Peter van der Krogt

Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries


This year, the Society for the History of Discoveries honors one of its most distinguished scholars of cartographic history.  Peter van der Krogt, head of URU-Explokart Research Program for the History of Cartography of the Faculty of Geosciences at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, is a leading world authority on terrestrial globes and historical atlases.

Born Petrus Cornelis Jozef van der Krogt on January 15, 1956 in Delft, he received all of his education in The Netherlands.  He studied physical geography and cartography at Utrecht University and earned his first degree in 1981. Continuing his interest in cartography, along with how globes are produced, his Ph.D. dissertation offered a systematic description and study of all the globes published in the Low Countries (his Ph.D. degree was from Utrecht University in 1989).  A second part of his study was later completed, and published in English, as Globi Nederlandici: the production of globes in the Low Countries (Utrecht: HES, 1993).  Each globe is put into its context: cartographic, geographic, iconographic, and historical.  This book is far more than an illustrated bibliography, and has been described as a modern ground-breaking study in globe description; it was welcomed with international appreciation and recognition.

Another important book, co-compiled by Peter, is Bibliografie van de geschiedenis van de kartografie van de Nederlanden. Bibliography of the history of cartography of the Netherlands (Utrecht: HES, 1993), a vital aid for those interested in Dutch cartography.  From 1988 to 2006 he co-edited (and partly compiled) the 7 volumes of the Atlas Blaeu – Van der Hem of the Austrian National Library: an illustrated and annotated catalogue (‘t Goy – Houten: HES & De Graaf).  To a reprint of Joan Blaeu’s Atlas Maior of 1665 (Cologne; London: Taschen, 2005 [etc.]) Peter provided an introduction and new texts in which he explained the cultural and historical aspects of its maps.  For Abraham Ortelius and the first atlas: essays commemorating the Quadricentennial of his death (‘t Goy – Houten: HES, 1998) he was again a co-editor. His latest co-editorship has been to honor his former Utrecht University department head in Mappae antiquae: liber amicorum Günter Schilder: essays on the occasion of his 65th birthday (‘t Goy – Houten: HES & De Graaf, 2007).

Peter has a long-time commitment to Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici: New Edition.  The original standard 6-volume reference work for scholars, cataloguers, and bibliographers was compiled by Professor Cornelis Koeman, and by others under his direction, at Utrecht University (Amsterdam: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1967-1971; vol.6 Alphen aan den Rijn: Canaletto, 1985). When it became necessary to update this vital research tool Peter was selected for the task, and started another multi-volume series in a completely new arrangement.  Three volumes of the award-winning new edition have been published since 1997, and the fourth will appear at the end of 2009. Those who appreciate what Peter has accomplished with this project all express profound admiration for his work.

In addition to his formidable books Peter has published dozens of scholarly monographs, articles, and reviews in Dutch- and English-language journals.  Among these, his works appear in Caert-Thresoor, Cartographica Helvetica, Discovery! (Journal of the Christopher Columbus Philatelic Society), Der Globusfreund, Imago Mundi, Kartografisch Tijdschrift, The Map Collector, Mercator’s World, De Nederlandsche Leeuw, Nederlandse Historiën, and The Portolan (Washington Map Society).

This award presented by the Society for the History of Discoveries is only the latest he has received to recognize his scholarly achievements.  In 2002, he was given the Sir George Fordham Award for Cartobibliography, presented triennially by the Royal Geographical Society, and was based chiefly on his Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici.  Three years later Peter received the IMCoS-Helen Wallis Award and, the same year, the 2-part volume III of Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici (2003) was nominated for the Fourteenth Award of ILAB-LILA Prize for Bibliography.

Along with his academic duties at Utrecht University, Peter serves on the Board of Directors of Imago Mundi and, since 2007 (after 25 years on its Editorial Board), he is now one of the ‘Friends’ of Caert-Thresoor, the Dutch journal for the history of cartography.  He is on the Honorary Advisory Board of MapForum, is Vice-President of the International Society for the Study of Globes, and on the Editorial Review Board of The Portolan.  We would be remiss if we did not state that Peter is the list-owner of ‘MapHist’, the e-mail discussion group whose primary focus is the history of cartography.

Being a European member of our society has not precluded Peter from attending many of our Annual Meetings when he has presented papers and, in 2001-2002, he served on Council.  Peter was the head of the exploratory committee for the SHD’s proposed 2005 Annual Meeting in The Netherlands.

You would think that Peter would take time off to sleep yet, besides everything else, he is very heavily involved in myriad hobbies.  Among these are genealogy, the history of Delft, license plates, and Christopher Columbus monuments: indeed, he has traveled far and wide to locate and photograph these last to be seen on his web site (  If that is not enough, Peter collects map t-shirts from around the world.

For his remarkable scholarly contributions to the study of the history of maps and globes, particularly Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici, his extensive work on the Blaeu atlas, his academic achievements at Utrecht University, and for his service to all map historians through maintaining ‘MapHist’, we honor Peter van der Krogt as FSHD, Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries.

Presentation Ceremony: July 17, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark

Fiftieth Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries
Raleigh, North Carolina
October 12, 2009

Prepared by members of the Honors
Committee:  Sanford Bederman, David
Buisseret, and Arthur Holzheimer (with
profound gratitude for the help provided
by Günter Schilder and Francis Herbert)




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