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Collections & research

About the collection

Our collection consists of over 200,000 maps, atlases, globes, and related materials. But more than that, it is an archive of our world’s landscapes and environments as well as human cultures, myths, arts, and scientific developments. 

 

a glass cabinet filled with antique globesa large map hanging on a wall with shelves of atlases


We are dedicated to digitizing our collection and providing it online. While digital copies allow for wide access, we also believe that there is nothing that compares to seeing an historic map in person. We welcome visitors to the Center to spend time with an old map. Come research, learn, reflect, be challenged, see something beautiful, or engage with a document much older than yourself. For Stanford affiliates interested in viewing one of our maps, see our 2020 access policies.

Additionally, the Branner Earth Sciences Library & Map Collections at Stanford houses maps from the 1920s to the present.

Our holdings include:

The David Rumsey Map Collection at Stanford University Libraries

David Rumsey Map Collection

Collection focusing on the Mapping of North America, also contains maps from around the world. The majority of the collection is from the 16th - 21st century.

Glen McLaughlin Map Collection: California as an Island

This collection of 17th and 18th century maps depict California as an island.

Iconic image for the Antiquarian maps of Africa from the collections of the late Dr. Oscar I. Norwich and the Stanford University Libraries.

Maps of Africa

Antiquarian maps of Africa from the collections of the late Dr. Oscar I. Norwich and the Stanford University Libraries.

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