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Maps: Historical maps
A guide to finding and using printed and digital maps.
Volumes 1-3 and 6 of the History of Cartography in PDF format, presented by University of Chicago Press. Volume 1: Cartography in Prehistoric, Ancient, and Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean; Volume 2, Book 1: Cartography in the Traditional Islamic and South Asian Societies; Volume 2, Book 2: Cartography in the Traditional East and Southeast Asian Societies; Volume 2, Book 3: Cartography in the Traditional African, American, Arctic, Australian, and Pacific Societies; Volume 3: Cartography in the European Renaissance; Volume 6 Cartography in the twentieth century. Searchable resource.
Guide to using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in historical research, written by Ian Gregory in 2002. It describes how to create GIS databases and how to use GIS to perform historical research.
The OldMapsOnline Portal is an easy-to-use gateway to historical maps in libraries around the world. It allows the user to search for online digital historical maps across numerous different collections via a geographical search. The search results provide a direct link to the map image on the website of the host institution.
The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world. It includes maps, dating up to 1949.
CartoMundi contains about 75 000 references of cartographic documents. They cover 194 countries and are held in about 20 map libraries.
The web site also offers more than 7500 digital reproductions. "CartoMundi - Online Promotion of the Cartographic Heritage – is developed as part of Aix-Marseille University." In French, English and Spanish.
This site makes available to the public P.J.Mode's private collection of more than 800 examples of persuasive cartography, maps intended primarily to influence opinions or beliefs - to send a message - rather than to communicate geographic information. The website provides general background on the subject and links to downloadable, high-resolution images with notes on each map. The collection itself reflects a variety of persuasive tools, including allegorical, satirical and pictorial mapping; selective inclusion; unusual use of projections, colour, graphics and text; and intentional deception. Maps in the collection address a very wide range of messages: religious, political, military, commercial, moral and social.
Article by Kenneth J. Schultz in Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol 61, Issue 7, pp. 1565 - 1590, 2017. Describing a data set consisting of precise digital maps of regions that were the subject of interstate territorial disputes in the period 1947 to 2000. The link to the data is in the footnotes.
Hosted by the University of North Texas. Newsmaps were produced by the U.S. Army Information Branch, Army Service Forces, during the 2nd World War. They include a weekly summary of activity and topical maps. There is a search box at the bottom of the page.
"A collection of mainly 19th century maps of almost 150 cities, towns, and villages in the Republic of Ireland. Most are Town Plans which were surveyed at either five or ten foot to one mile scale between 1837 and 1896. The remainder were produced by enlargement of the 1/2500 maps between 1892 and 1911."
Public Records Office of Northern Ireland. Search and browse a range of historical Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland (OSNI) maps and find information on sites, buildings and landmarks of historical interest.
The Forma Urbis Romae, also known as the Severan marble plan, was a map of ancient Rome. It was very large, but only 10-15% survives, broken into nearly 2000 pieces. The project aims to piece together the fragments.
Drawn in 1265, the Tabula Peutingeriana is apparently a map describing the world as it was known in Antiquity. Localities shown are connected by roads with distances marked in Roman numerals indicating the miles or, west of Lyon, the Gallic leagues.
Analysis of maps of the Warsaw Ghetto, which lasted from November 1940 to May 1943. Originally a presentation by Harrie Teunissen, given at the 24th International Conference on the History of Cartography, Moscow, 2011.
Resource for historical research. Also includes reference resources, images, books and journals as well as maps. Maps include samples of early maps and maps from the Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1908-1931. Hosted at the University of Chicago.
A collection of historical maps produced by the Survey of India from 1750 to the present day, with scales ranging from 1:1,000,000 to 1:50,000. Covers south Asia including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma and Nepal.
"The AFRITERRA Foundation is a non-profit Cartographic Library and Archive assembling and preserving the original rare maps of Africa in a definitive place for education and interpretation". Includes data about the maps, together with more than 500 scans of maps of Africa. Maps date from 1480 to 1900.
Historical maps of the Great Lakes and charts from the U.S. Lake Survey of the 1870s, available through zoomify and download. Audio commentary also available as both audio and video podcast, both online and through iTunes.
National Library of Australia. Includes thousands of historic Australian maps - topographic, tourist, cadastral or parish (showing property boundaries and administrative areas), planning and geological. They are overlaid on a modern base layer.
