This month’s Map of the Month celebrates the work of Alexander von Humboldt. The map Outlines of Botanical Geography appears in W.K. Johnston’s Physical Atlas (1848). Humboldt played an important part in the design and production of this map. Bearing an almost Faustian thirst for knowledge, Humboldt aimed to explore as much of the world as […]
Accurate, beautiful, clever, dangerous, exciting. Maps can be all of these things. They show us new places, help us re-imagine familiar haunts and even enable us to travel through time. A map is both a useful tool and a magic carpet to far-away places. In the cold winter months we can travel in our minds […]
I solemnly swear that I am up to no good! J.K. Rowling’s magnificent imagination conjured up the Marauder’s Map of Hogwarts Castle. This magical map is usually disguised as a blank piece of parchment, activated by the spell above. Once unlocked, the map reveals a detailed plan of Hogwarts, covered in named, moving dots which […]
As the sun sets earlier and the nights are getting darker, now is the perfect time to look to the skies and locate different constellations. This would be impossible for the amateur astronomer without a handy constellation guide like Middleton’s Celestial Atlas.
September’s Map of the Month is one of only seven surviving copies of Paolo Forlani’s 1574 map of the Americas. Beautifully engraved in a clear and legible style, this map shows the continents of North and South America as separate from Asia. Wind-rose lines surround the Americas; these would have aided navigation for sailors. To the south lies […]
Holiday season is upon us; time to remember to send that postcard home! If you are either sending or receiving postcards, I think you will enjoy this light-hearted ramble though some of the Map Library’s Postcard collection. I have selected a few of the Geographical Series of Postcards (John Walker & Co 1903) to enrich […]
The first map of the month for You are Here the National Library of Scotland’s exhibition of maps is Edenburgum, Scotiae Metropolis, which will be on display until the end of August. This attractive birds-eye view of Edinburgh was engraved around 1582 by Franz Hogenberg, for inclusion in the Civitates Orbis Terrarum edited by Georg […]
There are many unique maps in the Library’s vast collection. Many of these are available on the maps website, and our digital team are striving to put many more on in the coming years. But occasionally a map is conspicuous by its absence. That was just the case for John Wood’s map of Dunbar.
After the announcement of the Forth Road Bridge closure and eventual re-opening, the Map team became curious about the history of the bridge planning, the alternative plans and what it may have looked like. This led to a rummage around the archives for road plans and any other related maps. So what did we find?
View the wonders of 17th century mapping in the latest addition to the Library’s online map gallery. We have just added a complete zoomable facsimile of Joan Blaeu’s Atlas Maior of 1662-1665. The Blaeu AtlasMaior or Cosmographia Blaviana is one of the largest and most splendid of the multi-volume Dutch world atlases. Its 594 maps and 3,368 pages of text spread over 11 volumes […]