Geocontexting Printers and Publishers 1450-1800



▶ Utrecht 1598

Choose an old map layer to show

Visitors of the site can choose an appropriate map layer as a background for visualising the locations of contemporary printers and publishers. The map layer can be made more or less transparant by shifting the transparancy button top right. It is possible to limit the range of presented publishers and printers by using the timeslider bottom right.

For the city of Utrecht three old map layers are presented. The oldest map dates from 1598 and was published in Utrecht by the famous engraver and silversmith Adam van Vianen (ca. 1569-1627). The second layer is an image of the accurate plan engraved by Jan van Vianen and published by C. Specht in 1695. Also geometrically correct is the plan of Utrecht, based on the survey of J.W. Raven and pupils of the orphanage of the Fundatie van Renswoude in 1776, and published by the firm of Van Schoonhoven in 1778, more images here.


( with exact location determined)
( with exact location determined)

Number of printers/publishers per block of 25 years

Unknown Location

Zoom in and out of the map and click on a dot representing a printer or publisher.
More biographical data on that person will be displayed.
Any other relevant sources like printed material or printers marks will also be displayed when available.
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This site puts early printers and publishers from the time period 1450-1825 literally on the map. By means of a geographical interface with georeferenced historic map layers the various locations of these former printers and publishers are visualised. All the locations are clickable and link to specific biographical data, printer's marks, and (sometimes digitised) printed publications of the early professions. By using this spatial-temporal application the rich printing history in Utrecht and Amsterdam is unlocked. Besides offering easy access to a tremendous amount of old printing data, the site also aims to be a source for scientific analysis of spatial patterns in book and print history.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will other cities be added? - Yes! We hope to work with more collaborators to add other Dutch cities, and in the course of time we will expand this project to other European cities. If you are interested in this please get in touch with us at


The website is the result of a co-operation between Arkyves, Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam, the Utrecht University Library, the Utrecht Faculty of Humanities, and the Utrechts Archief. The Utrecht data were delivered by Margot Nolta, Utrecht student in art history, under supervision of dr. Marco van Egmond (Utrecht University Library), and dr. Jeroen Salman (Faculty of Humanities). Amsterdam data was supplied by dr. Paul Dijstelberge (University of Amsterdam). Technical matters, coordination and production by Etienne Posthumus (Arkyves).


The Utrecht part of the site could be realised thanks to a.o. the financial support of the Fentener van Vlissingen Fonds SHV and the K.F.Hein Fonds.