Hardiman atlas Public Deposited

Hardiman atlas

Shelf Mark/Reference Number
  • IE TCD MS 1209
Rights statement
  • Copyright The Board of Trinity College Dublin. Images are available for single-use academic application only. Publication, transmission or display is prohibited without formal written approval of the Library of Trinity College, Dublin.
Copyright status
Date Created
  • 1560-1620
  • IE TCD MS 1209 is the collection of maps made by George Carew (1555-1629) 1st Earl of Totnes and Lord President of Munster at the beginning of the 17th century. It contains nearly 90 maps and plans and is one of the largest sets of original Tudor and early Stuart maps of Ireland surviving anywhere. They are known collectively as the 'Hardiman atlas' after their first cataloguer, James Hardiman. Hardiman (1782-1855) was born in Co. Mayo and trained as a lawyer. He was librarian in Queen's College Galway.Quoting from J.H. Andrews ('Maps and Atlases', Treasures of the Library Trinity College Dublin ed., Peter Fox (RIA: Dublin, 1986)): These maps, which are 'for the most part competently drawn and attractively coloured' and which 'diplay not one scale of latitude or longitude in the entire collection ... are essentially the by-product of a military and political conquest. However, as well as forts, defended towns and troop movements, they are rich in placenames, territorial boundaries and a good deal of ordinary landscape detail. Carew is said to have wanted all his Irish papers to be deposited at Trinity ... though as it turned out most of them finally came to rest at Lambeth Palace in London. Nobody knows when, how or why the maps became detached from the collection and found their way to Dublin. They simply turn up in the College records of the late eighteenth century .... It was a non-Trinity historian, James Hardiman of Galway, who first catalogued them in 1821, apparently on his own initiative, and after being bound into a single, large volume they became generally known as the Hardiman atlas ... The credit for [the rediscovery of their true origin] belongs to a recent Keeper of Manuscripts William O'Sullivan, who put the issue beyond any doubt by identifying Carew's hand on many of the Hardiman maps and by collating all their titles and subjects with the original early-seventeenth-century catalogue still at Lambeth'.
Collection title
  • Hardiman atlas
  • Collected by George Carew, Lord President of Munster at the beginning of the 17th century. Presented to the Library of Trinity College Dublin in the late 1700s.
Resource type
  • ink
  • vellum (parchment)
  • Irish
Digital Object Id
  • MS1209_035
  • 0119776


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