War

Find out how maps have been used as propaganda tools throughout the World Wars and how they’ve plotted some of the most daring of escapes in history.

MI9's escape and evasion mapping programme banner CC.5.a.421 - St. Gotthard map

Escape and evasion maps of World War II

Article by:
Dr Barbara A. Bond

Dr. Barbara A. Bond introduces the MI9's emergency escape and evasion mapping programme and shares the fascinating stories of secret maps used by prisoners of World War II and the contribution they made to victory.

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Polar locations map (Maps MOD GSGS Misc.1524)

The map of the world in the 20th century

Article by:
Tom Harper

The British Library’s map curator Tom Harper details the evolution of the map of the world in the 20th century, from the Navy League map of 1901 to a digital world view a century later.

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Maps and views

What is a fantasy map?

Article by:
Tom Harper

The British Library’s map curator, Tom Harper discusses the existence of fantasy maps created in the 20th century, containing a mixture of real-life and imaginary influences.

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20th century London maps banner - London Mayfair Square (CC.5.a.555.)

20th century London maps

Article by:
Tom Harper

British Library maps curator Tom Harper explores the history of London through its maps, from the beginnings of the London Underground to immigration.

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Oilfields & concession areas in the Middle Eastern Countries

Oil maps of the Middle East

Article by:
Dr Mark Hobbs

Dr Mark Hobbs looks at the role maps have played in oil exploration in the Middle East from the West’s early work in the region at the beginning of the 20th century until today.

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Satirical maps

Satirical maps of the world

Article by:
Tom Harper

Objective geographical representation isn’t always the intention of maps – they can also provide social, economic or political commentary on a region, as British Library maps curator, Tom Harper discusses.

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Further themes

Movement

Discover how maps have kept up with a world in transit, transforming the realms of transport and tourism.

Popular culture

From Tolkien’s Middle Earth to Shepherd’s illustration of Hundred Aker Wood, discover how maps reflect the fantastical and imaginary.

War

Find out how maps have been used as propaganda tools throughout the World Wars and how they’ve plotted some of the most daring of escapes in history.