The Mercator Atlas of Europe - Pages 1 and 2
Copyright © The British Library Board
Index, f. 1a
The index was added to the atlas in 1771 by Alanus Ortmans, a monk working in the library of the Cistercian abbey in Mariawald, Germany. Ortmans restored the atlas and reorganized the order of the maps. He wrote the index on the back of the map of Europe. It is possible that some of the maps were also added to the original atlas at this time.
The atlas was lost when the contents of the abbey library were dispersed in the late 1790s. It was rediscovered more than 150 years later by a sharp-eyed Belgian book collector in a Brussels bookshop in 1967. The British Library acquired the atlas in 1997 with the help of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.