The cartography collections of the library date from the collection of 688 maps, which in fact consist of 829 documents, which were acquired in 1891 from a Le Havre merchant named Remi Chardey. These documents are detailed in the library's online catalogue and were fully digitalised in 2010 before being put online with the assistance of the Ministry of Culture.
Originally, most of the maps, plans and illustrations of the town were collected by the Le Havre geographer Jean-Baptiste Eyriès. When he died in 1846, his brother Alexandre Eyriès inherited them, and they were then purchased by Remy Chardey. The collection includes 14 Italian maps dating from the XVI century, several hand-drawn maps of Africa, French Guinea, Ireland and the island of Jersey, and a collection of maps which demonstrate the triangulation skills of the cartographer Cassini de Thury, some of which are signed.
In addition to the maps and plans of the Chardey collection, there is also a noteworthy collection of plans of Le Havre and the estuary which give a fascinating insight into how the port and town have developed since the end of XVI century, up until the profound restructuring of the XX century. These maps are in the process of being catalogued.
To find out more about the Chardey collections of maps and plans, consult the article by Hélène Coste in the Bulletin des bibliothèques de France, 2007, t. 52, n°4.