László Magyar’s Cartography of Angola and the Discovery of his 1858 Manuscript Map in the Cholnoky Collection in Romania

Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-19088-9_15

Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)
Cite this paper as:
Nemerkényi Z., Bartos-Elekes Z. (2012) László Magyar’s Cartography of Angola and the Discovery of his 1858 Manuscript Map in the Cholnoky Collection in Romania. In: Liebenberg E., Demhardt I. (eds) History of Cartography. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography (Publications of the International Cartographic Association (ICA)). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg


With the exception of Livingstone, a Hungarian explorer, László Magyar, was the first European to travel in large areas of the present-day Angola. He lived in Angola from 1848 to 1864 and produced relatively accurate maps during this period. His manuscript map of 1857 which shows the coastline of Angola and a large area of the interior, is stored in Budapest. The other manuscript map from 1858 depicts inner Angola, an area which was at that time almost completely unknown to Europe. This map was known only through a copy which had been published in the German periodical Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen in 1860. The manuscript version was considered lost for a long time, but was in 2007 rediscovered by the authors in the Cholnoky Map Collection in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

In this paper the authors explain how Magyar’s two manuscript maps (both drawn in Angola) ended up in Hungary and Romania respectively. They also analyse the content and planimetric accuracy of the two maps using digital methods (GIS-techniques and statistical index numbers), and some toponymical tools. In the third instance they want to introduce the reader to the Cholnoky Map Collection.

The Cholnoky collection was established at the beginning of the twentieth century by the Hungarian geographer Jenő Cholnoky who was professor at the University of Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár), at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The collection disappeared in the 1950s to be rediscovered and catalogued between 2001 and 2008. The Cholnoky map collection is presently considered the second largest map collection in Romania.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cartography and GeoinformaticsEötvös Loránd UniversityBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Faculty of GeographyBabeş–Bolyai UniversityCluj-NapocaRomania

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