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 of the Month' 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, stating their area of interest. We welcome map users from within the University and beyond.