The search engine for historical maps

OldMapsOnline developed out of a love of history and heritage of old maps. The project began as a collaboration between Klokan Technologies GmbH, Switzerland and The Great Britain Historical GIS Project based at the University of Portsmouth, UK thanks to funding from JISC. Since January 2013 is the project improved and maintained by volunteers and the team of Klokan Technologies GmbH in their free time.
You can contact the project team at: For inquiries related to rights for a particular map contact the relevant institution bellow!

Technology

The website has been created by Klokan Technologies GmbH, specialists in online map publishing and in applications of open-source software. It aims to demonstrate a combination of tools for publishing historical maps with a focus on their easy accessibility for the general public. The core of the retrieval system is the MapRank Search software, developed originally for the Swiss Kartenportal.CH project. The web is optimised for search engines with GeoSEO powered by Linked Data, and it also exposes Structured Data (Schema.org microdata). The technology and expertise from this project can be applied on another projects on request.

Let's work together

We are keen to imporove this project and participate on a new research and projects in the field of digital historical cartography. We are open for partnership on national or european R&D projects. Don't hesitate to contact us!

Content

OldMapsOnline.org indexes over 400.000 maps. This is only thanks to the archives and libraries that were open to the idea and provided their online content. All new participants are warmly welcomed.

Add your maps to OldMapsOnline

Help other institutions

The participating institutions

USGS Historical Topographic Maps

In 1879, the USGS began to map the Nation's topography. This mapping was done at different levels of detail, in order to support various land use and other purposes. As the years passed, the USGS produced new map versions of each area. The most current maps are available from The National Map. TopoView shows the many and varied older maps of each area, and so is useful for historical purposes—for example, the names of some natural and cultural features have changed over time, and the 'old' names can be found on these historical topographic maps.

USGS Historical Topographic Maps

National Library of Scotland, Maps of Scotland

Featuring over 100,000 maps, primarily of Scotland (but also some of Great Britain) dating from the early 19th Century until the mid 20th Century. The collection focuses on detailed topographic maps by Ordnance Survey, but also includes bathymetrical charts and town plans. These maps are available through a viewer that will show entire individual map sheets.

National Library of Scotland, Maps of Scotland

Land Survey Office Czech Republic

The Central Archives of Surveying, Mapping and Cadastre, incorporated into the Land Survey Office (Prague), collects the results of extensive cadastral, geodetic and cartographic works which include cadastral maps of the Stable Cadastre since the first half of the 19th century, series of topographic maps based on military mapping of the state territory since the end of the 19th century, post-war military maps, contemporary state map series and collections of old maps for wider public use by schools, tourism etc.

Land Survey Office Czech Republic

The David Rumsey Map Collection

Probably the largest free online digital collection of historical topographic maps and images. Although the main focus for the collection is rare 18th and 19th Century North and South American maps it also includes a variety of other historical cartographic materials covering the rest of the world. It is presented through a range of different viewers.

The David Rumsey Map Collection

Charles University in Prague, The Map collection

The collection is composed of approximately 130,000 map sheets, around 3,000 atlases and 120 globes. Approximately 50% of this collection is made up of early prints and manuscripts dating from before 1850. Thanks to the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic NAKI project, the digitized maps can be accessed in the UK repository.

Charles University in Prague, The Map collection

New York Public Library, Map Division

The collection from the map division of the New York Public Library presents well over 5000 maps of the whole world, but with particular emphasis on North America. They range in date from the late fifteenth century through to modern times. The library has two methods of viewing maps, either the map and catalogue entry or the geographically located map images in Map Warper.

New York Public Library, Map Division

Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB)

The map collection of the Saxon State and University Library, Dresden (SLUB) is one of the biggest map collections in Germany. It comprises over 177.000 maps and views, more than 22.000 of them are digitally available in the Map Forum of the library. In addition to the valuable historic maps (e.g. Ptolemy, Münster, Ortelius, Mercator, Gerard de Jode and Blaeu), the main focus of the SLUB’s map collection lies on maps of Saxony and topographical maps of Germany and Europe. In 2013 the library started to georeference historic maps and publish them within the newly developed Virtual Map Forum 2.0, a spatial data infrastructure for historic maps. To date, this infrastructure offers an easy access to thousands of georeferenced maps.

Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB)

British Library, Map Library

The British Library's map collection spans the world, but for now Old Maps Online provides access to two online collections: the Ordnance Surveyors' Drawings, made between the 1780s and 1840 during the first detailed survey of Britain, and the Crace Collection of maps of London, charting the development of the city from around 1570 to 1860.

British Library, Map Library

Moravian Library, Mollova mapová sbírka

A variety of historical maps depicting the area of the Czech Republic and Europe more widely, dating from the mid 16th Century until the mid 19th Century. This collection is available through a viewer that will show entire individual map sheets and is searched using the same software as OldMapsOnline.

Moravian Library, Mollova mapová sbírka

The Ryhiner Map Collection of the University Library of Berne

The Ryhiner map collection contains more than 16,000 maps, plans, and views dating from the 16th through the 18th century, covering the entire globe and the universe. It was compiled by Johann Friedrich Ryhiner (1732–1803), a Bernese patrician, statesman and geographer. The collection was donated to the library in 1865. All the maps are digitized, and a considerable part has been geocoded and is displayed in Old Maps Online, but the work on that is still in progress.

The Ryhiner Map Collection of the University Library of Berne

Harvard Library, Harvard Map Collection

One of the largest and oldest map collections in North America, the Harvard Map Collection is in the process of digitizing many of its most significant holdings, including a broad range of urban plans, maps of exploration, nautical charts, and cartographic curiosities. The digital collection ranges temporally from the early 16th century to the present, and spatially across all regions of the globe.

Harvard Library, Harvard Map Collection

Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library

The full collection of maps held at this institution dates from the fifteenth to the twentieth Centuries and includes atlases, nautical charts, birds-eye views, land ownership, estate, war and urban growth maps. A small subset of these is available through Old Maps Online focussed on the North-Eastern United Sates of america.

Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library

Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya

The Map Library of Catalonia is a service offered by the Cartographic Institute of Catalonia (ICC) to make available to users its cartographic, bibliographic, photographic and documentary archives. The Digital Map Library of the ICC, opened in 2007, is a repository that allows you to search, view and download high resolution maps of the world from the fifteenth century to the present.

Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya

Dutch National Archives

Drawing together material from 100 different archives, this collection totals over 300,000 items. The maps in the collection include military, topographic, foreign and pre-1900 Dutch maps, around half of which are hand-drawn. Links to 650 of these maps are included in Old Maps Online.

Dutch National Archives

Utrecht University Library, Special Collections

The map collection of Utrecht University Library is part of the Special Collections department. It was not until the Geographical Institute was established in 1908 that the active management of the map collection started. A lot of fascinating additions were acquired in the early days of the Geographical Institute, which were used in education on Dutch overseas expansion and voyages of discovery. With the addition of large numbers of pedological and geological maps from the Utrecht University Geosciences Library in 2010, all Utrecht University map collections can now be found at the University Library Uithof. The map collection contains around 170,000 post-1850 maps and atlases and around 6,000 older cartographic documents. The library digitizes parts of the collection of old maps.

Utrecht University Library, Special Collections

University of Manchester Map Library

The University of Manchester Map Collection is one of the largest in the North West of England and comprises maps and atlases dating from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. The collection offers topographic and thematic mapping for the UK, as well as wide-ranging coverage for the rest of the world, with a strong emphasis on the North West of England. This small subset of online maps comprises large-scale detailed maps of the city of Manchester and its environs, documenting radical urban change from the Victorian era to modern times.

University of Manchester Map Library

Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia

The growing digital collection from this national library includes both national and international maps as well as larger-scale maps of strategically important locations. It includes maps of actual Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Panama from the sixteenth through to the twentieth century, and those for America and beyond which go back to colonial times. Please note this host institution interface is in Spanish.

Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia

North Carolina Digital Heritage Center

North Carolina Maps is a collaborative project between the North Carolina State Archives, the North Carolina Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Outer Banks History Center. The digital maps included range from towns and counties within the state up to the whole of North America, with the earliest images in the collection dating back to the late sixteenth century.

North Carolina Digital Heritage Center

Total maps in OldMapsOnline: 381625

Total maps in Mobile App: 280037