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Maps, Exploration and Empire: Online maps

Portolan chart of the Indian Ocean

Portolan chart: India, Persia, Arabia, Palestine, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, East Africa, Madagascar, Indian Ocean] 2nd part of the 16th Century (from the Bodleian Library Map Collection)


Old Maps Online
The OldMapsOnline Portal is an easy-to-use gateway to historical maps in libraries around the world.

Historical Maps - an extensive selection broken down by region from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin. See also its page on other historical map web sites.

David Rumsey Collection - large collection of high resolution images, focusing on 18th and 19th-century North and South American cartographic materials, including maps, atlases, globes, and maritime charts.  One of the best online sources.

Map Case - contains a selection of images from the map collections of the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. This page also links to the  Oxford Digital Library Maps on the Web  extensive collection of digitized maps.  You can search by subject, title or author.

American Memory Map Collection: 1500-2004 - extensive selection from the Library of Congress Map Collections, focusing on Americana and cartographic treasures.  See especially the Discovery and Exploration section.

Walker Collection of Maps of Asia Minor - collection of historic maps, printed from 1511 to 1774, covering Asia Minor and the surrounding areas (the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Balkans), made available by the University of Melbourne Library.

Civitates orbis terrarum
of Braun and Hogenberg (1572-1617)

Map History

Map History: History of Cartography
By Tony Campbell, British Library Map Curator

Online Atlas

Atlas maritimus, or The sea-atlas : being a book of maritime cards. Describing the sea-coasts, capes, headlands, sands, shoals, rocks and dangers. The bays, roads, harbors, rivers and ports, in most of the known parts of the world, collected from the latest and best discoveries that have been made by divers able and experienced navigators.  Online via EEBO
     Author:     Robijn, Jacobus, d. ca. 1710.