Thursday, 15 October 2020

British Library adds 18,000 free maps from Topographical Collection of King George III

The British Library in London has made freely available into the public domain some 18,000 digital images of historic maps, views and texts from its Topographical Collection of King George III. The images have been uploaded to its Flickr account at, with individual maps searchable through its catalogue at

The collection includes:

  • Some of the earliest European printed maps, such as the so-called ‘Lafreri’ copperplate maps produced in Rome in the mid-16th century
  • The complete range of British county maps dating from 1579 to the early 19th century
  • Administrative maps
  • Planning maps including maps of proposed railways and canals
  • Presentation maps, such as the ‘Duke’s Plan’ of New York, made to celebrate its capture by the English from the Dutch in 1664
  • Estate maps and maps of Royal palaces
  • The results of large-scale surveys, including a manuscript map of part of Newfoundland by James Cook, and William Roy’s military survey of Scotland
  • A large archive of maps and plans of Hannover and Northern Germany

Scotland is represented amongst the materials presented - the following is a plan of Edinburgh Castle from 1746, the year of Bonnie Prince Charlie's failed Jacobite Rising:

For more on the release visit

Have fun!


My next 5 week Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers course starts November 2nd - see My book Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at is now out, also available are Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

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