One of the initial atlases published in the Czech language during the Czech national revival movement was the "Malý zeměpisný atlas dle nejnovějších zpráv a pomůcek sestavený od Václava Merklasa" (A small geographical atlas based on the latest news and tools compiled by Václav Merklas). Václav Merklas, the renowned Czech geographer and teacher, was the author of the maps included in this atlas. The significance of the atlas lies in the use of Czech nomenclature, contributing to Václav Merklas's broader efforts to restore the Czech language as the predominant language in Czech lands, displacing German.
This first edition of the atlas was published in 1853 by Karl André, a publisher who purchased Merklas's printing amenities in 1851 after Merklas moved to Slovakia. Second edition of this atlas under Karl André publishing house followed 5 years later in 1858. The inclusion of multiple outlines delineating the US-Mexico border on the map of America, illustrating both pre- and post-Mexican-American War borders, implies that the atlas was being developed for many years prior to its eventual publishing in 1853. This relatively long duration for creating relatively small atlas was probably caused by various other Merklas's activities, including production of the first Czech globe.
This atlas places its primary emphasis on Central Europe, with a particular focus on depicting the Austrian Empire and its constituent kingdoms. The detailed maps within the atlas intricately capture the geographical nuances and boundaries of this significant European empire. Beyond Europe, the remaining continents are covered in just one single map. The core concentration remains on providing a thorough and detailed representation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its diverse regions.
While it's clearly evident that this atlas doesn't reach the same level of cartographic excellence as its German counterparts, it nonetheless remains a significant testament to the efforts and dedication of individuals within the Czech nationalist movement.
To see the very first comprehensive atlas published in Czech language, see "Malý příruční atlas wšech částí Země", also created by Václav Merklas and published in 1846.
Privately bound. Title page missing, otherwise complete with all 28 maps. The map of the eastern hemisphere has some minor edge wear. Most of the pages are very well preserved and clean, besides moderate finger staining close to the edge. Some pages have handwritten notes around edges.
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