British Library makes 40,000 maps and views freely available online

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, June 15, 2024

British Library makes 40,000 maps and views freely available online
Matthew Dixon. ‘A General Plan with a Project for the Defence of the Arsenals of Plymouth, / By Lieut: Colonel Dixon Chief Engineer of the Plymouth Division. Revised and corrected by Geo. Beck Jan. 1780.’ Maps K.Top 11.79.2.TAB.

LONDON.- The British Library is nearing the end of a project to make 40,000 early maps and views freely available online for the first time.

The material forms part of the Topographical Collection of King George III (K. Top) held by the British Library and captures four centuries of visual impressions of places throughout the world, from maps and atlases to architectural drawings, cartoons and watercolours. From today, the images will be available for anyone to view online via the British Library’s digital Flickr Commons collection.

This resource offers everyone the chance to virtually explore, the geography, art, science and cultures of the past through the collection of one of history’s most avid armchair travellers.

Over seven years, a team of expert cataloguers, curators, conservators and imaging specialists at the Library have worked to catalogue, conserve and digitise the K.Top collection. This project would not have been possible without significant philanthropic support and we are very grateful to the individuals and trusts whose generosity has enabled us to make this outstanding collection available to researchers across the world.

The collection is a distinct part of the larger King’s Library which was presented to the Nation by George IV in 1823. As a collection of maps and views that was built during the formative period of the British Empire, it is an important resource for the study of how Britain viewed and interacted with the wider world during this period.

The collection consists of printed and hand-drawn works dating between 1500 and 1824 and covers a broad variety of compelling themes. Highlights include:

• The hand-drawn map of New York City, presented to the future James II in 1664

• Early 18th century architectural drawings by Nicholas Hawksmoor for commissions including Castle Howard and London ‘Queen Anne’ churches

• The vast Kangxi Map of China of 1719 made by the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ripa

• A set of drawings of Lucca by the Italian artist Bernardo Bellotto, circa 1742

• James Cook’s large manuscript map of the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, 1763

• Watercolours by noted 18th century artists such as Paul Sandby and Samuel Hieronymus Grimm

• Military maps of English south coast harbours including Plymouth from the 1780s, precursors of the Ordnance Survey

• Views of parts of modern-day Ontario, Canada, drawn by the artist Elizabeth Simcoe in around 1792

• The earliest comprehensive land-use map of London from 1800.

A number of maps from the collection are accessible for the public to view in the British Library’s free, permanent exhibition Treasures of the British Library, including maps of forts in North America by Mary Anne Rocque (1765). The gallery has recently reopened to the public (booking essential).

The first batch of 18,000 images are now freely available to explore via the British Library’s page on Flickr Commons, alongside over 1 million copyright-free images from the Library’s collection of printed books.

The images have been added to Flickr by British Library Labs (BL Labs). BL Labs supports the experimentation and reuse of the Library's data and digital collections in exciting and creative new ways through competitions, events, exhibitions, collaborative projects and annual public awards (the deadline for entry this year is 30 November 2020.)

The maps will also be made available on the British Library’s ‘Georeferencer’, an interactive application that allows volunteers to turn maps into data by adding locations to digitised British Library collections, initiating innovative new forms of discovery and research.

A selection of essays illustrated by images from the K. Top collection are available on the Library’s Picturing Places web space.

Tom Harper, Lead Curator of Antiquarian Mapping, said “This is a momentous and intriguing set of early maps and views which provides multiple windows into the world of previous centuries. We’re pleased to have been able to make this outstanding collection available through cataloguing and digitisation and to enable aspects of Britain’s past to be more fully understood.”

Dr Mia Ridge, Digital Curator for Western Heritage Collections, commented, “Providing online access to these images and metadata is an important milestone for digital research support at the British Library. The collection lends itself to digital scholarship methods such as computer vision, machine learning and AI, crowdsourcing, and georeferencing. We're also excited to learn more about innovative applications for new and emerging computational methods as researchers explore the collection.”

Today's News

November 1, 2020

Exhibition at Tate Britain brings together 150 key works by JMW Turner

Joe Biden and the arts: No RBG but a loyal promoter of culture

Sean Connery, who embodied James Bond and more, dies at 90

Phillips to offer Paul Newman's Rolex Oyster Cosmograph Daytona

Concert poster worth $100,000+ discovered in background of photo on social media

Christie's announces highlights included in its Important Jewels Online Auction

Seattle Art Museum presents landmark modern and contemporary works from the Wright Collection

One of the most storied and celebrated collections of Batman comics heads to Heritage Auctions in November

Curators from Mia and the Somali Museum of Minnesota organize exhibition of Arabic calligraphy

Sotheby's to present important Judaica from the legendary Sassoon Family in December 2020

Bob Biggs, Los Angeles punk-rock entrepreneur, dies at 74

British Library makes 40,000 maps and views freely available online

Elmgreen & Dragset and Avant Arte launch limited edition THE FUTURE

Kunstmuseum Den Haag opens an exhibition of works by Joseph Sassoon Semah

Galeria Nara Roesler announces new location in Chelsea

TV's horror hosts: 70 years of screams and cheese

Paradigm Gallery opens a solo exhibition of new works by mixed media artist Seth Clark

Jona Frank: Between reality and fantasy

'It's going away': A small movie theater struggles to survive

Museum of Neon Art announces the appointment of new board members

Horror legend Elvira's collection heads to Julien's Auctions

Exhibition presents Rob Thom's latest works that celebrate absurdities and vulgarities of everyday life

Lorna May Wadsworth installs portraits of Neil Gaiman at Shapero Modern

Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong opens an exhibition of works by Takesada Matsutani

A Guide to Toronto Window Replacement: What to Know

Canada Immigration Eligibility- Do I qualify for Canada Immigration?

How to Repair Sewing Machines at Home

How to Short The Market To Sell Stock [Complete Guideline]

Tow Dolly vs Auto Transport

Why is trust important in a relationship

Challenges You May Face While Living in a PG in Delhi and How to Solve Them?

8 Amazing Hidden Features of Viber You Might Not Know About

The Ultimate Guide to Online Art History Degree

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful