The National Library of Israel received some 466 rare maps and 120 books with prints, illustrations and maps of the Land of Israel, from collector Howard Golden.
The antique maps, dating from 1475 to 1800, were preserved by Golden, who collected historical maps of Israel over several decades.
A significant percentage of the maps were printed before 1700 and are therefore defined as rare.
The National Library cataloged and digitized the maps for preservation and research purposes, which are online, downloadable and available free-of-charge for students, researchers and visitors from Israel and abroad.
The map collection includes a printed and hand-colored map of the Land of Israel oriented west from 1593, a Dutch-language map printed in Antwerp with illustrations of Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Church of the Nativity, ships and a sea monster and a map printed in Amsterdam with illustrations of Bible stories, among others.
Along with the library’s Eran Laor Cartographic Collection, the Golden Map Collection creates the world’s largest collection of maps of the Land of Israel, with nearly 2,000 antique maps of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, and includes maps in European languages, Hebrew, Yiddish and Arabic.
“This exquisite collection of rare maps and books dramatically expands our holdings of Holy Land maps, and reinforces our standing at the forefront of historical cartographic research and inquiry,” said Raquel Ukeles, head of collections at the National Library of Israel, expressing the library’s thanks to Howard and Helen Golden for their generosity.