Digital Archiving Resources

David Rumsey Map Collection


David Rumsey Map Collection


Digital humanities


The David Rumsey Map Collection features nearly 50,000 historical maps spanning from 1492 to the present-day. More than simply a repository, the website is an interactive database giving users the ability to download the actual record and create their own online content. The collection includes maps from Europe, the Americas, Africa, and the Middle East, covering a wide range of topics such as boundaries, wars, soil studies, and roads, to name a few. All of the images have been scanned and uploaded using the latest high-resolution technology, allowing viewers to zoom in and study the map in detail. In addition, many are also geo-tagged, expanding their usefulness in a variety of digital applications. Researchers can create a free account, login, and build “sets” of maps for their particular project using one of the several web applications such as Google Earth or the Luna Browser embedded into the site. Once these sets are created, images can be linked to or downloaded without restriction for non-commercial use under the Creative Commons license.

This collection exemplifies best practices in the field, from high quality images to its intuitive, user-friendly interface and serves as a model for building a digital archive. By allowing fair-use of its content, this site is an important resource for those considering projects in digital history that explore spatial aspects.


Cartography Associates


Cartography Associates




Robert Clarke



Bibliographic Citation

Cartography Associates. “David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.” Accessed September 10, 2015.

Local URL




Cartography Associates, “David Rumsey Map Collection,” Digital Archiving Resources, accessed May 22, 2018,