Before this atlas, English mariners had to rely on foreign charts to navigate their waters. Collins’s collection of 45 maps was the first atlas of British waters to be published. Captain Collins was appointed to the task by the celebrated diarist, Samuel Pepys, acting in his official capacity as Secretary of the Admiralty. Collins worked on the surveys for nearly a decade. This is the first edition of the atlas, and this copy bears the seal of, and belonged to, Trinity House, founded in 1514 by Henry VIII to be responsible for all British pilotage. The volume proved very popular and its maps were reprinted again and again. Until this gift, the Library owned only a facsimile.