Willem Janszoon Blaeu was born in Alkmaar in 1571 and trained in Astronomy and science by Tycho Brahe, the celebrated Danish astronomer. He founded a globe and instrument business in amsterdam in 1599 and soon expanded into map publishing, topographical works, books of sea charts and constructing globes. Although he had been planning for years to publish a major atlas it was not until he bought between thirty and forty plates of the Mercator atlas from Jodocus Hondius II that he was able to publish in 1630, a sixty map volume titled Atlantis Appendix. It was another five years before the first two volumes of his planned world atlas, Atlas Novus or the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum were published. About this time he was appointed hydrographer to the east India company. He died in 1638 and the business passed into the hands of his sons Joan and Cornelis who continued and expanded their father’s ambitious plans. After the death of Cornelis, Joan eventually completed the whole series in 1655. In 1672 a fire destroyed the Blaeu printing house and the following year Joan died. The surviving plates and maps were slowly dispersed. some being bought by F. de Wit and Schenk and Valck, before final closure about 1695.