Featured, Special Collections

Hidden Gems of the Library- The Maps in the Reference Room

By Hannah Herrlich, Emerging Technologies Librarian

Searching in our Own Backyard

It’s no secret that the University Libraries have a spectacular general collection, an electrifying digital collection, a super special special collections, among its many resources and services. But what else lurks within the illusive library walls? In this series, “Hidden Gems of the Library,” we’ll take you behind the scenes and beyond the stacks, revealing the University Libraries’ most clandestine attributes, and highlight its often overlooked treasures.

To start, let’s take a look at the maps along the walls of the Walsh Library Reference Room.

They were collected and donated to the library by Fordham alumnus, Dr. Bert Twaalfhoven.

Map descriptions attributed to the New Netherland Institute: https://www.newnetherlandinstitute.org/history-and-heritage/digital-exhibitions/maps-of-the-bert-twaalfhoven-collection-at-fordham

Gezelligheid– The Story of Dr. Bert Twaalfhoven

As a young man, Bert Twaalfhoven and his family lost everything during the bombing of The Hague during World War II. Like his countrymen centuries earlier, Dr. Twaalfhoven immigrated to that land on the Hudson his predecessors knew as New Netherland, and which he knew as New York.

Dr. Twaalfhoven received a scholarship to attend Fordham, and worked as a dishwasher, waiter, chauffeur and fruit-picker during his four years of education. He was on the university’s International Soccer team as well. Graduating from Fordham with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1952, Dr. Twaalfhoven was then awarded a scholarship to attend Harvard University, where he graduated with a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in 1954. A long career as a venture capitalist and entrepreneur followed, as well as founding the European Forum for Entrepreneurship Research in 1987 with a mission devoted to fostering entrepreneurship in others.

Along the way, Dr. Twaalfhoven began collecting 16th, 17th and 18th century maps of his new home. The grateful alumnus of Fordham donated 22 maps of New Netherland, New Amsterdam and New England to his alma mater. The maps, printed from copper plates and, in many cases,  hand-printed, are all collected and hanging in the Reference Room of the Walsh Library… Let’s take a look!

Getting Lost in the Reference Room- The Maps of Dr. Bert Twaalfhoven

This is the Reference Room.

Okay, this is a more accurate depiction of inside the Reference Room.

And it has 16th, 17th and 18th century maps.

Alright, now back to the maps.

Pas Caerte van Nieu Nederlandt en de Engelsche Virginies, van Cabo Cod tot Cabo Canrick. (Chart of New Netherland and the English Virginias from Cape Cod to Cape Canrick [i.e. Hatteras].) 1666.

Mapmaker: Pieter Goos

One of the most beautiful early (1666!) charts of southern New England and the Mid-Atlantic region. Some of the finest artistry of Dutch cartography is found on sea charts. The most successful publisher in this field was Pieter Goos, whose work was popular with both the practicing and armchair sailor. This chart of the Northeast presents the elements that make his work so highly desirable: excellent balance between embellishment and map; realistic maritime detail (such as the sailor holding a navigational instrument) mingled with baroque decoration; rich color; and fine paper.

The shapes of both Manhattan and Long Island are well rendered, as are the New Jersey shore and the Delaware Bay and River. Along the latter, all of the Swedish and Dutch forts and settlements are shown. Early settlements along the Connecticut shore also appear.

Novum Amsterodamum. (New Amsterdam) 1671.

Mapmaker: Montanus, Arnoldus

This map first appeared in Montanus’ book, De Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld, published in Amsterdam in 1671, and subsequently it appeared in a number of other books. It depicts New Amsterdam as it looked in 1651, and it is possibly based on a drawing that Augustine Herrman made in 1656 or 1657.

Recens edita totius Novi Belgii in America Septentrionali. (A New Edition of All of New Netherland in North America.) 1757.

Mapmakers: Jan Jansson, Nicholas Visscher, and Tobias Conrad Lotter

A spirited engraving, this map includes a view of New York City and portrays a dramatic depiction of Dutch power in New York, in the 17th-century. Dutch soldiers can be seen marching along the wharf on their way to taking the fort. The Dutch renamed the colony New Orange, but the restitution lasted only one year. In 1674 the English retook New Orange, named it New York, and held it until the American Revolution. The wall after which Wall Street is named is visible on the right side of the view. A monarch, possibly George II, is being presented with the bounty of America atop the view.

Pas-Kaart vande zee kusten van Niew Nederland anders genaamt Niew York. (Chart of the Sea Coast of New Netherlands Otherwise Named New York.) 1685.

Mapmaker: Johannes van Keulen

A fine example of one of the earliest printed maps of Long Island, Manhattan, and lower New England. The map is important because of the inclusion of many names not occurring on other maps as well as for its large scale inset map of the Hudson River, which is thought to be the first detailed engraved map of that river. This complex engraving, which actually contains three maps, includes the earliest separate map of the Connecticut River (called by the Dutch the Versche or Fresh River). Shelter Island is both shown and named on the chart, possibly for the first time. The map is an excellent record of the earliest Dutch and English settlements along the Connecticut shoreline and in the New York City area (“Breukelen,” “Hopoghan,” “Ooyster Bay.” “Tapaan”). The fort and settlements are shown on Manhattan, but a large, fictional bay appears on the West Side along the Hudson River. The chart has curious inaccuracies. Long Island is surprisingly misshapen for the period, yet Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, which previously had been mapped poorly, are both correctly named and, relatively speaking, in correct size proportion.

Untitled. (The Northeast/New York City) 1556.

Mapmakers: Giacomo Gastaldi and J.B. Ramusio

The first printed map devoted to the New England region. It contains the most accurate early delineation of the New York City area based on the first European sighting by Verrazano. The map is a lively woodcut filled with detailed representations of Native Americans and their customs, as well as flora and fauna. These and other details on the map were drawn from a letter written by Verrazano describing his voyage. The fact that it was based on a written letter might account for its crudity, e.g. Cape Breton is shown nearly adjacent to Buzzards Bay. The peninsula Angouleme is Manhattan Island named after King Francis I who was the Duke of Angouleme. The long mark parallel to the coast could be the Gulf Stream, the North Atlantic drift, or simply shoals and shallows.

Though we couldn’t fit all of Twaalfhoven’s 22 maps of New Netherland, New Amsterdam and New England into this blog post, we certainly could disperse them across the Reference Room. Consider stopping by to see them– Get a little lost!

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