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Map Collections and Online Map Catalogues

(See also Information Sheets 2A and 2B. Also, many of the library catalogues listed on the University Library's Library Catalogues page will contain map records). 

NB Only a small part of Cambridge University Library's map collection is catalogued online. This is the same in many other libraries so bear this in mind when searching their online catalogues. Although now a little outdated the article here may be of interest. 

Also see the Map Collections pages on the Map History / History of Cartography site.

Directory of UK Map Collections.

Archives Collections and Catalogues, some of which will include maps:

  • Access to Archives (A2A). Catalogue describing archives held locally in England and Wales and dating from the eighth century to the present day. The resources described for the A2A project can now be searched via The National Archives Discovery catalogue. 
  • Archives Hub. A national gateway to descriptions of archives in UK universities and colleges.
  • ARCHON Directory. Includes contact details for record repositories in the United Kingdom.
  • English Heritage Archives. Online catalogue describing more than a million historical photographs and documents relating to England’s historic buildings and archaeological sites held by English Heritage’s public archive. Also try the Heritage Gateway for listing information and local historic environment records.
  • Janus. Provides access to catalogues of archives held throughout Cambridge University.
  • The National Archives (TNA). One of the largest archival collections in the world, spanning 1000 years of British history including many maps some of which can be located via their online Discovery catlogue. Some can be viewed in the Image Library. Their Research Guides are also useful, in particular see guide on Maps : further research. See also the help with your research pages and the Video guides section of their web site. The National Digital Archive of Datasets (NDAD) which preserves and provides online access to archived digital datasets and documents from UK central government departments may also be of interest. Try their Valuation Office Map Finder which allows you to identify and order Valuation Office Survey maps of England and Wales from 1910 to 1915 but which can also be used to find OS County Series sheetlines for other purposes.
  • National Records of Scotland (NRS). [Formed on 1 April 2011 from the merger of the National Archives of Scotland with the General Register Office for Scotland]. In particular ScotlandsPlaces - a joint venture between The National Records of Scotland (NAS) and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) - may be of interest. This online service includes catalogues and digital copies of maps, plans, photographs and other records from each institution.

Bodleian Library Map Room. Includes their Accessions and Map Lists. Some map records are included in their online catalogue and their card catalogue is now searcable as an on-line flip-book. See also the Selden Map of China and the Gough Map of Great Britain.

British Geological Survey Library. The Survey's library includes geological mapping from all over the World. Their online catalogue is called ENVIROLIB.

British Library Map Library. The largest publicly accessible map collection in the country. Includes the map collection of the India Office Records. Cick here for their Cartographical Collections guide and for Imaging/Digitisation Services. Catalogue records for items in the collections can be found via Explore the British Library (note that the The India Office Records can be searched at Search our Catalogue Archives and Manuscripts). See the Online Gallery for images of maps and also explore the Georeferenced map collection. The First Atlas of Europe in the Virtual Books/Turning the Pages section of their web site might also be of interest. A selection of military intelligence maps and associated documents from the War Office Archive relating to the former British East Africa have also been catalogued, conserved and digitised.

British Museum. Online catalogue of its collections including prints, drawings and views. Note that the catalogue is not yet complete. Includes images of some items. 

Cambridge University Library. One of the six Legal Deposit Libraries. iDiscover is the Library's online catalogue, you can also use Newton. Click here for tips on searching Newton for maps and atlases and here for more information on the Map Department collections. [When Newton is unavailable use COPAC where you can limit your search to Cambridge University Library].

Cartesius Project. Search for maps digitised by various institutions in Belgium - city scapes, aerial photos, orthophotos, sketches and drawings. More information available herehere and here 

CartoMundi. A collaborative project producing a union catalogue of maps and plans of all parts of the world though originally concentrating on Mediterranean countries. Includes written descriptions of maps and map series, graphic indexes and, in the Digital Map Library section, some map images. 

COPAC. A union catalogue providing free access to the merged online catalogues of 24 major university research libraries in the UK and Ireland plus the British Library and the National Library of Scotland. Includes map records where available. Note that the online catalogues of the individual libraries will, inevitably, be slightly more current than COPAC. Tips on searching COPAC for maps can be found here.

Early English Books Online. Search for maps using the Advanced Search option. (May not be available outside 'cam' domain).

Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS). A national data service providing access and support for an extensive range of key economic and social data, both quantitative and qualitative, spanning many disciplines and themes. ESDS provides an integrated service offering enhanced support for the secondary use of data across the research, learning and teaching communities. Includes some map data. 

Enclosure Maps. Electronic catalogue of enclosure maps of England and Wales (click on the 'search catalogue' button on the left hand side) to accompany the printed book by Roger J. P. Kain, John Chapman, and Richard R. Oliver,The Enclosure Maps of England and Wales, 1595-1918 (Cambridge University Press, 2004). CUL classmark S696.b.200.131. 

Eighteenth Century Collections Online. In Advanced Search look for items containing maps. (May not be available outside 'cam' domain).

Geological Society. Extensive collection of geological maps and related documents.

GoGeo. (Previously known as Go-Geo). This service Ceased on 31 July 2016. 'The place to discover geospatial information and services for those in education and research. An online resource discovery tool which allows for the identification and retrieval of records describing the content, quality, condition and other characteristics of geospatial data that exist within UK tertiary education and beyond. The portal supports geospatial searching by interactive map, grid co-ordinates and place name, as well as the more traditional topic or keyword forms of searching'.

