School of Geography

The Map Collection

The School of Geography map collection comprises around 80,000 maps. The collection includes Ordnance Survey UK national coverage in various historical series, UK geological maps, and historical holdings covering Europe and the rest of the world.

Highlights include historic town plans, the 1930s Land Utilisation Survey series, and military maps including trench maps from WW1 and German maps of the UK from WW2. There is also extensive coverage of Nottingham and the East Midlands, allowing appreciation of how the geography of the city and the region, and indeed the University, has changed over time.


Full collection

Maps in the School of Geography's extensive collection are now searchable via the university's library discovery tool, NUsearch - read the blog to find out more.

Browse the full collection

The School of Geography collection is the main cartographic holding within the University, although the Manuscripts and Special Collections department also holds a range of maps, predominantly of the East Midlands, drawn from estate collections and other sources.

The pattern of acquisition over the years, particularly in the decades after the Second World War, makes the School of Geography collection distinctive and unusual. The extensive range of maps acquired in the mid-20th century are now of historic value, presenting a cartographic picture of the world at a crucial juncture of decolonisation and emergent globalisation. There is especially strong coverage in the collection of Europe and Africa in the 1950s and 1960s. An indicative selection of maps is shown in the gallery below on this page, showing a range of locations and cartographic styles. Our Map Blog archive gives a detailed account of a single map from the collection.

There are over 500 map drawers holding the collection within the Edwards Resource Centre. An inventory of the collection, listing holdings within each drawer by country and date, is available to download.

The curator of the collection is Elaine Watts, who also manages the School of Geography's Cartographic Unit. Those wishing to access the collection should email the curator at, stating their area of interest. We welcome map users from within the university and beyond.

View information about the online map resources that the university subscribes to.

The Map Blog

Last Orders: Pubs and maps

Map of the Month

by Dr David Beckingham

I am the co-curator of an exhibition called Last Orders: Stories of Alcohol and Abstinence in the East Midlands, on display at the Weston Gallery at Lakeside Arts until October. The exhibition examines a series of tensions that gathered around drink in the two centuries before the First World War.

Read the blog archive

Map collection gallery


School of Geography

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University of Nottingham
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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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