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This page includes links most frequently used in the Map Room of Cambridge University Library. Many more links can be found by using the index on the left.

NOTE: The Map Department is CLOSED between 12.45pm and 2pm. If you wish to continue working through the lunch period we can transfer items to the Rare Books Reading Room, though it will not be possible to fetch any additional items. We are also closed in the evenings and on Saturdays.

NEW: Cartographic Resources LibGuide

iDiscover (or click on the boxes below) iDiscover is the Library's main ONLINE CATALOGUE (but remember also to search the Map Department's card catalogue and ArchiveSearch, the University's archive catalogue). iDiscover includes many links to images of maps hosted by other organisations and to find these you should select ‘Articles and Online Resources’ or 'Search Everything' within iDiscover.  For tips on using iDiscover, and specifically on finding maps and atlases (we suggest using Advanced Search) see the iDiscover LibGuide  'Search for maps and atlases' and/or our web pages on Finding Maps.

Click the following image to use iDiscover Advanced Search (pre-set to search CUL physical collections only, plus e-books and Apollo):

Or use the following links to perform Classmark or Subject searches (both are pre-set to search CUL physical collections only, plus e-books and Apollo):

You may also use our list of useful subject terms when searching for maps and atlases or books on cartography and gazetteers (Note that American spellings are used, e.g. railroads, harbor ...)

Use this link to start an iDiscover subject search for our collection of Sales Particulars - just add a place name in the 'Any field' line or, if this retrieves too many non-relevant results (e.g. for larger places such as Cambridge), change the 'Any field' option to 'Subject'. (See also this blog post ; and also look at the collection of sales particulars that is only listed on ArchiveSearch ; we have many more which are only catalogued in our card catalogue) 

NOTE: Differently constructed searches are likely to produce subtly different results so do try searching in different ways. 

ArchiveSearch The University's archive catalogue on which some of the Map Department collections are catalogued. List (with liks) of Map Department collections catalogued on ArchiveSearch

Library Hub Discover (The new COPAC, from 31 July 2019). Union catalogue for about UK and Irish academic, national & specialist libraries. There are Tips on Searching Library Hub Discover and a List of Contributing Libraries. Can be used to search for CUL's holdings if iDiscover is unavailable (though it will never be as up to date as iDiscover) - limit your search to Cambridge University Library by clicking on 'More search options' and selecting 'University of Cambridge Libraries' from the 'Library' section.

Hathi Trust Digital Library Cambridge has standard, unlocked access to books out of copyright held in the HathiTrust digitised book collection. Records for HathiTrust material do not currently appear in iDiscover,

Cambridge University Library Links

Cambridge Libraries Introduction to and tips on using the libraries of Cambridge University. Useful Cambridge Libraries Directory. Also, guide to searching for eResources and links to LibGuides.

Cambridge Digital Library (CUDL) Maps Collection Including John Speed's maps of the counties of Great Britain and maps of Cambridge.

The collection on CUDL includes maps showing Cambridge at different datesRichard Lyne, 1574 ; Braun & Hogenberg, 1575 ; Valesio, 1595? ; John Speed 1611/1612 ; Thomas Fuller, 1634 ; Wenceslaus Hollar ?, 1640 ; David Loggan, 1688 ; David Loggan / Henry Overton, ca. 1715 ; Pieter van der Aa, ca. 1720 ; 1763 ; 1791 ; William Custance, 1798

Also included are some of the Map Department's Manuscript Maps. you can use the list on the left hand side of the page to find items of interest, or use the search box at the top of the screen. More maps will be added as time and resources allow. Or look at some selected Highlights.

For the Landscape Histories from the Air collection it is easier to search the CUCAP online catalogue where a pale dot in the centre of the marker pin indicates that there is a thumb nail image, some of which will also be viewable in CUDL

Richard Relhan's topographical drawings (date range 1797-1838) : Richard Relhan Revealed blog post ; 'Drawing Cambridgeshire' news story 

Chinese language maps and atlases in the University Library These maps are housed in the Chinese Collections, are mostly in Chinese characters and are generally not catalogued on iDiscover or in the Map Department's card catalogue.

Digital Content Unit (DCU) To Order images and/or to arrange for permission to use them please complete the online imaging and permissions request form.  See also here

LibGuides Cambridge University Libraries help pages.

Special Collections blog

CUL's Home Page

Other Links (see also our extensive Links pages via the menu on left hand side)

Cambridge Antiquarian Society website has images of maps of Cambridge and Cambridgeshire from the 16th to 20th centuries.

David Rumsey Map Collection. Excellent collection of online map images which may be reproduced and transmitted for non-commercial use. If you use the MapRank Search option, as you can zoom into your area of interest on the map, thumbnails of maps covering that area appear on the right-hand side.

National Library of Scotland Map Library (NLS) has digitised a substantial number of maps, including many Ordnance Survey maps. The easiest way to find them is via the Marker Pin facility (click the map to move the pin to your area of interest ; maps that cover this area will appear on the right hand side ; the more you zoom in the more detailed these maps will become). Other ways to access the maps are via the Map Images page or see, for example, 1:2,500 County Series maps of England and Wales and 1:10,560 County Series maps of England and Wales. If you use the Georeferenced Maps option you can search for names on Ordnance Survey six-inch maps from around 1900, just use the 'Search OS six-inch 1888-1913 names' search box on the left hand side (it is in a slighter darker purple/grey box). See also the OS Air Photo Mosaics (1944-1950). Great tips on using the site. Their Research Guides are really useful, their Projects page is interesting as is the NLS Data Foundry provides data openly and in re-useable formats. Interesting crowd-sourced transcription projects.

SABRE. Information on British and Irish roads. Includes scans of old maps, including Ordnance Survey and Bartholomew mapping.

Sheetfinder from the Charles Close Society (CCS) Search by British or Irish address, post code or place name to retrieve a list of Ordnance Survey One-Inch, 1:50,000 and six-inch County series map sheets on which a particular location appears. Direct links to images of some of these maps. Conventional map indexes can also be found on the CCS webpages.

Vision of Britain Through Time. An extensive site offering descriptive information on boundary changes as well as images of old maps, census data and travellers' tales.


Opening Times

Map Room Opening Times

Monday to Thursday 9am to 12:45pm and 2pm to 5:10pm
Friday 9am to 12:45pm and 2pm to 4:50pm 

i.e., we are closed lunch time, in the evenings and on Saturdays. However, given sufficient notice, we may be able to transfer Map Department items to the Rare Books Reading Room for consultation during these closed periods. 

Remember: Pencils only in the Map Room and No food or drink!

Where to Find Us

Library Floorplan

The Map Room - the Map Department's Reading Room - is on the first floor of the Library at the far end of the North Gallery. At the top of the stairs from the Library's Entrance Hall, turn right and the Map Room is at the end of the corridor. 

We are very close to the Tea Room.

Contact us

Map Department 
Cambridge University Library 
West Road 
CB3 9DR 


+44 (0) 1223 333041
+44 (0) 1223 333042
Our LibGuide may help with some enquiries