WWW-Virtual Library: History
Map History / History of Cartography: THE Gateway to the Subject

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Map History

Images of early maps on the web

1. Index to the larger map image sites

(i.e. those with [apparently] 300 maps at least)

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Size, of course, is not necessarily the most important consideration. Praise should be given to those sites with high resolution images - i.e. those of research quality, by which I mean where every name is clearly legible - and with each image properly referenced. Ideally, the image gallery would be organised around a coherent theme, with acompanying notes (or even essays) exploring the maps' place in their historical context. Happily, a number of those in this summary listing meet those requirements. See also a note about 'Innovative' sites.

Some of the sites, such as the Library of Congress's 'American Memory' or David Rumsey's privately sponsored Collection, are deservedly well known. Others of comparable size are not. Of note are the large numbers of high quality images on, for example, the New South Wales 'Parish Map' site (35,000), and the 85,000 19th century plans of Great Britain available via the Landmark/Ordnance Survey site.

The sites are given in the order they appear in 'Images of early maps on the web' and linked to the relevant page or section. (NB. The totals noted will be those at the time the site was examined, sometimes years ago. Additions may have been made since but it is not proved feasible to return to sites afterwards. Corrections to the figures will always be welcome). A few sites have not been listed, or the total is omitted, because there was no easy way of estimating the number of images.

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Please notify any corrections or additions to the editor, Tony Campbell:  

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