This is a 1758 Jacques-Nicolas Bellin map of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard Archipelago of Norway. The many islands of the arctic archipelago, as well as their bays, capes, and coastal navigation hazards, including submerged rocks, are noted. Safe harbors are marked by anchors. The map also features interesting annotations, such as thie, 'This entire coast is covered in mountains of ice (Toute cette coste est couverte de Mantagnes de Glace)'.
SvalbardDutch explorer Willem Barentz first discovered Svalbard in 1596, and the first recorded landing on the island happened in 1604. During the early 17th century, whalers established the first settlements in the archipelago, and by the early 1630s, the most hearty would winter on the islands. Russian hunters arrived in the late 17th century and set up relatively permanent settlements. Nonetheless, by the 1860s the islands were again largely uninhabited. Svalbard became a destination for Arctic tourism in the 1890s. Today, Svalbard's three principal industries are mining, tourism, and research. It is also home to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
Publication History and CensusThis map was created by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin and for publication in Abbé Prévost's Histoire général des voyages in 1758. The OCLC catalogs two examples which are part of the collections at the Bibliothèque de l'Université Laval and the Universitatsbibliothek Bern.
Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703 - March 21, 1772) was one of the most important cartographers of the 18th century. With a career spanning some 50 years, Bellin is best understood as geographe de cabinet and transitional mapmaker spanning the gap between 18th and early-19th century cartographic styles. His long career as Hydrographer and Ingénieur Hydrographe at the French Dépôt des cartes et plans de la Marine resulted in hundreds of high quality nautical charts of practically everywhere in the world. A true child of the Enlightenment Era, Bellin's work focuses on function and accuracy tending in the process to be less decorative than the earlier 17th and 18th century cartographic work. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Bellin was always careful to cite his references and his scholarly corpus consists of over 1400 articles on geography prepared for Diderot's Encyclopedie. Bellin, despite his extraordinary success, may not have enjoyed his work, which is described as "long, unpleasant, and hard." In addition to numerous maps and charts published during his lifetime, many of Bellin's maps were updated (or not) and published posthumously. He was succeeded as Ingénieur Hydrographe by his student, also a prolific and influential cartographer, Rigobert Bonne. Learn More...
Antoine François Prévost d'Exiles (April 1, 1697 – November 25, 1763), usually known the Abbé Prévost, was a French author and novelist. Having had difficulty in his youth determining a preference for life in the military or life among the Jesuits, he eventually wound up with the Benedictines, with whom he took vows. Despite his taking the vows, the vows evidently did not take with him: in 1728 he abandoned his abbey and fled to London. Naturally, he became a writer. In this he was prolific, both producing his own work and translations of others. Beginning in 1726, he published the first volume of his Histoire générale des voyages, which he worked on for the remained of his life and which was completed by his associates after his death, stretching to 25 volumes. Learn More...
Very good. Exhibits slight wear along original fold lines.