Dallas Pratt Map Collection

A selection of maps from the Dallas Pratt Collection of Historical Maps is on display in the exhibition New World, Old Maps.

Dallas Pratt, one of the founders of The American Museum in Britain, began collecting historical maps as a teenager. In 1988, Dr. Pratt gifted his 200 maps to the Museum – one of the greatest Renaissance map collections in Europe.

These maps show the changes in cartography during the Age of Discovery and document early European exploration of America.

Although most of the maps are printed examples from the sixteenth century, the collection also includes significant manuscript drawings from as early as the twelfth century.

An example of the first map ever printed is included in the collection: the 1494 edition of Columbus’ letter to his patroness, Isabella of Castile, in which he informs her of the ‘islands in the Indian sea’ he has recently discovered.