The Times world maps and atlases range has been published for over a hundred years, since 1895. They are regarded as the world’s most prestigious and authoritative atlases and maps today.
The first ever Times world atlas was published in 1895 and simply called The Times Atlas, with maps produced by the German firm Velhagen & Klasing. In 1826, John Bartholomew set up business as a map engraver in Edinburgh and soon gained and international reputation for innovative cartography, high quality copper plate engraving and printing. The Times Publishing Co Ltd thus contracted Bartholomew to prepare a major, new, home produced, world atlas which became The Times Survey Atlas & Gazetteer of the World (1922).
This was followed by The Times Atlas of the World Mid-Century Edition - published in five volumes between 1955 and 1960, which set the standard for world atlas publishing. In 1967, this was re-worked into a single volume as The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World which is now in its 12th edition and continues to be the world’s leading reference atlas.
In 1980 the company was bought by Reader’s Digest ending the direct involvement of the Bartholomew family. Following its purchase by News International in 1985 it became part of HarperCollins Publishers in 1989, along with Collins Publishers (UK) and Harper & Row (US).
The business continues as the award winning Collins Bartholomew, part of HarperCollins, upholding the authority quality and excellence, so highly regarded by 'Bartholomews’. Today the company employs more than 50 cartographers at its Glasgow and Cheltenham offices, dedicated to providing the most accurate and up-to-date maps available.
Explore some of The Times key and ground-breaking atlases and maps in the Times Atlas heritage section.