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Cynthia Smith, Reference Specialist, Geography and Map Division
Created: December 1, 2021
Last updated: January 4, 2022
Nicolas de Fer was a prolific French cartographer who produced hundreds of maps. He eventually became the official geographer to King Louis XIV of France and King Philip V of Spain.
Nicolas de Fer was born in 1646. His father, Antoine de Fer, owned a mapmaking firm. At the age of twelve, Nicolas was apprenticed to a Parisian engraver named Louis Spirinx. The family business was starting to decline when his father died in 1673. Nicolas de Fer’s mother, Genevieve, took over the business after the death of her husband. In 1687 the business was passed on to Nicolas and the profits increased after he took over the firm. De Fer died in 1720 and the family business was passed on to his sons in law, Guillaume Danet and Jacques Francois Bernard. The firm continued to publish maps until 1760.
This guide offers links to resources pertaining to Nicolas de Fer that are held in the Library of Congress. These resources include links to catalogued records for maps and atlases that were published by Nicolas de Fer, selected reference sources, selected digitized images of his published works, and external links.