Welcome to the library’s map collection

The library’s map collection can be found on level 7 of the library, where our specialist staff can help you find the mapping you’re after. We have one of the best academic map collections in Scotland, and are here to support your teaching and research needs. Our print maps are also available for consultation to members of the general public.

We can help you with enquiries such as;

Historical mapping

1778 map of Glasgow High Street, showing the original location of the University of Glasgow

This map shows Glasgow High Street in 1778.

If you need to research how an area has changed over time, we have over 65,000 sheet maps, concentrating on the British Isles and Scotland in particular, and over 400 atlases, cartographic reference books and gazetteers.

We can help you research subjects such as the rise of industry in towns, the evolution of farming in rural areas, and the original locations of factories, homes, and even football stadiums.

Our online map galleries showcase a selection of the maps in our collections and include the map above of Glasgow in 1778.

Finding places, streets, and locations which have changed name over time

Ordnance Survey maps from 1913 and 1932 with streets highlighted to show names changes

A map from 1913 (left) and 1932 (right) showing highlighted streets that have changed their name.

The maps above show that sometime between 1913 and 1932 several streets in Glasgow’s west end changed their names. Street name changes can occur as expanding cities find themselves with two ‘Victoria Street’s and need to prevent a confusing duplication.

Rebuilding after wars can lead to new street names, as can topical events. For example, in 1986 St George’s Place in Glasgow’s city centre was renamed Nelson Mandela Place.

Maps can help to identify a date range for when a street name was changed and confirm the correct location of a previously named street.

Creating custom maps using mapping databases

The map above was created using Digimap.

The map above was created using Digimap, one of our mapping databases available to University of Glasgow staff and students. If you need the map to focus on a specific feature, such as the water features, then Digimap allows you to customise the map to show these, as below. You can also remove features such as buildings and roads.

Use Digimap to customise your mapping by adding contours, and omitting buildings, roads, and other non-relevant features.

If you’d like to know more about the many features of our digital mapping databases, we can help with this. We’ve created blog posts to introduce each of the services available on the Digimap database.

Shipwrecks and other maritime features

The map, from Digimap, shows the probable name of a sunken schooner Isabella of Wigton and the date of sinking as 01/11/1864.

Images © British Crown and OceanWise, 2018. All rights reserved. Licence No. EK001-20180802. Not to be used for Navigation.

If you need information on tide height, river flows, location of shipwrecks, or flood estimation data and mapping, we can help with this. The map above, from Digimap, shows the probable name of a sunken schooner Isabella of Wigton and the date of sinking as 01/11/1864.

Map copies (digital or print)

If you need paper copies of our maps for presentations, framing or working copies, or you need digital copies, we can provide these with our Reproduction Service. (Copyright restrictions may apply)

We’re on level 7 of the library, and we’re open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. You can also get in touch by email or phone 0141 330 6740.



Categories: Library, Official Publications

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2 replies

  1. I’ve always been fascinated by maps, especially the old ones

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