The VU map collection is primarily an educational collection: a collection created by maps for specific research areas such as geology. The Netherlands occupies a central place, as do the former Dutch colonies. Other European countries are represented, as well as areas outside Europe. The focus is on the 19th and 20th centuries. Many older maps are available as reproductions. Thanks to donations and purchases, the collection also contains original old maps and atlases. Among them are some unique specimens, such as Cranach's map of the Holy Land.
All of the approximately 3,500 old maps from before 1900 have been scanned and included in the VU Imagebase. The maps can be downloaded here and can be used for publications. The easiest way to search for digitized old maps is through the geoviewer. Zoom in on the desired location and a list of the maps that overlap with the zoomed-in area is automatically generated. In the Libguide you read all about searching for maps and using them.
All individual maps are described and can be found through the library catalog Libsearch. The maps and atlases are not lent out, but you are welcome to come and consult them in the Special Collections Reading Room (main VU building, room 1C-02a; see also opening hours). You can reserve the material through Libsearch; cards requested before 3 pm will be ready for you at 9 am the next workday.