|Paul Sandy's map measures approximately 10 by 7 feet (310 by
215cm), and is a one-fourth reduction of the completed Roy map (also held
by the BL), which is on 38 separate, differently sized sheets. Dr. Hodson
described it as:
"an exceptional work of art whose full splendour can only be
appreciated properly when it is seen as a whole: only when it is laid out
on the table that the awesome accomplishment of Paul Sandby can be fully
appreciated. He was only sixteen when he joined the Military Survey of
Scotland, in 1749, and he went on to become the Founder of British Watercolour
art. This map of Scotland has flowed from the hand of a gifted young artist,
who reduced the original survey, on a scale of 1:36000, to 1:144000, with
what was described by Dundas, one of the surveyors, as 'a thousand graces'".
Although Dr. Hodson had previously studied the map in the old British Museum
Map Room, she recalled that it had never been possible to fully unroll
the map, as it would have taken virtually all the available tables.
By contrast, she could not speak too highly about the facilities of the
new Map Library, and congratulated the British Library on its foresight
in providing an environment that does justice to the national cartographic
heritage that is comprised in its collections, with the proper provision
of space for the consultation of oversize materials, which form a large
proportion of the collections- particularly the Kings topographical collection.
Dr. Hodson concluded by describing the map as:
"one of the jewels in the Royal topographical collections and
Britain's national heritage, as one of the suite of original materials
relating to the first large-scale national survey of one of the countries
of Great Britain - the Military Survey of Scotland 1747-1755."