"Amsterdam", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge
Subject: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Period: 1835 (dated)
Color: Hand Color
15.1 x 13 inches
38.4 x 33 cm
The beginning of the nineteenth century saw a period of rapid market growth and innovation in the map publishing world. Increased literacy and public interest in new frontiers and colonies overwhelmed the market because it was oriented toward the small, affluent market of the previous century. With the intent to fill this void, The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK) was founded in 1828 in London, by Lord Brougham and a group of men dedicated to the education of the aspiring working class and the Utilitarian ideal of 'Knowledge is Power.' The society produced an array of education materials, but the series of maps was one of their most successful ventures. A number of engravers and printers were used to produce the maps, which eventually exceed 200 sheets, and continued to be published after the Society as a whole ceased to function.
A finely engraved plan detailing the large walled and fortified city. Major streets and canals are named, and major buildings are delineated. Along the bottom of the sheet are elevations of principal buildings. Above the map is an inset, "Plan of the Environs of Amsterdam," enclosed in a scroll-style border. A note at top gives the English translation to several Dutch words used on the plan. Drawn by W.B. Clarke, engraved by B.R. Davies, and published for the SDUK by Baldwin & Cradock, Paternoster Row.
Original color with light toning along the sheet's edges and some binding holes in the top blank margin.