Are we there yet? Maps and map-making

Detail of manuscript map of Malham Moors + Detail of manuscript map of Out Moor + Detail of manuscript map of Low Green Field +

Images from the Elizabeth and Arthur Raistrick Map Collection and courtesy Special Collections, J.B. Priestley Library, University of Bradford. The images above are links to larger versions.

This month we highlight cartography, with descriptions for collections of maps and the papers of mapmakers. Maps may of course be used for many purposes, from the sport of orienteering to charting new colonies, and with astronomical maps for surveying outer space, and even clinical charts for navigating inner space. There are also links to related websites.


  • John Purdy (1773-1843): compiler of charts and navigational aids.
  • Lavens M. Ewart (1845-1898): original maps and facsimiles of printed and manuscript maps of Ireland; Ewart was a Belfast linen merchant.
  • George Goudie Chisolm (1850-1930): Secretary of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society; author of a series of school geographies and a school atlas.
  • John Bartholomew (1860-1920): cartographer who became manager of his family's map-making firm in Edinburgh; one of the founders of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.
  • John Walter Gregory (1864-1932): geologist and explorer; led an expedition to the Highlands of Angola in the Spring of 1912.
  • A.M. Hedley (born 1872): president of the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers; annotated Ordnance Survey maps, mostly for County Durham and Northumberland.
  • Arthur Hinks (1873-1945): Royal Geographical Society lecturer in surveying and cartography, and secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society.
  • Edward Aubrey Glennie (1889-1980): director, Survey Department of India.
  • Reginald William James (1891-1964): physicist for the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (Weddell Sea, 1914-1916) who calculated the location of H.M.S. Endurance when the ship was adrift on the ice.
  • The Elizabeth and Arthur Raistrick Map Collection: Ordnance Survey maps from the 1840s to the 1960s; manuscript maps, mainly of the Yorkshire Dales; Arthur Raistrick (1896-1991) was a geographer and archaeologist.
  • UK Perspectives: aerial photography and mapping company.


  • Geography and harmonics: 17th-century treatises of geography, hydrography, longitude and distance.
  • Road Map of South-East England: map of the road route between London and Littlehampton, around 1800.
  • Maps of North Wales: copies of the Ordnance Survey preparatory maps of parts of north Wales created between 1816 and 1824.
  • Map of Quebec: map compiled in 1873 by Swiss priest and explorer Louis-François Babel (1826-1912).
  • Royal Atlas of Modern Geography: atlas with annotations made by missionary and explorer David Livingstone (1813-1873).
  • Map of Africa: map drawn over by coloniser Cecil John Rhodes (1875-1908) with projected railways and other means of communication.
  • Historical Geography Datasets: collected as part of the Great Britain Historical Geographical Information System project, providing data on land ownership and boundaries from the 13th-20th centuries.

Related links

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