Explore the evolution of maps and the key figures behind them through expert articles and curious collection items. See how maps have influenced war, popular culture and movement.


Articles

Polar locations map (Maps MOD GSGS Misc.1524)

The map of the world in the 20th century

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?

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

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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Satirical maps

Satirical maps of the world

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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Themes

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.

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Blog posts

Diverse cartography of the Levant

Monday, September 23, 2019

Over the centuries the Levant (or the Middle East as we now know it) has received a significant amount of cartographic attention and has featured on countless maps. This isn’t particularly surprising considering the region’s role in trade between Europe...

Back to front

Thursday, August 8, 2019

With maps, as with life, defining something as wrong or right depends entirely on your standpoint. One person’s west is another person’s east, one person’s left is another's right. And vice versa. I think. You'd think maps would be unequivocal...

Two recent flight-related additions to the Map Collection

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Today’s commercial pilots are well equipped to detect and fly over or around meteorological obstacles such as thunderstorms that lie in their path, so that as passengers behind we are rarely troubled by them. But imagine if you were flying...

British Empire maps of Africa added online

Friday, April 19, 2019

Around the turn of the 20th century the British War Office in London maintained a library of original, mostly hand-drawn mapping that covered large parts of the world where detailed and reliable surveys were not otherwise available. The maps were...

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Maps and the 20th century

A global story of the most turbulent century in history through its most powerful and important object: the map.

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Cross Stitch Map

A world map printed on cross stitch fabric and mounted on a wooden frame.

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Globe Light Orange

See the world, see the light. A bold and elegant globe light.

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