Where can I see old maps? A bucket list for the serious antique map tourist

For the traveller with a dedicated interest in old maps, we include a list below of some of the most significant map libraries and collections worldwide. Antique map enthusiast and map tourists can always see old maps in dealers’ showrooms (you are always welcome to come and visit us in London by appointment), but many of the collections containing the scarcest maps can only be found in the older University libraries and in national and large public libraries. Often an appointment may be required and access to some of these institutions may be restricted to those with a serious academic, research or professional purpose or justification. The list below is by no means complete.


Many universities and museums have made all or part of their collections available to view online. In addition, the David Rumsey collection has over 67,000 digitised maps online which can be viewed at www.davidrumsey.com

United Kingdom

The British Cartographic Society maintains an extensive list of significant map collections in the United Kingdom, including many local authority and university collections. The list can be seen at www.cartography.org.uk
London British Library, King’s Cross
Royal Geographical Society, South Kensington
Guildhall Library, City of London
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
National Archives, Kew
Oxford Bodleian Library
Cambridge University Library
Fitzwilliam Museum
Edinburgh University Library
Aberystwyth National Library of Wales
Hereford Hereford Cathedral (Mappa Mundi)


Paris Bibliothèque Nationale de France (département des cartes et plans)
Strasbourg Bibliothèque Nationale Universitaire

The Netherlands

The Hague Nationaal Archief
Amsterdam Het Scheepvaartmuseum
Universiteits Bibliotheek
Rotterdam Maritiem Museum
Utrecht Geografisch Instituut der Rijksuniversiteit


Brussels Archives Générales du Royaume
Koninklijke Bibliotheek België (Bibliothèque royale de Belgique)
Ostend Flanders Marine Institute


Berlin Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
Göttingen Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek
Munich Bayerische Staatsbibliothek


Vienna Österreichische Nationalbibliothek


Rome Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma
Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana
Florence Laurentian Library (Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana)
Venice Biblioteca nazionale marciana


Basel Universitätsbibliothek
Berne Sammlung Ryhiner
St Gallen Stiftsbibliothek
Zurich Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule
Zentralbibliothek Zürich


Madrid Biblioteca Nacional de España


Copenhagen Det Kongelige Bibliotek
Stockholm Kungliga Biblioteket
Helsinki A.E. Nordenskiold Collection, Helsinki University


Warsaw Bibliotheka Narodowa

United States

Ann Arbor University of Michigan, William L. Clements Library
Austin Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
Baltimore George Peabody Library, Johns Hopkins University
Chicago Newberry Library
University of Chicago Library
Harvard University Library
Los Angeles University of California, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
Milwaukee American Geographical Society
New York Morgan Library & Museum
New York Public Library
Princeton University Library
Providence, RI John Carter Brown Library
San Marino, CA Huntington Library
Washington Library of Congress (collection includes the 1507 Waldseemüller Map of the World – the first map in which America is named)
Yale University Library


Montreal La Société Historique du Lac Saint-Louis
Ottawa Library and Archives Canada


Canberra National Library of Australia