Shows Great Britain during the period between 1801 and 2001, using maps, statistical information and historical descriptions. Data can be downloaded by the UK academic community, as historical maps, digital boundaries (shapefiles) or historical statistics. It is the result of an ongoing project based at the University of Portsmouth, the Great Britain Historical Geographical Information System (GBHGIS)
Historic Digimap rovides access to old Ordnance Survey maps of Great Britain, from 1843 to1991. Scales included are 1:1250, 1:2500, 1:10560/1:10 000, and they can be compared on screen, printed, or downloaded to use in a GIS. The 1930s Dudley Stamp land use maps of Britain are also available through Environment Digimap. Digimap requires an institutional login.
Please note: By accepting the licence you are agreeing to the terms and conditions listed in the End User Licence Agreement (EULA).
Map data of Great Britain comprising ten datasets:
Data can be downloaded to use with appropriate application software such as GIS or CAD, or as maps generated by Digimap online using the Roam facility.
Using Roam you can:
-View maps of any location in Great Britain at a series of predefined scales
-Print maps at a variety of scales and sizes
-Add your own annotations
-Ordnance Survey Digimap offers MasterMap - the most detailed current map dataset
-Ordnance Survey Digimap includes Digital Terrain Model data for download.
-Ordnance Survey Digimap includes Scottish Improvement Service data, 37 datasets from Scottish local authorities, available for download only.
-Historic Digimap provides access to 1:10 560, 1:2500 and 1:1250 data from 1846-1996; two maps of the same area can be compared on screen at once.
-Geology Digimap provides access to bedrock and Quaternary geological maps at scales of 1:625 000, 1:250 000 and 1:50 000.
-Marine Digimap includes hydrographic charts and marine themes data
-Environment Digimap includes land cover data for 1997, 2000 and 2007 from the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology.
-Aerial Digimap includes aerial imagery in a single seamless coverage, captured since 2000, at 25 cm resolution.
-Aerial Digimap includes access to Lidar Digimap - download Lidar data for use in GIS and CAD applications.
Access and view over 91,000 maps as high-resolution, colour, zoomable images. The maps date between 1560 and 1961 and relate primarily to Scotland. Maps of areas beyond Scotland, including maps of England and Great Britain, Ireland, and Belgium are also available.
Vol.s 1, 2 and 3 of this atlas are available to download. Towns covered include: Banbury, Caernarvon, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hereford, Nottingham, Reading, Salisbury, Bristol, Cambridge, Coventry, Norwich and City of London (to 1520). The remaining volumes are available in the Library at OVERSIZE--MF 911.42-BRI.
Cambridge Digital Library. The print archive includes records of coastal change, discoveries of archaeological sites and the pre-and post-industrial landscapes of Britain. The print archive comprises 497,079 aerial images, dating from 1945 to 2009, and includes both vertical and oblique aerial views of British landscapes, in both black and white and colour, and slides. The initial relese of digital images comprises about 1,500 images.
The Gough Map is internationally-renowned as one of the earliest maps (14th century) to show Britain in a geographically-recognizable form. This website presents an interactive, searchable edition of the Gough Map, together with contextual material, a blog, and information about the project and the Language of Maps colloquium
A project that provides mapping tools for historians. It enables them to use digitized and geo-referenced maps in conjunction with historical information based on either addresses or districts. It focuses on Edinburgh.
Maps are key documentary sources for researching buildings and houses. This page highlights how maps can shed light on a building’s history as well as the area that surrounds it. Created by the National Library of Scotland, but the examples are useful generally.
Established in 1948 to locate and preserve records relating to the county of Berkshire and its people, and to make them available for research to anyone who is interested in the county's past. Maps and plans held include tithe, enclosure, estate, Ordnance Survey and other printed maps.
Provides access to historic manuscript maps and documents online. The maps and land awards on this site show the process of enclosing the common fields of the county of Berkshire between 1738 and 1883. Run by Berkshire Record Office.
Charles Booth's London enables you to search the catalogue of over 450 original notebooks from the Inquiry into Life and Labour in London (1886-1903), view 41 digitised notebooks and explore the London poverty maps. The site is hosted by the London School of Economics, which holds the original archive. Print version is available at OVERSIZE--MF 309.1421-CHA in the Library.
Civitas Londinum is a bird’s-eye view of London printed in about 1561. It is widely known as the "Agas map," from a spurious attribution to surveyor Ralph Agas (c.1540-1621) and hosted at the University of Victoria, Canada.
Map-based history website developed by the Institute of Historical Research. A collection of digitised historic maps, photos and crowd-sources histories provided by the public and key partners across London.
Allows you to search a wide body of digital resources relating to early modern and eighteenth-century London, and to map the results on to a version of John Rocque's 1746 map. Includes records of crime, poor relief, taxation, elections, local administration, plague deaths and archaeological finds.