A lot of maps in just one gallery
At any time within our gallery we have between 10,000 and 12,000 maps. All of our pieces are mounted in archival material and organized by geographical region in cabinets throughout the store. Each map is given a reference number, allowing us to immediately locate the items in our catalogue and on our website, where everything has now been digitized. This means if you are curious about our collection, you can browse online prior to your visit. Any map we show on our website will be available for sale in our gallery. It may, however, take a little longer to find a particular item in person in the gallery!
Having such an extensive collection allows us to show customers a selection of maps. If your map request is for a specific place or period we may need to go through two or three drawers before locating relevant material. Don’t let a big stack of maps intimidate you, as we can quickly file them away again into the right drawers.
The drawers themselves are divided into geographical regions by their contemporary names in English. However, we aim to describe each map in such a way as to accommodate both contemporary and historical political geographies.
We have only original antique maps in the gallery, yet with such a large collection we are able to cater to every taste and budget. Approximately a third of our stock predates 1750, but we have an equally large emphasis on scientific maps with nearly 4,000 maps from the 19thcentury. We increasingly find substantial interest in Victorian and vintage modern pieces, which constitute the final third of our collection. These pieces, although interesting in their own right, are often affordable enough to whet the interest of anyone with a love for the past.
The Map House holds the largest collection of privately owned maps anywhere in the world. The gallery has been an institution for maps for over a century and we are renewing our dedication to conservation and cartographic history by fully integrating online access to our collection. The Map House has embarked upon an ambitious project to upgrade our digital presence. Our team is building expertise in archival cataloguing, digitization, social media and graphic design.