Historic map of Canada
The Library’s Canadian collections contain an immense wealth of cartographic material, offering insight into European colonialism and the development of Canada. This map, created by Jacques Nicholas Bellin (1703–1772), is an example of the thousands of items available.
Appointed Chief Cartographer to the French Navy at the age of 21, Bellin was a highly skilled and influential French geographer. Over a 50-year career he created a large number of charts and maps, the accuracy and workmanship of which ensured that they were used for many years. In particular his sea atlases were celebrated throughout the 18th Century. Many of his maps were copied by other cartographers in Europe, and, as with the above map of Canada, became a key source for much of the work conducted by Royal engineers and surveyors after the British victory over 'New France' (present-day Quebec) in 1759.