The history of the cartographic collection of the Jagiellonian Library dates back to the 16th century. It was not until 1969 when a separate Department of Graphic Collections was formed. Maps and atlases were selected from the general holdings of the Jagiellonian Library. Henceforth, they have been stored and made available in a separate. In 1999, the Department of Cartography was merged with the Department of Graphic Collections and has since then functioned as the Department of Graphic and Cartographic Collections. In November 2013, it was converted to the Section of Graphic and Cartographic Collections, which is part of the Department of Special Collections.
The cartographic collection of the Jagiellonian Library consists of 51 000 items, including about 3 800 atlases and about 46 300 maps. We obtain all items of cartographic nature, published currently in Poland, which constitute the core of our collection. Maps and atlases from the 16th to 19th centuries were either donated to or acquired by the Library in earlier centuries. However, the general profile of the cartographic collection consists, above all, in cracoviana and galiciana.
The most valuable objects stored in the collection of the Section of Graphic and Cartographic Collections include Liber geographiae of Claudius Ptolemaeus (Venice, 1511), Theatrum orbis terrarum of Abraham Ortelius (Antwerp, 1575), Delineatio specialis et accurata Ukrainae of Guillaume le Vasseur de Beauplan (Gdańsk, 1650), and the Topographical Map of the Polish Kingdom published in 1843.