Maps and Engravings
The Reading Society has a fine collection of old maps and engravings of Corfu, the Ionian Sea, Greece, the Mediterranean, and the Balkans. Acquired over the same period as the library, the collection of old maps and engravings consists of 250 examples covering five centuries. The oldest map of the collection comes from the geographical works of Claudio Ptolemy, known as the Alexandrian, which was published in Bologna in 1477.
Taken as a whole the collection provides interesting details of the life of the regions portrayed which covers a long period of time. Particularly striking are the engravings made by foreign sight seers: woodcuts, copper engravings, lithographs and steel engravings mostly coming at first from “izolaria” (or books) and later from large dedicatory albums, and from nineteenth century newspapers and periodicals. The overwhelming majority are of Corfu and the Seven Islands, though not neglecting regions of special interest such as Athens.
The collection has grown steadily over the years, either by purchases or through gifts, the ambition of the Society being to assemble a complete series of maps and visitors’ engravings relating to the Seven Islands and the entire Ionian region.