Wilbrecht, Alexander


Wilbrecht, Alexander Mikhailovich
(November 23, 1757 - December 2, 1823)

Wilbrecht, Alexander Mikhailovich - a mathematician, geographer, cartographer, astronomer, was born on November 23, 1757 in St. Petersburg. The family was well-off, and the young man received a good education - he graduated from the school at the Academy of Arts and the Land Arms Noble Corps. He began his career as a map compiler at the Geographical Department of the Academy of Sciences, then in the Geographical Department of the Cabinet, the Military Topographic Depot (VTD), and the Geographical Expedition of the Ministry of Education.

However, the prominence to Wilbrecht was brought by his outstanding activity in compiling general geographic maps and atlases of the Russian Empire, at that time being the most complete and comprehensive - the real achievement of the national cartography of the 18th century.

Since 1785, he headed the Higher School of Mathematics in the Mining School, and also became the chief geographer of the Geographical Department of the Cabinet of Her Imperial Majesty. Dozens of maps were made by Wilbrecht, and at the beginning of the 19th century he became the main co-author of the "Detailed map of the Russian Empire and nearby foreign possessions" (1: 840 thousand, the first 100 sheets were published in 1801-1804) - a truly fundamental work.

Most significant is his participation in the creation of the national atlas of Russia, of which 45 maps were signed: " composed by Wilbrecht " (1st edition in 1792, from 1793 to 1805 - reprinted 10 times, the number of maps gradually increased to 52). The edition of 1800 under the title "The Russian atlas consisting of forty-three maps and dividing the Empire in forty-one gubernia " is a masterpiece of Russian cartography.

Later, Wilbrecht, who received a degree of a professor, was a corresponding member of the Petersburg Academy of Sciences and in recent years served as director of the Military Topographic Depot.

He died on December 2, 1823 in St. Petersburg.