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March 22, 2012

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Old Maps Online - Historical Maps from around the World Go Online

From Information World Review 01/03/2012

A collection of historical maps from around the world has gone online. The JISC-funded website is described by its creators as “the broadest single collection of historical maps.” The site will act as a central repository to a collection of maps held by institutions across the globe. The free resource will provide a single entry point.

The service, hosted by the University of Portsmouth, launches tomorrow with a collection of over 60,000 maps which will double by the end of the year. The site incorporates access to maps from some of the most diverse collections in the world including collections from the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, the Moravian Library in the Czech Republic and the prestigious David Rumsey Collection in California. The project, worth £180,000, has been funded by JISC.

Project Director, the University’s Dr Humphrey Southall, said that the site offers easy access and search facilities to maps which were already online but almost impossible to find, providing insight into the way the world used to look. He said: “Our obsession with the past includes an innate curiosity about how the world around us looked, and the sheer global reach of this collection is what sets it apart and makes it unique. But historical records must be accessible in order to be useful. Having a single point of entry to a repository of this scale offers historians and the general public a gateway to some of the most fascinating images from history.”

Vist Old Maps Online site.