The Perthes Collection came from the historical holdings of the Gotha-based Justus Perthes Verlag (Justus Perthes publishing house). It provides unique source material relating to the development of cartography and geography in the 19th and 20th centuries. As a result of the cohesion and interlinking of its holdings, the Collection documents the last phase of the age of discovery, during which the interior regions of the non-European continents and the polar regions were explored.
The maps, atlases and periodicals published by Perthes, most notably “Stielers Handatlas” (“Stieler’s Hand-Atlas”) and “Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen” (“Petermann’s Geographical Observations”), shaped the scientific view of the earth until well into the 20th century and popularised it with the general public. Publications concerned with genealogical statistics, including the “Almanach de Gotha” (“Gotha Almanac”) / “Gothaischer Hofkalender” (“Gotha Court Calendar”), the definitive biographical encyclopaedia of European nobility, constituted the second key area of the publisher’s profile.
Using funds provided by the Kulturstiftung der Länder (KSL) (Federal Cultural Foundation), the Perthes Collection was acquired by the Free State of Thuringia in 2003 and integrated into the Gotha Research Library.
The Gotha Perthes Collection is currently only limited accessible. We ask for appointment. Maps and archive documents are available in the special reading room of the Perthes-Forum during the opening hours, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 3 pm. Stocks are used in the special reading room of the Gotha Research Library during opening hours. The provision requires two working days.
All enquiries (requests):
Please direct your enquiries about guided tours or usage to the following e-mail address: