Collections

Below are brief descriptions of the online digital map collections searchable and accessible through the OldMapsOnline portal. Nearly all the institutions providing online map collections have a much larger paper map collection available at their respective institutions, but the OldMapsOnline portal will only search and provide direct linkage to the online maps.

During the JISC funded project we added collections from around the world. This funding has now finished but we plan to continue making content updates periodically. Read more here to find out how to add your collection:


The participating institutions are:

Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia:                                                         
http://www.bibliotecanacional.gov.co/content/mapoteca

The growing digital collection from this national library includes both national and international maps as well as larger-scale maps of strategically important locations. It includes maps of actual Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Panama from the sixteenth through to the twentieth century, and those for America and beyond which go back to colonial times. Please note this host institution interface is in Spanish, it can be directly accessed here: http://www.bibliotecanacional.gov.co/content/mapoteca

British Library, Map Library:

The British Library's map collection spans the world, but for now Old Maps Online provides access to two online collections: the Ordnance Surveyors' Drawings, made between the 1780s and 1840 during the first detailed survey of Britain, and the Crace Collection of maps of London, charting the development of the city from around 1570 to 1860. More about the British Library digital map collection here: http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelprestype/webres/scanned

Cartography Associates, the David Rumsey Map Collection:

Probably the largest free online digital collection of historical topographic maps and images. Although the main focus for the collection is rare 18th and 19th Century North and South American maps it also includes a variety of other historical cartographic materials covering the rest of the world. It is presented through a range of different viewers and can be directly accessed here: http://www.davidrumsey.com/

Charles University in Prague, The Map collection: 

The collection is composed of approximately 130,000 map sheets, around 3,000 atlases and 120 globes. Approximately 50% of this collection is made up of early prints and manuscripts dating from before 1850. Thanks to the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic NAKI project, the digitized maps can be accessed in the UK repository. More about this digital map collection here: http://www.natur.cuni.cz/geography/map-collection/digitalizace-map

Dutch National Archives:

Drawing together material from 100 different archives, this collection totals over 300,000 items. The maps in the collection include military, topographic, foreign and pre-1900 Dutch maps, around half of which are hand-drawn. Links to 650 of these maps are included in Old Maps Online. The collection can be directly accessed here: http://www.gahetna.nl/en/collectie/afbeeldingen/kaartencollectie

Geo-spatial.org, eHarta Project:

Geo-spatial.org is a collaborative online platform which aims to facilitate the
 sharing of geo-spatial knowledge through the discovery and publishing of free geographic datasets and maps for the Romanian community. One important project of geo-spatial.org is eHarta, a collection of thousands of geo-referenced historical maps, published and documented with the help of the community and two Romanian universities (University of Bucharest, Babeş-Bolyai University). The maps are made available for download as geo-referenced independent files and accessible through a number of web services that fit a broad range of users. Old Maps Online links to the Lambert-Cholesky projection maps in the collectionThe project can be accessed at: http://earth.unibuc.ro/articole/eHarta?lang=en.

Harvard Library, Harvard Map Collection:

One of the largest and oldest map collections in North America, the Harvard Map Collection is in the process of digitizing many of its most significant holdings, including a broad range of urban plans, maps of exploration, nautical charts, and cartographic curiosities. The digital collection ranges temporally from the early 16th century to the present, and spatially across all regions of the globe. The collection can be accessed through HOLLIS (Harvard’s online catalog) http://hollis.harvard.edu or through the Harvard Geospatial Library  http://hgl.harvard.edu

Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya, Cartoteca Digital:

The Map Library of Catalonia is a service offered by the Cartographic Institute  of Catalonia (ICC) to make available to users its cartographic, bibliographic, photographic and documentary archives. The Digital Map Library of the ICC, opened in 2007, is a repository that allows you to search, view and download high resolution maps of the world from the fifteenth century to the present. The documents are organized by thematic collections, access them directly here: http://cartotecadigital.icc.cat 

Land Survey Office Czech Republic:

http://archivnimapy.cuzk.cz/
The Central Archives of Surveying, Mapping and Cadastre, incorporated into the Land Survey Office (Prague), collects the results of extensive cadastral, geodetic and cartographic works which include cadastral maps of the Stable Cadastre since the first half of the 19th century, series of topographic maps based on military mapping of the state territory since the end of the 19th century, post-war military maps, contemporary state map series and collections of old maps for wider public use by schools, tourism etc. Please note this host institution interface is in Czech, it is directly accessed here: http://archivnimapy.cuzk.cz/

Moravian Library, Mollova mapová sbírka:

A variety of historical maps depicting the area of the Czech Republic and Europe more widely, dating from the mid 16th Century until the mid 19th Century. This collection is available through a viewer that will show entire individual map sheets and is searched using the same software as OldMapsOnline. Please note this host institution interface is in Czech, it can be directly accessed here: http://mapy.mzk.cz/hledat/  

