Amsterdam: 1720s City Plan -- Researching & Dating

One of the most beautiful cities of Europe is Amsterdam. The original canal system of the old inner city still exists nearly unaltered as created hundreds of years ago. The city is commonly referred to as an open-air museum, which it most definitely is.

Over the years we've examined, acquired, collected and handled countless printed images of the Netherlands, focusing on those depicting Amsterdam's binnenstad (original old inner city captured in most old plans).

There exists a tremendous number of simply wonderful printed urban images spanning centuries, of all kinds, in many mediums, styles and formats. This includes advertising, promotional material, tourist souvenirs of all kinds produced non-stop for centuries now, endless ephemera of all kinds, post cards, photographs, stereo views, printers art, etc. Further, most images of any type exist in sometimes myriad variant printings which upon close inspection differ from those seemingly the same. This depth of printed imagery makes for a rich collecting field, the thematic possibilities almost endless, the visual artifacts often nearly breath-taking in their modern aesthetic visual appeal.

In this latest short video, we touch on the key reference books relevant to researching historical city plans of Amsterdam. Here we discuss a charming little proto-typical map we recently acquired dating from the early part of the 18th century.

In a nutshell, all known Amsterdam city plans up to 1865 are documented with color photographs and detailed analysis by Marc Hameleers of the Gemeente Stadsarchief [city archives] in the first of his monumental two volume set Kaarten van Amsterdam.

So this is a logical place to begin our investigation, within the actual printed carto-bibliographic masterpiece itself, issued in a splendid richly printed, full color coffee-table book form. If there was ever an argument to be made for the superiority of an outstanding well printed physical book on a worthy historical topic, this video should serve as overwhelming evidence of why this notion is true.

No amount of digital browsing on a flat electronic screen will ever match the experience of holding and using a beautifully produced book like the one seen in this video. Even if you don't collect maps of Amsterdam, if you have read this far, you should still go buy this book and look it over at length. You will love it, guaranteed. Plus you can dust off and practice your Dutch reading skills at the same time.

As always we invite your feedback and will post another video soon. Unless you tell us to stop, and then we will. But otherwise, get ready for the next one. Talk to you soon.