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S.D.U.K. - Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK), founded in 1826 by Lord Brougham, was a Whiggish London organisation with the high-minded objective of bringing learning to the uneducated working and middle classes. Much of its output was regarded as unreadable, it was not commercially successful, and it was wound up in 1848. Its most enduring legacy is the wonderful set of atlas maps and sought-after town plans published under its auspices, which we stock below. Originally issued in parts by Baldwin & Cradock 1829-32, it was later published as an atlas by Chapman & Hall in 1844 and by Charles Knight between 1844-1852. It continued to be published after the demise of the Society by G. Cox 1852-1853 and Edward Stanford 1857-1870. The maps commonly have original outline colour. Fourteen members of the S.D.U.K. served on the Boundary Commission for the 1832 Great Reform Act.