National Library of Scotland, Maps of Scotland:

Featuring over 43,000 maps, primarily of Scotland (but also some of Great Britain) dating from the early 19th Century until the mid 20th Century. The collection focuses on detailed topographic maps by Ordnance Survey, but also includes bathymetrical charts and town plans. These maps are available through a viewer that will show entire individual map sheets. It can be directly accessed here: http://maps.nls.uk/

National Library of Wales:

The library is entitled to receive a copy of every printed map and atlas published in Great Britain; although the map collection's focus is on Wales, the British Isles and other parts of the world with Welsh or Celtic connections, as well as material created by Welsh mapmakers.  The paper collection includes over a million maps, charts and plans in volumes and as loose sheets, dating back to the fifteenth century. The library is now working to digitise parts of its historical map collection, the digital images are accessible online here: http://www.llgc.org.uk/index.php?id=maps0

New York Public Library, Map Division:

The collection from the map division of the New York Public Library presents well over 5000 maps of the whole world, but with particular emphasis on North America. They range in date from the late fifteenth century through to modern times. The library has two methods of viewing maps, either the map and catalogue entry or the geographically located map images in Map Warper. Access to the map catalogue is here: http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital /dgdivisionbrowseresult.cfm?div_id=hm and to Map Warper here: http://maps.nypl.org/warper/

Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library:

The full collection of maps held at this institution dates from the fifteenth to the twentieth Centuries and includes atlases, nautical charts, birds-eye views, land ownership, estate, war and urban growth maps. A small subset of these is available through Old Maps Online focussed on the North-Eastern United Sates of america. The full digital collection can be accessed here: http://maps.bpl.org/view_collection

North Carolina Digital Heritage Center:

North Carolina Maps is a collaborative project between the  North Carolina State Archives, the North Carolina Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Outer Banks History Center. The digital maps included range from towns and counties within the state up to the whole of North America, with the earliest images in the collection dating back to the late sixteenth century. The collection can be directly accessed here: http://www.lib.unc.edu/dc/ncmaps/index.html

Retromap.ru:

http://www.retromap.ru/en
The largest known online collection of old maps showing Moscow, its region and Russia. It exists purely as a not-for-profit internet project driven by a committed group of individuals. Although the original paper maps are in private hands the scanned images have been released into the public domain via Retromap.ru. There are several different viewer options and we connect to the "Map Viewer" part. Please note this host institution has interfaces in English and in Russian. The English version of the homepage can be directly accessed here: http://www.retromap.ru/en

Thuringian State and University Library (ThULB), Jena, Historische Bestände:

UrMEL, the Universal Multimedia Electronic Library of the Thuringian State and University Library (ThULB) in Jena allows access to a variety of documents from archives and libraries: manuscripts, monographs, and periodicals such as geographical serials. Several of these periodicals, published in the 18th and 19th centuries, contained a significant number of maps. The map content cover places around the world, ranging in scale from sub-continental right down to town plans. Please note this host institution interface is in German, to find out more about UrMEL see here: http://www.urmel-dl.de/ and get direct access to the maps here: http://archive.thulb.uni-jena.de/hisbest/

University of Manchester Map Library:

The University of Manchester Map Collection is one of the largest in the North West of England and comprises maps and atlases dating from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. The collection offers topographic and thematic mapping for the UK, as well as wide-ranging coverage for the rest of the world, with a strong emphasis on the North West of England. This small subset of online maps comprises large-scale detailed maps of the city of Manchester and its environs, documenting radical urban change from the Victorian era to modern times. The collection can be directly accessed here: http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/searchresources/mapsandatlases/onlinemapcollection/

Utrecht University Library, Special Collections

https://sites.google.cohttp://www.uu.nl/library/specialcollections
The map collection of Utrecht University Library is part of the Special Collections department. It was not until the Geographical Institute was established in 1908 that the active management of the map collection started. A lot of fascinating additions were acquired in the early days of the Geographical Institute, which were used in education on Dutch overseas expansion and voyages of discovery. With the addition of large numbers of pedological and geological maps from the Utrecht University Geosciences Library in 2010, all Utrecht University map collections can now  be found at the University Library Uithof. The map collection contains around 170,000 post-1850 maps and atlases and around 6,000 older cartographic documents. The library digitizes parts of the collection of old maps. The website of Special Collections gives direct access to these images: http://www.uu.nl/library/specialcollections


A Vision of Britain through Time, Historical Map Library:

Featuring mainly British maps this collection divides its map images into types; topographic, boundary and land use. It uses two viewers, one presenting a small number of zoomable mosaics of the whole of Great Britain which can be used as a finding aid for a second viewer that will show entire individual map sheets for map series that are not continuous. It can be accessed directly here: http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/maps/

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