Baldwin & Cradock / SDUK / 1831
On the eve of the 76th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland that triggered World War II, our featured Map of the Month is the plan of Warsaw published by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge in London in 1831. The meticulously detailed plan shows the fortified walls surrounding the 19th-century city and names major streets, public spaces and buildings. The sparsely developed Praga district east of the Vistula River is noted as having burned in 1794 and again in 1831. The city boundary in 1762 is colored yellow in this exemplar. Along the bottom of the plan are elevation drawings of 16 landmark structures of the Polish metropolis.
The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK) was established in London 1826 at the instigation of the first Baron Brougham and Vaux (later Lord Chancellor of Great Britain) with the aim of providing instruction and knowledge inexpensively to the United Kingdom's growing working- and middle-class reading public. SDUK maps and plans are known for their attention to detail and the extraordinary amount of information they convey. For more on the history and legacy of the SDUK, see the University College London's Bloomsbury Project page.
Other SDUK maps currently in our inventory include plans of ancient and modern Rome, Marseilles, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Dresden, Edinburgh, Stockholm, Antwerp, Madrid, Milan, and Florence, and maps of ancient Spain & Portugal, ancient Syria, Palestine "in the time of Our Saviour," ancient Africa or Libya, and China & the Birman Empire, among others.