Maps present information on land masses, while charts are for navigating the world’s waterways. John Norie's employer, William Heather, began selling a Marine Atlas of charts in 1797; it went through several editions over the years. The forty charts in this volume were dated with additions to 1828. The sizeable book, a double elephant folio volume, was bound around 1856 in New York, according to information on the binder’s ticket on the inside front cover. This is the seventh edition.
Extensive staining and multiple tears indicate heavy use, especially at the back of the volume in South Pacific and South American charts. Of the forty charts in the book, only two contain handwritten notations and both relate to the seabird guano trade off the coast of Peru. Other clues indicate that the volume may have been owned by a guano shipping company in New York.