Archive for the ‘Our Friends’ 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

Newport International Boat Show 2010

October 3, 2010

We were delighted to have been able to present our collection of historic charts, maps and plans at the prestigious Newport RI Boat Show.

It is about 6 months since we were in Newport and it was, of course, very different from the cold, sleepy and rather white little seaport town that we encountered back then.  Newport is never more beautiful than in September with the still warm days of summer lingering, if as any local will tell you, you can put-up with the ever-present threat of showers and hurricane strength winds!

The show was important for us as we have in our collection some beautiful 18th century charts and maps which we knew had never been seen in this historic town before.  All of our collection focusses on the coast-line of the eastern seaboard and Narragansett was, back in the 1770’s, a hugely important region for the British navy.  The charts are of no less appeal nowadays to those who currently sail the waters and are interested in the hydrography, the history or indeed just the beautiful art-work.

We were delighted with the response and attention we received on-stand from all who saw us.

Most important of all were the fantastic people we met while at the show, amongst whom I’d like to mention:

Lisa DiRaimo of the Rhode Island Maritime Trades Association (RIMTA) who had the stand next to us, was fabulous company and just a wealth of helpfulness and joy.  Thank you Lisa!

Lisa Knowles, Sales Manager for the Newport Exhibition Group who encouraged us to attend the show in the first place – we still have a couple of charts with your name on them Lisa!..

Merrilee Zellner, proprietor of the William Gyles Guest House in Newport, who apart from accommodating us in her fabulous establishment throughout our stay was the font of all knowledge of the people and the town of Newport.  Thank you Merrilee for your walking-tours, sheer ‘positiveness’ and enthusiasm.

click image for link

Thanks also to Heather Jernegan and Steele Sartwell of  ‘Not For Navigation’ who shared their experience of exhibiting and moments of respite between customers. We hope to see you both again at another show..

See you all next year!

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