Dr Gethin Rees

Gethin Rees, Lead Curator of Digital Mapping at the British Library
Lead Curator, Digital Mapping
Geospatial data, visualisation, geography of cultural heritage, Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
Related Offices
Secretary of Legal Deposit Libraries’ Map Librarians Group, Co-chair of Pelagios Network, Series editor of De Gruyter’s ‘Beyond Boundaries: Religion, Region, Language and the State’

Gethin’s role includes helping to manage the non-print legal deposit of digital maps and coordinating the Georeferencer crowd-sourcing project. He is interested in helping research projects to get the most out of geospatial data and tools and has twenty years of experience in using these technologies across cultural heritage, academic research and industry. 

His primary research interest is in the relationship between visualisation and cartography. Web maps offer opportunities to promote engagement with the breadth of the British Library’s collections, from born-digital GIS data to catalogue records. Examples include the recent Peripleo interface that could be used to present your collection, and the legal deposit maps viewer, available in the maps reading room.

He is co-chair of the Pelagios network and co-coordinator of the network’s Visualisation activity. Through these roles he has helped a community of research projects build connections through adopting common tools and methods. As PrincipaI Investigator of the Towards a National Collection foundational project, Locating a National Collection, he and the team received funding from the AHRC to use geographical information to connect digital records from historic environment organisations with those from GLAMs. Locating a National Collection adopted a user-centred approach to software design based on audience research like focus groups. Before taking up his current role he worked in a digital humanities role on two collaborative history projects funded by the ERC, Beyond Boundaries and Mapping the Jewish Communities of the Byzantine Empire, and as a software developer. His PhD on South Asian archaeology (University of Cambridge) made use of GIS for spatial analysis and data management.



Chapters and articles

 An up-to-date list of publications can be found on Gethin Rees' entry on academia.edu.  


  • With G. Michell. Buddhist Rock-cut Monasteries of the Western Ghats. (Delhi: Jaico, 2017)

Web resources



Help us make our maps fully searchable and viewable using online geotechnologies.

Locating a National Collection

Creating links between locations in different collections to open up new forms of research

All projects