History of the collection

The Moll Collection is a commonly used name for the atlas, collected in the 1740s and 1750s by the German diplomat Bernhard Paul Moll. The collection includes, in accordance with the original concept of an atlas, graphical representations of cities and landscapes as well as their generalised schematic drawings – maps. On request of the owner it was also supplemented by a number of drawings representing mines and ancient monuments.

Almost no one had expressed any interest in this work for decades, which became the property of the Francis Museum (now Moravské zemské muzeum) in the early 19th century. It began to receive some attention as late as the mid-20th century, when the first printed catalogue was created. At the turn of the millennium a new cataloguing process took place, which made the work available via an electronic database, complete digitisation having been carried out afterwards.

With its size (12,000 units) the Moll Collection ranks among the few large historical map collections in Central Europe, which have been preserved in its almost original condition until the present. The multiple volume original manuscript catalogues, created at the time the collection was founded, are one of a kind. Their character is not only evidentiary, they also contain data regarding the inception and content of individual maps - it is in many cases, the first work from the history of cartography for given areas.