The Incredible Online Archive of David Rumsey’s Iconic Map Collection

Map of southeast Mexico, Cuba and Central America

The iconic David Rumsey Map Collection online database contains an incredible array of over 120,000 downloadable historical maps. This collection features incredibly rare maps, cartographers’ charts, and diagrams from all over the world, from the 16th century through to the present day.

The collection focuses on rare 16th through 21st century maps of North and South America, as well as maps of the World, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. The collection includes atlases, globes, wall maps, school geographies, pocket maps, books of exploration, maritime charts, and a variety of cartographic materials including pocket, wall, children’s, and manuscript maps. Items range in date from around 1550 to the present.

Rumsey began digitizing the maps in 1996.

Digitization of the collection began in 1996 and there are now over 121,000 items online, with new additions added regularly. The site is free and open to the public. Here viewers have access not only to high resolution images of maps that are extensively cataloged, but also to a variety of tools that allow users to compare, analyze, and view items in new and experimental ways.

via Internet Archive

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.