Old Maps

World Map by J. Blaeu, 1664
World Map by J. Blaeu, 1664

Who doesn’t love old maps? Maybe you don’t love them so much that you made your wedding invitations in the style of an old map (like my wife and I did). But maps pop up in plays all the time. Whether you need a large wall map for King Lear, or a small battlefield map for Arms and the Man, here are some sites that will help you find what you need.

David Rumsey Map Collection – Over 22,000 maps, focusing on 18th and 19th century North and South America, though other continents and time periods are available.

Perry-Casta̱eda Library Map Collection РLinks to hundreds of maps on other sites, as well as a small collection of its own historical maps.

Wikimedia Commons Old Maps – Dozens of maps categorized by location.

World Digital Library Maps – Over 300 high-quality scans of original historical maps (browse the rest of the site for lots of other historical artifacts).

Genmaps – Old maps of England, Wales and Scotland, navigable by county.

National Maritime Museum– Over 1700 historical sea charts and maps from the medieval period to the present.

Library of Congress – Some of their map collections are available online, though the navigation is horrendous.

National Library of Scotland – Over 20000 historical maps of Scotland available.

The 1895 U.S. Atlas – From Rand McNally.

Holy Land Maps – Maps of Judea, Palestine and Israel at the University of Florida.

Stuckenberg Map Collection – Gettysburg College’s online collection of mostly United States maps.

Antique Atlas – A site which sells old maps, currently offering images of over 900 of them.

Hargrett Library Collection -Over 1000 historical map images in another difficult to navigate format.

Historic Cities – Offers a number of old maps from a number of cities throughout the world (mostly Europe).

Reinhold Berg Antique Map Shop – Sells prints of the numerous historical maps on their site.

Old Map Gallery – Another site selling maps with many images.

If you still haven’t found enough map porn, you can peruse larger lists of sites at Odden’s Bookmarks. The site is a little out of date, so many of the sites are no longer available.