We recently added a handful of SDUK-published maps to our Foreign Maps section of our website. The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, better known as SDUK, was an English enterprise devoted to spreading the most up-to-date cartographic information and enhancing geographical understanding and knowledge of the world. Founded in 1826, the SDUK was a Whiggish London organization, established at the insistence of Lord Brougham, a strong proponent of education reform. Along with maps, the society published reasonably priced texts that adapted scientific and equally didactic material for the rapidly expanding reading public. Its target audience was composed of people without access to formal teaching, or who preferred self-education.
Over a period of years, the maps that the SDUK produced were issued by various publishers. The following is a breakdown:
- 1829-32: Baldwin & Craddock
- 1844: Chapman & Hall
- 1844-52: C. Knight
- 1852-53: G. Cox
- 1857-70: Stanford
The maps from this series are known for their fine engraving and attention to detail, and include many city maps. Many times, panoramas of the featured cities adorn the lower and upper edges of the map, along with a key to notable buildings or parks.
To see more SDUK maps, visit our website here.