Maps Maps

The Mitchell Library holds an extensive collection of maps and atlases with some 35,000 sheet maps and 300 atlases. These range from a 1647 edition of an early world atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Joan Blaeu, to current editions of maps published by the Ordnance Survey.

Map Collections

We have maps covering most areas of Scotland with Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and Dunbartonshire areas very well covered. There are less detailed maps available for the rest of the UK.

Ordnance Survey maps, early Glasgow maps, Glasgow street maps, Cairns Mitchell maps and Roys military maps are available on Level 5, in the Mitchell Library.

Admiralty charts, Geological survey, land capability and maps from the Macauley Institute for Soil research are available on Level 4, in the Mitchell Library.

Admiralty Charts

Section from an Admiralty Chart

​​​Over X NUMBER of Admiralty charts with coverage appropriate for navigation of deep sea, coastal passages, port approaches and harbour berthing.

Bartholomew’s leisure maps, 1990

section from a Bartholomew’s leisure map

Are these these Bartholomew's maps the same as the PO ones?

Bartholomew’s Post Office maps

section from a Bartholomew’s Post Office map

These maps were published as part of the Glasgow Post Office directories and were regularly updates by Bartholemew's

These represent a useful picture of the growth of the city featuring streets, parks, cemeteries, churches and schools.

The Cairns Mitchell Map Collection

Cairns Mitchell Map Collection


A collection of 65 early maps and sea charts relating primarily to Scotland. They were orginally part of a larger donation given to The Mitchell Library in 1923 and 1928 by the Rev. John Cairns Mitchell, a retired clergyman, who lived in Ardnadam in Argyllshire​.

The maps provide an excellent overview of the way Scotland and its coastline has been depicted from the 16th century until the late 1800s. Many of them were published abroad, including a number of French maps. For some strange reason, there is a solitary map of Denmark, dated 1814.

Discover more information about this collection and view our image gallery here.


Early Glasgow maps

Section from an early Glasgow map

A collection of maps showing how the city has changed over the centuries, spreading out from the original settlement around the Cathedral. Most of these maps are not contemporary but drawn a long time after the dates they represent, using available data to show how the city would have looked at the time. Our maps are not originals, except for those which first appeared bound in with books.

Finding Aids PDF list available on asc drive Early Glasgow Maps NEED SPREADSHEET FOR THIS (This has been saved to InetInfo/Arena website - 2018/Arena Website 2019/Map Collections folder


Environmental Geology maps (Glasgow only)

section from an environmental geology map

This series of maps, published in the 1980’s, covers the Glasgow area only. There are several maps for each area of the city on a scale of 62 to 1 mile (1:10,560) , each map giving different information e.g. mining, geomorphology.

Geological Survey maps

section from a British Geological Survey map

Founded in 1835, the British Geological Survey (BGS) is the world's oldest national geological survey.

The six inch first edition Ordnance Survey county series maps were used as the basis for mapping the geology of Scotland and the Mitchell’s map collection includes a large number of geological survey maps,dating from the late 1800’s,spanning most of Scotland.

Geological survey maps are available in General Services, Mitchell Library Level 4.

Glasgow maps - 1:1250 Ordnance Survey sheets

section from a Glasgow map

The Mitchell’s collection of Glasgow maps on a scale of 1:1250 are the most detailed for the city. Buildings, public houses. schools, post offices, stations and railways, churches, roads tracks and paths are included.

Our collection dates from the early 1950s to the most recent maps published of parts the city in 2014 when changes were made prior to the hosting of the Commonwealth Games.

Land capability and soil maps

section from a land capability map

Soil maps display the distribution of different soil types across a section of land ,the amount of detail depending on the scale of the map.

Capability maps use soil data along with information on other properties, such as climate or landscape, to classify the land for a specific purpose.

The Mitchell’s collection includes various editions, scales and types of these maps.

Military maps

section from a military map

Roy Military Survey of Scotland 1747-1755

After the Jacobite Rebellion, Britains’s Military leaders were aware of the need for more detailed maps of Scotland, especially the Highlands.

In 1746, the Duke of Cumberland ordered a survey of the whole of Scotland to be undertaken by William Roy. It was completed in 1755 at a scale of 1000 yards and was surprisingly accurate. The maps provide a valuable over view of Scotland showing hills, rivers, settlements, roads and tracks.

Ordnance Survey maps

section from an Ordnance Survey map

A collection of mostly 6” and 25” sheet maps of Lanarkshire, Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire as well as many other counties in Scotland. Dating from the mid 1850s, the maps show almost all of the physical changes which have overtaken the city and are particularly useful as historical documents showing locations such as rivers, railways, parks, cemeteries, factories, churches and schools.

Street maps

section from a street map

The collection includes historical and current street maps of Glasgow, as well as Ordnance Survey street atlases of many British towns, as well as Scottish,English, Welsh and Irish town plans, foreign town plans and country road maps.

The Mitchell also has a full set of Ordnance Survey Explorer and Landranger maps for Scotland – useful for travel, walking, cycling and hill climbing.

Related content

Discover more about the fascinating world of maps here.

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