Collecting Old Maps ~ Reviews

"Lots of things have changed in the eighteen years since the book was first printed.  Marti and Curt have revised – well just about everything. The maps are all in color; even the black and white illustrations have pleasing parchment like backgrounds.  The map reproduction work is exceedingly well done and often on larger scale than those of the first edition.  The reference section now includes recent scholars’ works and mercifully some of the technical material has been replaced with less esoteric illustrations, even a double foldout timeline of production techniques.

The authors offer good advice on what makes maps rare and how they are brought to market.  They also approach the other end of the market, how to dispose of your collection productively.  Most collectable maps appreciate in value over time, but collectors are repeatedly warned that cashing in that appreciation can be difficult, required both market knowledge and patience.  Buying maps as investments is not advised.

Carefully selected examples illustrate the evolution of the map making process over time.  Bizarre geography is always fun to explore as are pictorial maps from the 20th century.  The explanations of why each particular map was included are precise and well written.

The book is aimed at the novice collector but also includes much information even the more knowledgeable map aficionado can use.  A most useful guide, beautifully printed and delightfully written by map experts.”

Bill Warren, California Map Society Newsletter, April 2016

“In this second, revised and expanded edition, the new authors who purchased the rights to the publication, have taken every aspect of the development of the hobby into account and have produced a stupendous and worthwhile - effectively new - book. The voluminous tome (240mm x 250mm x 34mm, weighing a hefty 2 kilos) is a combined coffee-table book and a work of reference that will appeal as much to the casual book lover as it will to a student of maps and cartography, seeking further knowledge. It has all the elements of an aesthetically appealing work of literature, with excellent and plush illustrations, a comfortable and well balanced font and, maybe most importantly, an easy to follow and attractive layout. Academically it is equally versatile, with detailed and accurate information in a readily legible text, an extensive bibliography and a comprehensive content which covers every conceivable aspect of the hobby ... The book comes very highly recommended to all, from neophyte to expert." 

Yasha Beresiner, IMCoS Journal, Summer 2015,

"It is reasonable to ask, if COM1 (Collecting Old Map, 1st edition) was so wonderful, whether the community even needs COM2. Yes, we do. The antiquarian map scene has changed incredibly in the intervening 17 years, exploding from the musty back room into a much more public venture ... Collectors themselves are much more knowledgeable. They require more information than COM1 provided, and their tastes are more sophisticated. If anything, it was past time for COM2 to appear."

"The first thing that strikes the reader about the new edition is that this is a physically attractive book. The entire work is in color; there are a few maps where that means black and white. It is a larger book, only an inch wider and 40 pages thicker, but its more robust cover and heavier paper create an impression of a more substantial work. It speaks with physical authority. Such authority would quickly look foolish if the contents failed to deliver; happily, this is not the case."

"Bottom line: ... this is a very good book, and I have enjoyed the time I have spent with it for this review. It is also a great bargain. In today’s dollars, COM1’s original price would be $94.20. You can get COM2 with a lot more content for $75. It’s rare that you can get a book this fine with a $20 savings built in. I suggest that you do."

Bert Johnson, The Portolan - Washington Map Society March 2015

Reader Reviews

“I received the new edition of Collecting Old Maps in yesterday’s mail and looked it over today.  It’s a beautiful production of which you can be proud.  The text is well written and reads smoothly – I don’t know which parts are from the first edition and which are new, but it all melds together seamlessly.  The map reproductions are high quality – I was even able to read some of the tiny print on the maps with the help of a magnifying glass.  The information provided in the new book should be very helpful to map and atlas collectors everywhere.  I hope that the book sells well – it deserves to be seen by anyone who is interested in cartography.”  

“A book of substance. ‘Collecting Old Maps’ really deals with the subject and is not a watered-down survey of old maps someone thinks we should collect.”

“There is no other book like it and I don’t know where else one can get the information that is in here.”

“I wish this book had been available years ago when I started my collection ... after reading it I have new insights into my collection.”

“If I could have just one book on map collecting this would be it. The book is an enjoyable read, and written in a crystal clear fashion. It contains much essential information for collectors: map terminology, printing methods, translation of common phrases into English, how to judge condition, and blunt advice on the workings of the marketplace.”

“This is truly an outstanding book. It is exceptionally well-written and the number of illustrations is exceptional.”

“This book is a great stepping stone in a path towards becoming an expert in cartography! I know that I will be using this book time in time again. It will be at the top of my reference library bookshelf.”

“This book is phenomenal. I needed a book to help demystify (a) the basic technical aspects of map collecting like analyzing paper and different printing techniques, looking for signs of fakes, and judging condition, and (b) how to get started with a collection and understanding pricing, auctions, dealer practices, etc. I absolutely love it.” 


Gold Medallist
Independent Publisher Book Awards



The Independent Publisher Book Awards honor the year’s best independently published books at the annual BookExpo America, the largest publishing event in North America.

Open exclusively to independent, university, and self-published titles, the “IPPYs” are awarded in 80 national, 22 region, and ten e-book categories.  We are thrilled and honored to have won the Gold Medal for Reference Books.

Or buy from these dealers:

U. S. Dealers
CABarry Laurence Ruderman Antique Maps, La Jolla
CO Philadelphia Print Shop West, Denver
FL Berryman Fine Books, Ormond Beach
IL George Ritzlin Antique Maps & Prints, Evanston
IL Harlan J. Berk, Ltd., Chicago
MD Cartographic Associates, Fulton 
NM Dumont Maps & Books of the West, Santa Fe
NY Martayan Lan, New York City
NY The Old Print Shop, New York City
SC Cheryl Newby Gallery, Pawleys Island 
TX Beaux Arts, Dallas

Maps and More, Halifax International Distributors

Altea Gallery
, (UK & Europe)