‘Google for early maps’

New sub-collections of maps added to Old Maps Online

Kaart van Limburg op Old Maps Online
Old Maps Online, with an early map of Limburg from the collection of Utrecht University Library

Many old maps of  Utrecht University Library are now even easier to find and view online. Recently, two large sub-collections of maps have been added to the international search platform Old Maps Online (OMO).

On the one hand this concerns around 1,000 cartographic documents of the Netherlands and Dutch regions. On the other hand, it concerns a similar number of documents - mostly thematic and geographical maps of various areas - from the collection of the former Utrecht professor Jan Ackersdijck (1790-1861). All these maps have been georeferenced, so that users in OMO can easily find them by zooming in and out on a modern world map and possibly filtering them by period of time or scale. A selected map can then be studied in detail in the Georeferencer program or in the online Special Collections of the University Library. The maps are also available for reuse in Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

Half a million maps made accessible

Gegeorefereerde kaart van Limburg
The map of Limburg in the application of Georeferencer

Numerous renowned heritage management institutions now supply their georeferenced map material to OMO. Currently (November 2020), half a million old maps have already been made accessible in this way, and this number is growing rapidly.  This means that the platform is well on its way to becoming the 'Google for old maps'. The Utrecht University Library is also planning to offer more sub-collections via OMO in the future.