Guildhall Library - print and map collections. See London Metropolitan Archives.

History Data Service (HDS). Collects, preserves, and promotes the use of digital resources, which result from or support historical research, learning and teaching. The History Data Service is a successor service to AHDS History which from 1996 to March 2008 was one of the five centres of the Arts and Humanities Data Service. Includes Historic Parishes of England and Wales : an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata.

Hydrographic Office Archive (UKHO). Supports the day-to-day operations of the UKHO and is also a place of deposit under the Public Records Act. It contains hundreds of thousands of hydrographic records in varying formats and in different languages. No Online catalogue but have catalogued thousands of documents which have been transferred to The National Archives.

IKAR. Database from a consortium of German libraries containing bibliographic records of printed thematic and topographic maps, navigational and celestial charts, town plans, bird´s-eye views, globes, and atlases up to 1850 (world-wide coverage). Records also available through the KVK catalogue (a world-wide union catalogue).

Library of Congress Geography & Map Reading Room. Vast map collection with many map records available in their online catalogue. Also an online Map Collection with map images. 

London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) Large collection of maps, views, etc. of London with online catalogue for part of collection. Collage, their image database, includes some maps and views. LMA address is 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R 0HB. 

Mining Plans Portal. Search the database of mined areas and mine plans and find out where records are held. Plans themselves are not yet scanned. 

National Collection of Aerial Photography. Aerial imagery from around the world some of which is available online. 

National Library of Scotland. Extensive collection particularly strong on Scottish mapping. Some map records are included in the online catalogue. Their website includes some useful links and some excellent images of maps of Scotland including the Roy Military Survey of Scotland, 1747-1755 (although not a NLS website see also the Roy's Roads website which includes a tracing of his roads on a modern map) and some Georeferenced maps including Scottish coastal charts, Ordnance Survey 1944-1950 Air Photo Mosaics of Scotland, smaller scale maps of England, Wales, Ireland and Belgium, andtheir holdings of British trench maps of the Western Front at scales of 1:20,000 (GSGS 2742), 1:10,000 (GSGS 3062) and larger. They have scanned, and made available online, all the OS County Series maps for Scotland - 40,120 map sheets as well as the six inch (1:10,560) County Series maps for England and Wales and some 25" (1:2,500) scale County Series maps of England and Wales. Use their Ordnance Survey Sheet Records Tool to find sheetlines for large scale OS maps, NLS holdings and, for some of the series, publication dates. National Library of Scotland is also an Ordnance Survey Licensed Partner, and from April 2013 has been able to offer a new service providing copies of in-copyright superseded Ordnance Survey maps for commercial and non-private uses, and is also home of the Bartholomew Archive. The Library's Digital Gallery may also be of interest. Among the National Library of Scotland's greatest treasures are the earliest surviving detailed maps of Scotland, made by Timothy Pont over 400 years ago, in the 1580s and 1590s. See also Maps of Jamaica by James Robertson, 1804.

National Library of Wales. Extensive collection with a particular strength in the mapping of Wales. Search for (some of thier) maps in their online catalogue. Check out their Cynefin : Mapping Wales’ sense of Place project which includes tithe maps and apportionment documents.

National Maritime Museum. Strong on charts, maritime atlases and globes. Has an online catalogue (click 'OK' to start new OPAC session). Also look at Online Collections which include images of charts and maps and globes.

Natural History Museum. Extensive collection of geological maps and related documents. World wide coverage. Online catalogue records are also available on COPAC.

Royal Geographical Society. Excellent map collection. Many map records are included in their online catalogue.

ScotlandsPlaces. A joint venture between The National Archives of Scotland (NAS) and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS). This online service includes catalogues and digital copies of maps, plans, photographs and other records from each institution. 

ShareGeo. A spatial data repository - a place where researchers, students and lecturers at UK HEFE institutions can deposit data for anyone to download and use. 

Sir John Soane's Museum Online Catalogue. Of particular interest may be the drawings catalogue which includes some plans of buildings, etc. The catalogue includes scanned images of many of the items. 

Trinity College Library Dublin. One of the six Legal Deposit Libraries. The excellent map collection is, naturally, strong in Irish materials. Some maps can be found via their online catalogue.

Town Maps of Great Britain. Electronic catalogue of British town maps. Each entry has deTailed bibliographic information plus a diagram showing the area covered by the map. Accompanied by a printed book of the same title by Roger J. P. Kain and Richard R. Oliver, The Town Maps of Great Britain.

World Soil Survey Archive and Catalogue (WOSSAC). Project aiming to provide a secure home for soil survey reports, maps, imagery and photographs produced by British companies and surveyors overseas over the last 80 years in 250 territories, with a view to ensuring their enduring availability and protection.

Opening hours

Monday-Thursday

9:00-12:45 and 14:00-17:10 *

Friday

9:00-12:45 and 14:00-16:50 *

Saturday

Closed **

* Monday to Friday 12:45-14:00: If you wish to continue working through the lunch period we can transfer items to the Munby Rare Books Reading Room.

** Items ordered before 12.45 on Friday can be consulted in the Munby Rare Books Reading Room. No fetching or transferring is possible on Saturdays. Please contact the Map Room to discuss your requirements.

Contact us

Map Department 
Cambridge University Library 
West Road 
Cambridge 
CB3 9DR 

Email: maps@lib.cam.ac.uk

Telephone:
+44 (0) 1223 333041
+44 (0) 1223 333042