Archive for the ‘Charleston Library Society’ Category

Heritage Charts and the Charleston Library Society have just finished cataloguing the Society’s four Volume collection of J. F. W. Des Barres’s ‘Atlantic Neptune’.

April 26, 2012

To view the catalogue results go to the bottom of this post

The collection has been in the Society’s possession for over 200 years but has rarely been seen.  The Volumes date from 1777 and are early editions of  J.F.W. Des Barres historic publication, with several of the charts, maps and plans contained within dating from as early as 1775 when Des Barres started compiling the surveys of Samuel Holland and his team of surveyors.  Many of Des Barres maps were issued as single sheets to British naval officers at the time with bound volumes being reserved for Senior Commanders, and other nobility.

Like so many books of this age the bindings of the first three volumes are in need of conservation but on the whole the pages are in good reasonably good condition.

As part of the cataloguing we took the opportunity to cross reference the pages with the Henry Newton Stevens Collection of the Atlantic Neptune held at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.

  • Quite typically in Atlantic Neptune volumes some of the contents pages do not accurately reflect the order, or even the content of the volumes.  This is especially true of the Charleston Library Society (CLS) Volume I. 
  • Not all of the charts listed under the Henry Newton Stevens (HNS) collection are present in the CLS volumes.  The HNS listing is effectively the ‘dream team’ of Neptune charts and those not present in the CLS volumes have been highlighted.

Two pictoral references have been included in the catalogue;

  • Firstly the National Maritme Museum (NMM) document reference ID in column 3.  If this ID is typed into the NMM web-site search engine ( the HNS version of the CLS chart will be found.
  • Secondly, every page of the CLS volumes (see column 7 ‘Disc folder..’) have been photographed and are stored on disc and are available for viewing from the Archivist at the Charleston Library Society.

For those not familiar with the Atlantic Neptune please visit for more information.  Beautiful giclée reproductions of many of the charts contained within the Atlantic Neptiune series are available direct from the Heritage Charts web-site:

A futher, excellent, source of information on the Atlantic Neptune is Stephen J. Hornsby’s book; ‘Surveyors of Empire.  Samuel Holland, J.W.F. Des Barres, and the Making of The Atlantic Neptune’  Carleton Library Series 221, McGill-Queen’s Press. ISBN 978-0-7753-3815-3

CLS Catalogue Results

Click here – CLS Atlantic Neptune & HNS Comparative Listing

Heritage Charts at The Charleston Library Society

March 13, 2012

The Charleston Library Society

The Jewel in the Crown of Historic Charleston, SC

Click on the front door to enter the Charleston Library Society


Founded in 1748 the Library is the South’s oldest cultural organization and home to one of America’s most complete historic literary colections.  It also houses one of the country’s most historic map collections, including a 4 volume set of J.F.W. Des Barres’s ‘Atlantic Neptune’.

Click on the image to read more about Des Barres & his Atlantic Neptune

The Atlantic Neptune

Three of the four volumes owned by the Charleston Library Society

Since February 2012 Heritage Charts has been working closely with the Society to help catalogue and record the Atlantic Neptune volumes, some of which are in need of conservation.  Although the Library now employs the most uptodate storage for all of its collection of books and maps, inevitably material dating back to the 17th century has suffered at the hands of time.  The society, ever aware of its obligation to the heritage in its possession, has for some time been engaged upon a conservation scheme generously supported and funded by the Society’s members.  It is a monumental on-going task which is already reaping the benefits of the care and interest the members.

Broken spine

The Library’s volumes of the Atlantic Neptune are in need of rebinding and conservation, the magnificent maps, charts and plans within the volumes pages cannot, presently, be safely or easily be displayed.

Vol. 1, Page 6.

Click on image to see the Heritage Charts version of this chart.

The Society, under the direction of President Stephen Gates and Executive Director Anne Cleveland, as well as the Officers and Board of Trustees take a simple approach;  Act now and future generations will be able to enjoy these magnificent books and documents which are such an important part of American cultural history.

See also: Heritage Charts and Charleston Library Society announce new fund-raising initiative 

Heritage Charts and Charleston Library Society announce new fund-raising initiative

March 13, 2012

On Thursday the 7th March Heritage Charts was proud to be part of a very special evening held at the Library Society.  The event was a ‘thank-you’ to members of the Society who had already supported the conservation initiative.  As part of this special evening Heritage Charts joined forces with the Library Society to launch a new fund-raising initiative:  The sale of a series of special edition prints from the Heritage Charts collection which are representative of the very charts, maps and plans contained within the Charleston Library Society’s Atlantic Neptune volumes.

As of the 1st April 2012 Heritage Charts and the Charleston Library Society will be releasing a specially selected set of reproduction prints of charts, maps and plans from the Heritage Charts collection, representative of those contained within the Library’s collection of Atlantic Neptune volumes.  A new chart, map or plan will be released approximately every eight weeks thereafter.

1st release April 1st 2012

A Sketch of the operations before Charleston, South Carolina. 1780. J.F.W. Des Barres.

Click on the image for more details on this plan

The selected charts, maps and plans are all of Charleston and the surrounding area including Hilton Head, Beaufort, Port Royal and the coast of South Carolina.  All of them come complete with a printed history.

Port Royal in South Carolina taken from the Surveys deposited at the Plantation Office. 1777. J.F.W. Des Barres.

click image for more information

Each chart has been reduced to a uniform size (22″ high) so as to make a matching set and all of the prints have been produced using the Giclée print technique.

A plan of the Siege of Savannah, showing the coast of South Carolina. 1779. J.F.W. Des Barres & John Wilson.

click image for more information

All of the prints may be viewed, pre-ordered and purchased from the Charleston Library Society on King Street.  Do please drop by to see the collection as well as to view the prints at full size.

Prints cost $95 each.

The Harbour of Charles Town in South Carolina with a view of the town from the south shore of Ashley River. 1776. J.F.W. Des Barres & Capt. Sir John Wallace

click image for more information

Special Offer on other prints in the Heritage Charts collection

As part of the fund-raising initiative, any CLS members wishing to purchase any other charts, maps or plans, possibly one of the selected charts but at the size of the original or even at half-size, direct from the Heritage Charts web-site may do so at a 10% discount.  For every sale, the Library Society will receive 20% of the full sale price to put toward the conservation of their wonderful collection, including of course the Atlantic Neptune.

To make use of this offer to Library Society members, simply ask at the Library Society for the ‘promotion code’ which may be entered into the PayPal payment system on the Heritage Charts web-site.  Alternatively, just leave your order* with the desk at the Library.

These beautiful maps, charts and plans make for magnificent personal and corporate gifts.  They look as wonderful on the wall of an office, reception room and boardroom as they do in the home.  Heritage Charts are able to print at any size, and can add a business or personal inscription of your choice.

* All orders made direct to the Library Society must be accompanied by:

Payment (to the Library Society)

A note of the size (eg. Size of the original, half-size, quarter size.. as on the web-site)

A delivery address and telephone number (or FedEx won’t be able to find you!)

All postage/shipping is included in the price

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