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Blaeu family

The Oxford Companion to the Book

Blaeu family 

Seventeenth-century Dutch family of publishers, mapmakers, and printers. A pupil of the astronomer Tycho *Brahe, Willem Jansz Blaeu (1571–1638; before 1621, also known as Willem Jansz and G. or W. Janssonius) started dealing in globes, maps, and nautical instruments in Amsterdam in 1599. He also ran a copper-plate (see engraving) printing shop, and, from c.1614, a letterpress printing establishment. His cartographic productions were famous, particularly his own Het licht der zee-vaert (1608; editions in French and English) and the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (1634–5; editions in Dutch, Latin, French, and German). He also published works by prominent Dutch literary and scholarly authors, such as G. J. *Vossius, P. C. Hooft, and H. Grotius. His son Joan (1598/9–1673) crowned the firm’s cartographic productions through the publication of the Atlas Major (11 vols, 1662–72; editions in Latin, French, Dutch, and Spanish (incomplete). The *printing office was destroyed by fire in 1672. The firm was liquidated in 1708.

Frans A. Janssen


H. de la Fontaine Verwey, ‘Dr. Joan Blaeu and his Sons’, Quaerendo, 11 (1981), 5–23, 83–94, 197–229Find this resource:

J. Keuning, Willem Jansz Blaeu (1973)Find this resource:

C. Koeman, Joan Blaeu and his Grand Atlas (1970)Find this resource:

[W. J. Blaeu issue,] Quaerendo, 3.2 (1973)Find this resource: