National Geographic's Collectors Corner

Collaborative site for collectors, dealers, & anyone interested in our history.

Starting with the January 1958 issue, National Geographic began its Atlas Plate series of supplements, which, when completed 10 years later, was supposed to cover the entire planet.  I was just wondering if there exists a reference image that shows the entire world with outlines indicating which maps cover which areas?  A legend, or index, if you will.

Views: 686

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Is this what you're asking about (see attached inventory)?

The NGS also published, @1963, an "Index to the National Geographic Atlas Folio."

The following guide is presented:

"...It is keyed to page numbers in the permanently bound National Geographic Atlas of the World. However, you can use it to find place names on your Atlas Folio maps simply by converting page numbers to plate numbers."



I don't believe there is a "master" map for the Atlas series.  The society did market a Folio in which you could keep your set of maps.  The document Mel provided shows how they are ordered in the Folio.  In 1963 the Society produced an Index for these maps.  It is roughly the same dimensions as the Folio.  These two items, taken together, contain the same information as the Society's Atlas of the World, First Edition, also produced in 1963.

Here is what the Index looks Like:

Tom Wilson

Hey guys!  Thanks for the responses.  Unfortunately I don't have Excel installed on this computer so I can't check out that file, but the attached image is an example of what I'm looking for.  The black squares indicate the areas covered by the first two supplements in the series.  I'm interested in a similar reference that shows the areas covered by each atlas plate.  I can make one myself if necessary, but it seems to me one should already exist.


It's a little convoluted, but please stay with me on this:

There is no reference other than the "member completed/hand written" Index on the inside of the front board of the Folio.

The 1963 publication I referenced and Tom presented a picture of lists on the inside of the front soft cover the "pairing" of the Folio "plate" numbers to the 1963 Atlas of the World "page" numbers.

Now, if you go to page 4 of the Atlas of the World @ 1963 (not the Index, the actual Atlas) - you'll see the map overlay, as it relates to the "page" numbers that you're looking for.

Once you have that, you'll need the "pairing" list {from inside the 1963 Index} to convert the page numbers to plate numbers for your Folio reference image.

I hope that's a little clearer than mud, and addresses your question.


OK.  Sounds like I'll need to make my own then.  Thanks for the info.


Here is the inside, front cover of the Folio Index that Mel mentions:

Unfortunately, I do not have the Atlas of the World in which Mel states that the legend map is printed.


Ah!  I see now.  Thank you :)

Here's the picture for the map imagery, page 4 of the 1963 Atlas. It references "page" numbers.

Use the page/plate table Tom provided from the 1963 Index to convert the page references to the "plates" in the Folio.



Interesting.  They only show a legend for the continental maps, eh?  Not all of them.


You could probably pick up off eBay a 1964 soft cover atlas for under $25.

Then you can personally scan in page 4 for the Continental overlays as well as pages 18, 42, 52, 62, 68, 78, 104, 124, 136 and 147 for the area overlays that would provide you more details.

Again, they will be "page" references that will need to be converted to "plate" references using the 1963 Index Tom provided above.



Roger that.

So, here's my stab at creating a legend for all the maps in the Atlas Plate series.  It's pretty crude and not super accurate, but it gives a good idea of the area covered by which maps at a glance.  The maps are listed by the accompanying issue in the YYYYMM format.

Printing this out at C size is ideal.  B size is pretty hard to read.  However, one could print it across two B size sheets in Poster mode at 125% and manually attach them to achieve a roughly-C size result.

If anyone finds any errors, please let me know so I can update it.  Cheers!




Legal notice about this site

Note: Any sales or trade arrangements are solely between users of this site; The National Geographic Society is not a party to and does not endorse or promote any particular sales or trade arrangements between collectors, dealers, or others. Due to the immediate nature of this medium, National Geographic Online also does not review, censor, approve, edit or endorse information placed on this forum. Discussion boards on National Geographic Online are intended to be appropriate for family members of all ages. Posting of indecent material is strictly prohibited. The placement of advertisements or solicitations unrelated to National Geographic also is prohibited. National Geographic Online shall review information placed on this forum from time to time and delete inappropriate material that comes to its attention as soon as it is practicable, but cannot guarantee that such material will not be found on the forum. By posting material on this discussion board you agree to adhere to this policy prohibiting indecent, offensive or extraneous advertising material, and to legally assume full and sole responsibility for your posting.

© 2024   Created by Cathy Hunter.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service