Cartography Archive

athensIn January 2003, in the presence of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr K. Stephanopoulos, MIET inaugurated a permanent, specially-arranged exhibition area, which hosts the Archive of Cartography of Greek Regions, product of the donation made by Victor and Niobe Melas. The rare collection formed by the Melas couple comprises approximately 200 printed maps dating from the early sixteenth to the eighteenth century, old atlases, such as those created by M. Boschini (1651) and V.M. Coronelli (1708), geographical handbooks, among which Meletios' Geography (1728) and the Introduction to Geographics and Sphericals by Chrysanthos Notaras (1716), as well as an original copy of the Carta of Rigas Pherraios in pristine condition. The donation is complemented by books and studies on cartography and geography in general. The Cartography Archive is systematically enriched with purchases made by MIET.


In accordance with the wish of the donors, the Archive of Cartography of Greek Regions organizes exhibitions featuring representative parts of the collection as well as educational programmes for pupils and students. To date, two thematic exhibitions have been presented. The first was entitled "From Claudius Ptolemy to Gerard Mercator. Greece through the eyes of sixteenth-century mapmakers" and the second "Circumnavigating the Aegean Sea under the guidance of old mapmakers". In addition, measures are taken to ensure that the entire corpus of maps and books is available to researchers. Finally, an agreement has been made between the donors and MIET to publish the complete catalogue of works in the Cartography Archive.