World; Kon. Nederlandsch Aardrijkskundig Genootschap - Atlas van Tropisch Nederland - 1938

World; Kon. Nederlandsch Aardrijkskundig Genootschap - Atlas van Tropisch Nederland - 1938
First Edition

Atlas van Tropisch Nederland, Amsterdam, Koninklijk Nederlandsch Aardrijkskundig Genootschap & Batavia, Topografischen Dienst in Nederlandsch-Indië, first edition 1938 [ca. 90 pp.].

Hardcover, gilt lettering on spine, elephant folio in luxury binding. All maps are present, a total of 31 folded colour maps, most on a Mercator's projection. The double page plates measure about 70x44cm, and are all individually tipped-in, applicable textual details on verso. Scales vary between 1:50.000 and 1:60.000. Separate (loose) index [17 page] naming register. Bound in original dark green cloth, contents near fine with minor age toning of paper. Text in Dutch, German, French & English.

This atlas is the original 1938 first print (not the later reprint), published by the Royal Geographical Society of the Netherlands in collaboration with the topographical service of the Netherlands East Indies. It was considered the most comprehensive atlas of the island nation of Indonesia ever issued and was published with a dual purpose in mind: (i) to be of general practical use (it has the reputation of being the best atlas of the Dutch East Indies for the period), and (ii) to provide a survey of scientific, social and economic conditions. The atlas details the many parts of The Netherlands tropical possessions mainly what we call Indonesia today, but also Surinam and others. Text in Dutch, French, English and German.

Maps are in minute detail and extremely useful to various scientific disciplines as biology, climatology, geology, entomology, general earth sciences, etc. Plates deal with shipping, zoology, mining, agriculture, biology, vulcanology, meteorology and more. The actual process of cartography of the Indonesian archipelago started in 1915, often under hazardous circumstances when cartographers had to be protected against the local population in remote areas. Overall work was finished approximately in 1935, but it was decided to produce a review of some maps at the very last moment before the printing process, executed at the presses of the colonial topographical service at Batavia. There, after the conquest of Batavia by Japanese troops, hundreds of copies were impounded and torn apart on behalf of the Japanese forces, resulting in a great portion of the original publication to be lost forever.


Dutch description (based on a Biblion review, J. de Vries.):

A beautifully executed original atlas (first edition), published by the Nederlands Aardrijkskundig Genootschap in 1938, Topographical service in the Dutch East Indies.

De atlas gives a detailed picture of 'thee East and the West', tropical Netherlands in the 1930s. The foreword contains information on the genesis of the atlas, used projection, the (beautiful) relief (with colour, contour lines and shadows), toponymy and special images/illustrations. All this, as well as the explanatory notes to the maps, in Dutch, French, English and German. The very detailed, coloured maps provide a clear picture of the topography of the former Dutch East Indies, with scales ranging from 1:50.000 to 1:12.000.000, and a somewhat less extensive picture of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles (scales:1:50.000 - 1:8.000.000), mostly with source reference, explanation and legend, all with geographic coordinate system. Besides the topographical part the atlas also contains maps concerning natural sciences (morphology, geology, volcanology, geophysics, soil science, meteorology and biogeography) and social sciences (demography, types of settlements, agriculture, education, history, politics and infrastructure), explanatory text. The atlas includes a separate names register, the atlas itself contains an index with map title, scale and content dating.

Please see the attached photos for a good impression of this atlas.

Registered shipment.

Lot details
Country (current geographical location)
Map maker/ publisher
Kon. Nederlandsch Aardrijkskundig Genootschap
Map/ Book title
Atlas van Tropisch Nederland
Additional Information
First Edition
Size of the largest image
35×44 cm
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