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The City of London Corporation supports humanitarian aid in Ukraine

The historical map collections at London Metropolitan Archives show the development of the city in incredible detail, from the late sixteenth century to the present day. Beginning with the first attempts to chart the streets of the City of London, they provide a unique view of London’s story and many of the events that shaped the city we know today.

The John Ogilby Map of 1776
The John Ogilby Map of 1776

Magnificent Maps of London, our new exhibition which opens on 11 April 2022, brings together some of the best-known records of the capital. Following an extensive program of conservation treatment, Civitas Londinium, the first surviving map of the city will go on display at London Metropolitan Archives for the first time.

This very rare opportunity to see one of only three known copies of the map will transport visitors to the streets (and fields) of Tudor London. The exhibition will also include work by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg, John Rocque, John Ogilby and William Morgan, Richard Horwood, and Christopher and John Greenwood.

Early visitor guides feature alongside, tram routes, Goad’s Insurance Plan, local plans and thematic surveys, including Charles Booth's map of London poverty.

Conservator brushing the Civitas Londinium map in preparation for the exhibition
Conservator brushing the Civitas Londinium map in preparation for the exhibition

Some of the maps on display will highlight the growth of London at a local level, with maps of parishes and localities, as well as the development of the capital across the Greater London area. Others will demonstrate the use of maps not just as a way of navigating the city, but also as a way of presenting information which records the experience of previous generations of Londoners, from pandemics to population studies.

To see more, historical maps of London, visit our historical images website the London Picture Archive

Visit the London Picture Archive
Conservation work being carried out on the Civitas Londinium map in preparation for the exhibition
Conservation work being carried out on the Civitas Londinium map in preparation for the exhibition