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Putting Scotland on the map:
The world of John Bartholomew &
7 December 2012 to 7 May 2013
Edinburgh's War 1914-1918
Read about how firm and family were impacted
by the Great War
is the remarkable record of the firm, John Bartholomew & Son Ltd. Managed by the
National Library of Scotland, it is one of the most extensive cartographic
archives available for research in a public institution.
So often it is the intention of
successive generations to record, for posterity, the history of their own times,
and so often these good intentions have been thwarted by other commitments...[Peter
H. Bartholomew, Forward to "Bartholomew 150 Years", 1976]
John George Bartholomew
Portrait by E.A.Walton RSA.
This portrait was painted to
commemorate him receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of
Edinburgh in 1909 and shows him in his robe with set of compasses and a
globe, symbolising his activities.
National Portrait Gallery,
is dedicated to the Bartholomew mapmaking family and its story in text and
part of this site provides links and resources for researchers who share
an interest in the history of the family company, John Bartholomew & Son
Ltd, the cartographic tradition and the people behind it.
content of this site borrows editorial material from many publicly
available sources. Where possible, these have been acknowledged.
Genealogical information is available thanks to many years of dedicated
research by Robert Bartholomew (b. 1927)
privacy of living individuals has been intentionally preserved.
By the late 18th century
the city of Edinburgh was well established as the centre of Scotland’s
flourishing publishing industry. Without doubt, one of the companies
responsible for this enviable reputation was John Bartholomew & Son.
From humble beginnings the Bartholomew firm became the world’s
pre-eminent publisher of maps and atlases, carrying for many years the
title of Geographers and Cartographers Royal.
It was George Bartholomew
(1784-1871), an engraver with Daniel Lizars of Edinburgh, and the first
of six generations in the Bartholomew map-making dynasty, who initially
set the Bartholomew family on the road to cartographic fame. However, it
was his son John Bartholomew Senior (1805-1861) who really established
the reputation of the Bartholomew firm.
Setting up in business as a map
engraver in 1826, he soon gained recognition as a skilled cartographer
and businessman. Under the subsequent guidance of John Junior (1831–1893), John George (1860–1920), John
(Ian) (1890–1962), and John C
(1923-2008), the business continued to prosper by introducing new
production techniques and by pushing cartographic design to new levels
of excellence. In 1980 the business was sold to Reader’s Digest and then
in 1985 to News International.
[Mick Ashworth - Harper
Bartholomews Exhibition: Photo Tour
Although out of print, this 112 page hardback book
is richly illustrated and traces the story of the
Bartholomew mapmaking company from 1826. It includes
many biographical references to family members. A
few copies can still sometimes be found on
To check for availability, click
lively glimpses into the Bartholomew map archive, we
Bartholomew Archive Blog is authored by the curators
of the Bartholomew Archive Printing Record and
complements the associated Bartholomew Archive
textual material and illustrations for this website may be submitted
for consideration. Please contact:
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