H. M Stanley, Ernest Shackleton and Sir Edmond Hillary. Today, the RGS remains a leading global sponsor of geographical and scientific studies. The Society is based in Lowther Lodge, South Kensington, London. Learn More...


Holland, F. W., 'Notes on the Map of the Peninsula of Sinai,'The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society. Vol. 39. (London: John Murray) 1869.    


Good. Remargined along right side. Exhibits light wear along original fold lines. Blank on verso.


Princeton University Library G8302.S52C2 1868 .R6. OCLC 225178356.