This is the first scholarly publication on the Schöner Sammelband, a collection of maps and notes made by the Nuremberg astronomer and mathematician Johannes Schöner (d. 1547). Although it is well known that Schöner owned the original 1507 and 1516 World Maps made by Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann, very little research has focused on how he used them and on the origins of the other materials that were found in the Sammelband—a set of celestial globe gores of Schöner’s design, a star chart of the southern hemisphere by the artist Albrecht Dürer and fragments of two other celestial and terrestrial globes.
The survival of Schöner’s notes and annotations is unique in the history of cartography; not only do they show his
thinking about theoretical and practical geography, but they also reveal the art of mapmaking during his lifetime. John Hessler discusses Schöner’s opinions on the then canonical geography of Ptolemy, and his reaction to the new
discoveries of Columbus and Vespucci. His notebooks offer an unprecendented insight into the history of these materials, and into the geographical concerns that fuelled cartographic development during this critical period in the history of science and exploration.
John W. Hessler is senior cartographic reference specialist in the Geography and Map Division and curator of the Jay I. Kislak Collection of the Archaeology and History of the Early Americas at the Library of Congress, Washington DC. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, he has written extensively on the history of science and cartography, and has published articles in many scholarly and popular journals. He is the author of The Naming of America: Martin Waldseemüller’s 1507 World Map and the Cosmographiae Introductio (2008), Thoreau on Cape Cod: His Journeys and the Lost Maps (2011), and Seeing the World Anew: The Radical Vision of Martin Waldseemüller’s 1507 and 1516 World Maps (2012, with Chet van Duzer). Hessler has been awarded many grants and fellowships including a John S. Best Research Fellowship from the American Geographical Society, and a Kluge Fellowship by the Library of Congress in 2011. He is currently working on his forthcoming book, Collecting for a New World (2019).