Archives Search

Search only: Library, Archives Advanced Search, Ancestors, Images, Search All

To submit a comment, contact

Search Help

Description found in Archives

Typus orbis Universalis [cartographic material] 



Place of creation

No place, unknown, or undetermined



1 map : ill., hand col. ; 27 x 38 cm on sheet 32 x 40 cm.

Scope and content

Second state of this famous early, woodblock, map of the "modern" world. Oval projection with surrounding clouds and 12 windheads title above the map. The continents are shown in rough outline only. North America is shown with the large cleft nearly separating the east coast from the continent, often referred to as the "Sea of Verazano" What appears to be a large NORTHWEST PASSAGE stretches towards Asia. South America has a very strange shape as well. In Africa, the Nile is prominently shown with its twin sources beginning in a range of southern mountains. The mythical islands of "Grisonum" and "Calensuan" are placed in the proximity of Australia, where there is also the label "Mare Pacificum". A sailing ship and several fierce sea monsters occupy the oceans.

Cartographic material
90: Open
Original can be viewed in the presence o
f an early cartographic archivist.
Cartographic material
Microfiche NMC8099
90: Open
Item no. (creator)
Alexander E. MacDonald Canadiana Collection Item #9
Cartographic material
90: Open
9 Item no. assigned by LAC 9
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Other accession no.
80101/245 CA
Local class no.
H3/10000/[1550] copy 1

Terms of use

Credit Library and Archives Canada.
Copyright expired.

Biography / Administrative history

The theologist and cosmographer Sebastian Münster was born as the son of a farmer and hospital master in Nieder-Ingelheim near Mainz in 1489. In 1505 Münster became a Franciscan monk and studied philosophy and theology at the university of the order in Heidelberg. In 1507 he continued his education in Löwen, where he studied mathematics, geography and astronomy. After a transfer to Freiburg, he also began to study Hebrew, which he continued after entering the St. Katharina monastery in Rouffach/Alsace in 1509. In 1512 Münster was ordained as a priest in Pforzheim. From 1514 to 1518 he taught as a lecturer of philosophy and theology at the university of his order in Tübingen and conducted astronomical-mathematical and geographical studies. His most important teacher was Johannes Stöffler (1452-1531). After Münster moved to Basel in 1518, he published his first text, a survey of Hebrew grammar 'Epitome Hebraicae Grammaticae', which was one of the first ever language books on Hebrew published in Germany. From 1521 to 1529 Münster worked and taught in Heidelberg, published numerous Hebrew texts and wrote the first books written in Aramaic ever to be published in Germany. In 1529 Münster converted to reformation and took over the chair of Hebrew at the university of Basel, where reformation had just been established. A little later he married the widow of a book printer; Münster's stepson Heinrich Petri from then on published most of his books. In 1534/35 Münster finally published his main work in Hebrew, which met with international acclaim: a two-volume edition of the Old Testament (Biblia Hebraica) with a Latin translation and annotations. Münster died in Basel in 1552. Münster's most important work was 'Cosmographia' (Basel, 1544), a geographical and historical description of the world with special attention to Germany, which initially included 471 woodcuts and 26 maps in 6 volumes. This work was based on the work of more than two decades and several research trips. 'Cosmographia' was translated into various languages, reprinted almost 50 times and extended by more than 900 woodcuts. By 1628, 21 editions had been published in Germany alone. The work is regarded as one of the most important books of the 16th century and is almost the only reason for Münster's lasting fame.

Additional information

Pictorial relief.

Woodcut engraving.

In lower left corner initals "DK" appear which Rodney Shirley attributes to David Kandel

On verso: text on righy hand side titled: "Vniver salis typvs orbis Terren 1, PVL" etc.

From: Munster's "Cosmographiae universalis Lib. VI in quibis, iuxta certioris fidei scriptorum..."

Physical condition note
On verso bits of adhesive tape applied along the edge of the map.

Custodial history
Part of the Alexander E. MacDonald Canadiana Collection purchased by the Public Archives of Canada in 1981.

Related materials
For other copies see: Mikan 3985658 (NMC 27657) ; H3/10000/[1550] (1552) (NMC 8111)

Cartographic math data
Scale [ca. 1:120 000 000] at equator (W 180°--E 180°/N 90°--S 90°)

Citation / reference note
Shirley, Entry 92,

Availability of other formats note
The microfiche version is NMC 8099

Exhibitions note
National Map Collection 1984 Antique Map Calendar

Varying form of title

Subject heading

1. World - Maps - Early works to 1600 .


Other system control no.