Lie of the Land





about the exhibition Further information
Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden Map
The British Library
*Maps 700(2).
the secret life of maps

opens 27 July 2001
closes 7 April 2002

Can you rely on a map to tell you where you are? What we see on a map is rarely the same as the land under our feet.


Jeffery's Screen
Jeffery's Map Screen
The British Library
Mercator Map
Mercator map of the Arctic,
inc. Frisland
The British Library
Maps C.3.c.8

Some maps deliberately set out to deceive. Many show a selective view and reflect only the interests of the people who made them. Stunning maps from ancient to modern reveal a secret world. In every case there is more than meets the eye.

As well as over 100 maps and other exhibits from the British Library's superlative collections, there are interactive screens and events to help you explore the themes further.

Highlights include:

* World War II escape maps, made under the nose of the enemy
* Paradise found! The Garden of Eden and the Tower of Babel discovered in the Middle East
* A huge China dwarfs a tiny America in 1644 - the shape of things to come?

Roman Britain mapped out - a forgery that fooled academics for over a hundred years


Fictitious Southern Continent
Fictitious Southern Continent
The British Library
Egerton MS 1513 No.36

Come to the exhibition and you'll never look at maps in the same way again. You'll find that maps you thought only recorded geographical features have their 'hidden agenda'...