Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO): Mapping the World: Maps and Travel Literature

British Library: 19th Century European Sheet Maps. "Map of the United States and Mexico [Cartographic Material]." Maps of the World: Cartographic Selections from the American Antiquarian Society. Primary Source Media. Nineteenth Century Collections Online.
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Explore maps and travel literature during the early nineteenth century

The Nineteenth Century Collections Online: Mapping the World: Maps and Travel Literature archive presents unique insight into the age of cartography and the rise of leisure travel, spotlighting a distinguished array of historical atlases, gazetteers, travel narratives, and a variety of maps, The materials focus on travel and exploration during the nineteenth century, including myriad sketch maps created during colonial exploration and expansion. Maps, historic atlases, and gazetteers offer unique city, town, and country information first used by the nineteenth century traveler, providing a window into the Age of Imperialism and the burgeoning middle classes. Featuring a multitude of both European and non-European travel narratives, the collection offers a glimpse not only of the lands and peoples these travelers encountered, but also valuable insight into how the Industrial Revolution changed people’s experiences in their ever-shrinking world.

This collection supports studies on the evolution of travel and transportation and spans multiple disciplines, providing insight into societal values, interests, colonialism, and exploration.

Collections in this archive Include:

  • 19th Century Travel Literature
  • British Library: 19th Century European Sheet Maps
  • British Library: India Office Records Atlases & Gazetteers
  • British Library: Ministry of Defense Maps
  • British Library: Royal United Services Institution (R.U.S.I.) Maps
  • Crace Collection of Maps of London
  • Journeys to the East Indies and Asia: Selected Journals and Papers
  • King George III Topographical Collection
  • Maps and Atlases: North America and the Polar Regions
  • Maps of the World: Cartographic Selections from the American Antiquarian Society
  • The National Archives: Selected Maps Representing the Long 19th Century
  • Pacific Railway Surveys, 1853-1855: Reports of Explorations and Surveys to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean
  • Selected Travel Titles from Nineteenth Century American Literature and History: Ohio Valley and the South
  • Selected Travel Titles from the Collections of the American Antiquarian Society
  • Travel and Tourist Periodicals: Selections from the British Library
  • Travel Narratives and Personal Reminiscences
  • Travels and Travelers in the 19th Century: Selected Journals and Papers

The Mapping the World: Maps and Travel Literature archive includes a myriad of maps representing the "long" nineteenth century. Selections have been culled from the vast map repositories of the British Library and the National Archives at Kew. In addition to these large map collections, maps representing the Americas, and in particular America's westward expansion, have been provided by the American Antiquarian Society. Maps depicting Canada and the polar regions have been generously provided by the University of Alberta.

Bryn Mawr's extensive collection of European travel accounts provides a sweeping glance of the travel narrative genre. In addition to the Bryn Mawr collection, selected travel narratives have been included from the collections of the American Antiquarian Society and the British Library.

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Subjects Covered
  • English Language and Literature Studies
  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
  • European Studies
  • Liberal Studies
  • Humanities/Humanistic Studies
  • American/United States Studies/Civilization
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Reviews & Testimonials

“The scope of this digitization project makes it a significant research resource for both scholars and undergraduates. There are several benefits to this scope: the sheer size of the collections; the geographic range including comparative materials from various cultures; and the variety of types of documents including a significant amount of unpublished material . . . . The new platform tools developed for NCCO are impressive and should be useful to scholars as well as students. These include the browse features for 'Exploring Collections,' the search within results features, text analysis tools, and sophisticated image viewing tools.”

eDesiderata, Center for Research Libraries

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