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Index no. 0041

Family Atlas
Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

by the Rev. James Mickleburgh, M.A.
with a geological map of England and Wales by Sir R. Murchison
and six star maps by Sir John Lubbock published by Letts, in London

The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, or SDUK, was established in 1826 to provide scientific and other information to the British middle and working classes. Many of its works were beyond the means of the working classes, as can be deduced from plate 2 – a single plate of this work cost from 6d to 2/6, at a time when a labourer might earn a pound a week, so this complete work (without the binding) with 78 plates at 1/- each would have cost almost four pounds, his wages for a month.

I suspect, from its name, that the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge was set up partly as a rival to the better known Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge. If I am right, the SDUK preferred diffusion to the more forceful propagation, and preferred scientific truth to the religious kind.

The SDUK published several editions of its atlas. Dates I have seen quoted are 1829-32, 1840, 1844, and 1846. In 1848 the SDUK ceased to be active, but works which it had commissioned continued to be published. An edition of the SDUK Atlas was published in 1873 by Stanford in London, and included twelve plates of India and sixteen of the USA.

The work presented here was printed from some of the same plates as the 1873 edition, by Letts, also in London. It does not include the twelve Indian and sixteen USA plates, though it does, strangely, include the key maps to them. I assume that the original owner bought the plates separately, without realising that a key to absent maps might be a waste of money. I have examined a copy of the 1873 edition (which was once the property of the Earl of Normanton – so much for the SDUK's intended market) and its plates are sharper, and on higher-quality paper, than those of the 1876 edition presented here.

Scanning and other details about this work.

Plate no.Plate titlecomments
[title page]
index["index" page]
cont.[contents page]
2The World on Mercator's ProjectionNew World
2The World on Mercator's ProjectionOld World
2The World on Mercator's ProjectionIndex map to other maps
3The World as known to the Ancients. Sheet I.Europe and north Africa.
4The World as known to the Ancients. Sheet II.Asia
5EuropeIndex map to maps of Europe
6The British Isles
7Geological Map of England and Wales (with all the railways).by Sir R. Murchison
8England and Walesnorth eastern part
9England and Walesnorth western part
10England and Waleseast central part
11England and Waleswest central part
12England and Walessouth eastern part
13England and Walessouth western part
14Scotland Isouthern
15Scotland IInorthern mainland
16Scotland IIIHebrides, Orkneys and Shetlands
17Irelandnorthern half. With a list of round towers
18Irelandsouthern half.
19The Netherlands and Belgium
20France in Provinces
21France Inorth-west part
22France IIeastern part
23France IIIsouthern part
25Italyall Italy
26Italynorthern part
27Italycentral-southern part
28ItalyCalabria and Sicily
29Corsica and Sardinia. Balearic Islands. Valetta the capital of the island of Malta.
30Spain and Portugal in provinces.
31Germany, general map.
32Germany I. The Prussian provinces, Saxony &c.
33Germany II. Eastern part of the Prussian states.
34Germany III. Baden, W├╝rttemberg, Bavaria, Tyrol and Switzerland.
35Germany IV. Austrian dominions I. Bohemia, Moravia, Austria, Styria, Illyria, Croatia, Sclavonia and western Hungary.
36Austrians dominions II. Galicia, eastern Hungary and Transylvania.
37Austrians dominions III. Croatia, Sclavonia and Dalmatia.
38Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
39Russia in Europe.
40The Turkish Empire in Europe and Asia with the Kingdom of Greece.
42Ancient Palestine.
43Palestine with the Hauran and the adjacent districts.
44Arabia with Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia.
45Bokhara, Afghanistan, Beloochistan, &c.
46Western Siberia, Russian Turkestan, Khiva, Bokhara &c.
47AIndia XIII. Index to large map in XII sheetsbut "large map" is not present
49Asiatic Archipelago.
50Islands in the Indian Ocean.
51Empire of Japan. Nagasaki harbour. Eastern point of Yeso.
53Northern Africa or Barbary I. Marocco. Plan of the city of Marocco.
54Northern Africa or Barbary II. Algier.
55South Africa. Environs of the Cape. District of George. Environs of Graham-Town. Cape-Town.
56Islands in the Atlantic.
57North America.
58British North America.shows travels of Franklin, Collinson, Rae and McClintock in the north-west passage.
59British Columbia. Vancouver Island &c.
60North America, sheet I. Dominion of Canada: Novia Scotia with part of New Brunswick and Quebec.
61North America, sheet II. The Dominion of Canada. Parts of Quebec and New Brunswick and the States of New-York, Vermont and Maine.
62North America, sheet III. The Dominion of Canada. Ontario with parts of New-York, Pennnsylvania and Michigan.
63The United States of North America.
64North America, sheet XVI. The southern part of Mexico., also Belize, Guatemala, Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.the other 15 sheets are not present.
65The Antilles or West-India Islands.
66South America.
67Polynesia or Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
[68+]69The Australian Colonies.
70The Islands of New Zealand.
71Stars, I. Autumnal Sir John Lubbock
72Stars, II. Winter Sir John Lubbock
73Stars, III. Vernal Sir John Lubbock
74Stars, IV. Summer Sir John Lubbock
75Stars, V. North Sir John Lubbock
76Stars, VI. South Sir John Lubbock
77Western Division of Paris.
78Eastern Division of Paris.

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