Scotland

Oldest map of Scotland featured in new exhibition

old map of scotland Image copyright National Library of Scotland
Image caption The Regno Di Scotia map dates back to the mid-16th century

The first ever printed map of Scotland has gone on show in a new exhibition by the National Library of Scotland.

Despite dating back to 1560, the Regno Di Scotia map was described as "careless" for the time and the fact it sites Arbroath north of Montrose.

Also included in the collection is a plan of Edinburgh from 1896 and a double hemisphere world map from the Blaeu Atlas Maior of 1662.

Image copyright National Library of Scotland
Image caption Mapmaker J C Bartholomew described 1891's plan of the city as their "finest ever engraved town plan"

The exhibition, titled You Are Here: A journey through maps, starts on Friday.

In addition to historic maps, the exhibition also features those charting characteristics of an area, including one describing the smells of modern-day Edinburgh.

Image copyright National Library of Scotland
Image caption A 1581 view of Edinburgh

Another shows a map of Scotland where place names have been replaced by phrases revealing the words' original meaning.

The library is also showing the Atlas Maior - the most expensive book available in the mid-17th Century - containing 594 maps and 3,368 pages of texts.

Image copyright National Library of Scotland
Image caption The Blaeu Atlas Maior is one of the largest and most accurate atlases of the time and was printed in 1662

Organisers of the exhibition hope it will broaden our understanding of how maps work and challenge our perception about their accuracy.

Map curator Paula Williams said: "Maps are everywhere - on our phones, in our cars and pockets, on walls, bus stops and adverts - but how much do we really know about them?"

"They help to shape how we see and understand the world but they are not completely objective instruments - they are created by individuals, often with specific aims in mind."

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