A Directory of UK Map Collections

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British Library | Scotland | Wales | Index

Reference Number: 1 - Last revised: 25/11/01, Edition4.

Map Library : India Department of Manuscripts 

The British Library
[Copyright Library]
Map Library
96 Euston Road

Person in charge: Peter Barber (Map Librarian)
Telephone: 020 712 7700 / 7702
Fax: 020 7412 7780
Email: maps@bl.uk

Open: Mon 1000-1700, Tues-Sat 0930-1700
General access to those aged 18 and over with a British Library Reader's Pass, obtainable from Reader Admissions Office.
24 hour advance notice needed for India Survey maps.

Content: The map collection comprises over 4 million items, including atlases, maps, charts, globes and topographical views, in both manuscript and printed form. In particular, the collection covers British cartography past and present, including legal-deposit holdings of Ordnance Survey and maps of America; Renaissance cartography; and thematic maps. The Map Library also aims at comprehensive world coverage through current topographical map series, if available, at scales of 1:50,000 and smaller.

The special collections include KING GEORGE III's MARITIME and TOPOGRAPHICAL COLLECTIONS, the CRACE COLLECTION of maps and plans of London, and the BEUDEKER COLLECTION of Dutch maps and views (1600-1750).

Reprographic and photographic services are available.

British Library | Scotland | Wales | Index | Top

Reference Number: 2 - Last revised: 04/04/00, Edition 4.

Map Library : India Department of Manuscripts 

The British Library
[Copyright Library]
Department of Manuscripts
96 Euston Road

Person in charge: Mr. Peter Barber (for maps, plans, etc.)
Mr. Brett Dolman (admission to Searchroom)
Telephone: (020) 7412 7701 (Mr. Barber)
Telephone: (020) 7412 7813 (Mr. Dolman)
Fax: (020) 7412 7787

Mon-Sat 0930-1700
Access by Reader's Pass on Basis of need (though applicants would normally be aged over 18 and not be undergraduates).
Most manuscript maps can be studied, when appropriate, in the Maps Reading Room.

Content: Post-classical, Medieval and Renaissance cartography; military, estate and architectural plans; nautical charts; and topographical drawings of Great Britain, the English-speaking world, Western Europe, the Mediterranean and oceanic areas.

Special collections include the RUSI MAP COLLECTION (approx. 900 items, l7th-2Oth centuries); the BAUZA COLLECTION of South American Cartography (ca.270 18th century manuscript maps); the COTTON 'AUGUSTUS' COLLECTION (ca.250 16th-17th century manuscript maps); and the maps of the parishes, baronies, counties and provinces of Ireland, mainly from William Petty's 'Down' Survey of 1655-58.

Catalogues of additions to the manuscripts (including maps). Index to manuscript maps (3 rolls) available in manuscript and Maps Reading Room: The catalogues of manuscripts are now available on http://molcat.bl.uk

British Library | Scotland | Wales | Index | Top

Reference Number: 4 - Last revised: 16/06/2015, Edition 7.

National Library of Scotland

[Copyright Library]
Maps Reading Room
159 Causewayside

Telephone: 0131-623-4660
NLS Switchboard: 0131-632-3700
Fax: 0131 623 4661 (direct to Maps Reading Room)
Email: maps@nls.uk (general enquiries)

Website: Map Collections information: http://www.nls.uk/collections/maps/
Website: Online Maps: http://maps.nls.uk 

Closed: Jan 1 & 2; Good Friday, Easter Monday, Christmas Day & Boxing Day.

Access: Anyone wishing to consult map collection is welcome to do so, however, they will need to register with the National Library of Scotland. A registration form can be completed online in advance of your visit, or on arrival. http://www.nls.uk/using-the-library/library-cards

Closed access maps are retrieved up to 30 minutes before closing time.

Content: Some 2 million printed sheets, 4,100 manuscript maps, 15,000 atlases and over 100,000 OS microfilm copycards (1978-1999). World coverage of topographic and thematic mapping with particular interest in areas of Scottish association. Maps received through legal deposit under terms of successive Copyright Acts provide comprehensive UK coverage. Modern large-scale digital mapping for the United Kingdom received from 1998 (http://www.nls.uk/collections/maps/subjectinfo/os-mastermap.html)

Atlases - modern and antiquarian - covering all parts of the world, but with stress on Scottish publishers, mapmakers, printers and compilers.

Gazetteers and cartographic reference books, current and historical, referring to all parts of the world and in major European languages.

Cartographic journals (inc. cartography, map librarianship, and some surveying/ remote sensing).

Special collections (http://www.nls.uk/collections/maps/collections/special_collections.html ) include the NEWMAN COLLECTION (circa 1157 maps, atlases, road-books and itineraries relating to the development of roads in the UK and parts of Europe); the GRAHAM BROWN COLLECTION (mostly 19th and 20th century maps relating to alpine areas and mountain topography); the MARISCHAL COLLECTION (137 maps of Scotland, 1573-1873); and the BARTHOLOMEW ARCHIVE (http://www.nls.uk/bartholomew file copies of all maps published and printed by John Bartholomew and Co., and John Bartholomew and Son, Ltd., from 1877 onwards).

During past 15 years major efforts have been made to provide access to the collection through digitisation projects. Over 100,000 images are now available to view on the digital maps website. http://maps.nls.uk

Copies of maps can be supplied as digital images, colour prints or photocopies, subject to copyright regulations and the physical condition of the maps. Map copies can be ordered through the digital maps website, in person, by letter or by e-mailing maps@nls.uk. Payment in advance is usually required.

The Scottish Maps Forum was established by the National Library in January 2002 to develop the interest in early maps of Scotland generated by Project Pont. The forum is led by an invited steering committee of researchers, map users and representatives of institutions with map collections. (http://www.nls.uk/collections/maps/subjectinfo/forum.html ). The Scottish Maps Forum publishes the newsletter Cairt twice a year (http://www.nls.uk/collections/maps/subjectinfo/cairt.html )

The British Cartographic Society Library is housed in the map collections, and access can be arranged by contacting the Maps Reading Room.

Hon. Librarian: Philip Woodhall.

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Reference Number: 5 - Last revised: 09/04/09, Edition 6.

The National Library of Wales

[Copyright Library]
National Library of Wales
SY23 3BU

Tel: 01970 632800
Fax: 01970 615709
Enquiries form.
Ffurflen Ymholiadau.

Mon-Fri 0930-1800;
Access by Reader's Ticket (available on application).

Content: World-wide coverage of national atlases and sheet maps. Large collection of manuscript estate maps relating to property in Wales. Complete coverage of OS mapping relating to Wales at all scales and in all editions (restricted collections of OS maps for England and Scotland at scales 1:10,560, 1:2,500 and 1:1,250). Large collection of railway engineers and architects plans and drawings relating to Wales.

Special collections include the MERVYN PRITCHARD COLLECTION of maps and atlases.

Publications include Printed County Maps of Wales 1579-1626 and Estate Maps of Wales 1600-1836.

Photocopying and reprographic services available.

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