In addition to our extensive paper collections it is also possible to access a selection of digital maps online and from within the Map Room.
These fall primarily into three categories: Current and historic Ordnance Survey map data ; scans of some of the most important historical and rare items in our collections ; map images available online from non-University sources
Cambridge University Library is a legal deposit library and so holds an extensive archive of printed Ordnance Survey (OS) maps. Indeed, except for some of the very earliest 1:2,500 maps (published in the second part of the 19th century) the Map Department should have a copy of every OS map ever published.
The most detailed OS mapping is no longer published on paper and can only be accessed electronically. There are two ways – depending on your status and the use to which you want to put the data – to gain access to OS maps or map data within the University.
1. Ordnance Survey Map Data in the Map Room
Since 1998 Ordnance Survey has voluntarily deposited an annual snapshot of its most detailed data in the legal deposit libraries thus ensuring that the record of our changing landscape is not lost. This data is only accessible via a specific computer in the Map Room from which A4 sized printouts can be taken. No data can be downloaded. Find out more here.
Digimap delivers online access to Ordnance Survey Map Data to registered users within UK Tertiary Education. Digimap's collections include access to the most recent map data as well as images of historic OS maps dating from 1843 to 1996. The data can be downloaded, however, this service is only available to current staff and students of the University - find out more here. Also check out the other map and data services run by EDINA - for example, the University subscribes to agcencus.
Many of the Library’s collections are being made available online through the Cambridge Digital Library so that they can be much more accessible to students, researchers and the wider public.
The Map Department is currently represented though its collection of proof maps prepared for John Speed’s Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain plus a growing collection of maps of Cambridge and other parts of the world.
This is an area of development and expansion and we hope to add more maps in the near future. Follow @CamDigLib to be the first to find out about the latest additions to the Digital Library or read the latest news updates here.
Image credit: extract of Speed's Cambridgeshire from Atlas.2.61.1