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

Closeup of a globe

European globes of the 17–18th centuries

Globes have come a long way over the years. Use the 3D visuals below to explore how European-produced globes were made and used in the 17th and 18th centuries.

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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

King's Topographical Collection: curator's pick

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

In October we released 18,000 digital images of early maps and views from the Topographical Collection of George III. View the collection on Flickr Commons, and access images via the maps and views' catalogue records on Explore. Here's my choice...

The King’s Topographical Collection wonders

Friday, November 13, 2020

You may already be aware with all the recent publicity surrounding the release of the first batch of images from the King’s Topographical Collection that this is indeed an incredible resource with countless unique maps and views. I thought I...

Greenham Women Against Cruise Map

Thursday, November 5, 2020

As we consider the future of Anglo-American relations, this striking poster map from November 1983 provides a compelling snapshot of the past; a time of Cold War tensions, nuclear proliferation and civil protest. It appeared on the eve of the...

Maps of Jamaica in the K.Top. Collection

Monday, October 26, 2020

A guest post by Chantelle Richardson, Librarian of the National Library of Jamaica and former Chevening British Library Fellow Throughout my year at the British Library, I was privy to seeing some amazing resources. One of my projects focused on...

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