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The Metropolitan Map collection at London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) is a major collection of maps which form part of our core collections. They are mainly printed and are an important source for documenting the history of London and its environs. A two year project was established 2018-20 with the aim of cataloguing the maps in order to make them easily available to researchers.

The collection has its origins in the library and record office of the London County Council (LCC) established in 1889 as the principal local government organisation for the County of London, the archive holdings of which form a major part of the core collections at LMA.

Previously there had been no means of finding out about any of the maps in the collection through LMA’s online electronic catalogue. The maps had been catalogued on cards by many diverse hands over a period of several years. The card indexes were difficult to use and extremely inconsistent in the information recorded about each map.

The aim of the project was to revisit the entire collection, to re-catalogue the maps to meet modern archival description standards and to ensure that consistent and comparable information about each map was included in the catalogue entries. It also aimed to enhance the catalogue descriptions and to include cross-referencing across the whole collection to fully convey the potential of this invaluable historical resource to increase interest and use.

The first part of the project included tasks such as surveying, gathering information from previous finding aids and card indexes about the maps, and establishing a cataloguing structure and methodology, as well as a cataloguing plan.

Here we look at some of the themes covered by the map collections.

More maps to explore!

The Metropolitan Maps collections aren't the only maps at LMA! Maps crop up in all sorts of places throughout our collections, and some of those were contributed to the Layers of London website.

The London Picture Archive

Discover the London you know, and the London you've never seen...

Explore over 250,000 images of London from the collections of London Metropolitan Archives and Guildhall Art Gallery

Explore The London Picture Archive