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The Collection


The Sylvia Ioannou Foundation Collection holds over 1,000 rare maps of Cyprus and the greater region; most of them are printed but there are also certain manuscript ones. The Collection also contains important isolaria and works of geography, cartography and spatiology.

Capturing History

The maps, together with the geography texts, illustrate the importance of Cyprus in the different phases of its history. The island is described as a part of the pilgrimage route to the Holy Land; as an active trading centre dating back to ancient times; and as a theatre of war. At the same time, the maps serve as evidence of the history of cartography, through which the progress of science can be observed and the historical changes in place names is recorded.

Additional information on sea routes in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as on the history of shipping and trade is provided by the isolaria and portolans contained in the Collection.

The evolution of the representation of Cyprus in printed maps is recorded in Cyprus: The Book of Maps. Annotated Catalog of Printed Maps of Cyprus.

Research Projects and Historical Documents

Maps samples taken from the Foundation’s Collection are available online, while some have already been the subject of major research programmes, such as:

You can see the Collection's maps in the Digital Library.