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Home > Maps > Map archive > Collection of Printed and Manuscript Maps

Collection of printed and manuscript maps

The professional archive of the Czech Geological Survey forms the most comprehensive collection of geoscientific maps in the Czech Republic. It contains 66,000 items covering the territory of the Czech Republic and also many other areas abroad. This comprehensive collection has been digitized and is available in electronic form through the map server application of the Digital Map Archive and for visitors to the Study Room of the Archive and Library of the CGS.

The map collection of the CGS archive also contains manuscript maps and related documents including e.g. geological legends, stratigraphic columns and cross sections. These are primarily the result of work by the geologists of the CGS. These documents are available in the Study Room of the Archive and Library or as a preview in the Digital Map Archive application.

Foreign maps

The majority of the maps held in the collection are printed maps and explanatory notes from countries outside the Czech Republic (about 60 %). There are maps containing geoscientific information from 183 countries around the world. Maps of European countries such as Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Poland and elsewhere are in the majority. Of the maps from other continents, the countries of the Americas are best represented followed by Asia, Australia and Africa.

The collection also includes maps produced by Czech geologists working in foreign countries, for example maps of Mongolia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Zambia and elsewhere. Besides geoscientific maps, the collection also includes maps of other types, e.g. archaeological, topographic, tourist and military maps, satellite images, maps of cities and geological maps of Antarctica, the Arctic, Alaska, and the Sahara as well as maps of the surface of Mars.

Maps of the Czech Republic

Maps relating to the Czech Republic or to the former Czechoslovakia form a smaller but still significant part of the map collection (roughly 40 %). The Czech maps are mainly printed maps but the CGS also holds a smaller collection of manuscript maps, and field notes with accompanying documents which are mainly the result of work carried out by the survey in the past as well as more recently. These documents are concerned with regional geology, Quaternary geology, documented deposits of raw materials, soil mapping and other geological observations.

The oldest maps held in the archives of the CGS

Among the oldest maps held in the archive of the CGS is an original of map dating from the year 1835. This printed, hand-colored Geological Map of the Czech Kingdom and Adjacent Areas was discovered bound into a collection of manuscripts written in kurrent by Andreas Preininger, a chemist and secondary school teacher. Though the map is ascribed to Preininger, it has not been unequivocally proved that he was the author of this work. In addition there is a copy of the Geognostische Karte von Böhmen by Franz Xaver Riepl (1819). This is a black and white print, coloured by hand, and is the complete geological map of Bohemian Massif on which petrographic formations are marked. It has an annotated legend.

Publications inspired by the map collection in the CGS Archive

Those who work with the remarkable collection of historical maps held in the CGS Archive are passionate about the value of using these beautiful documents to illustrate the developments that have taken place in geology. A fascinating collection of the original maps compiled by distinguished geologists including both F. A. Reuss and A. E. Reuss, K. G. von Raumer, J. Jirasek, J. Jokély, F. Foetterle, J. E. Hibsch and others are held in the archive. A number of publications have been created using historical maps as a theme (interactive DVD, the Central Bohemian Uplands by J. E. Hibsch, the VISEGRAD project and others).

Geological maps of Europe (1780-1918) Geological maps of Europe (1780-1918)

DVD with old geological maps

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Czech Geological Survey
Kostelní 364/26
170 06 Praha 7
phone: +420234742204