Map Collection

UB-Maps – The digital map collection of the Geography and Regional Research Library

Project description:

Maps, in particular old maps, provide essential sources and aids for different disciplines and are unique resources for geospatial research questions. The map collection of the Geography and Regional Research Library comprises of about 100,000 map sheets. The project aims at cataloguing the collection, making the maps that are not protected by copyright visible and digitally accessible as well as at preserving the collection.

Historically, the map collection goes back to the foundation of the Faculty of Geography at the University of Vienna in the year 1851. In 1890 the Institute Library already had approximately 5,000 sheet maps, 80 wall maps and 115 Atlases. Today, the collection comprises of maps of every part of the world, but with a clear focus on Europe, and in particular Austria and the states of the former Danube Monarchy). Along with historically valuable old maps, the map collection also has all types of current maps (survey maps, thematic maps, city maps, hiking maps… etc).

The maps are catalogued in accordance with the RAK and RDA cataloguing rules and are searchable in the University Library’s catalogue, u:search. They are assigned geographical coordinates (geotagging using Bounding Box), digitised (resolution: 600 dpi) and archived digitally on Phaidra. Maps which are free from copyright protection, are also presented on the University Library’s website. In addition, the project’s participation in an expert portal aims at further increasing the visibility of the collection and at offering spatial and graphical search options. At the end of the project the objects will be placed in acid-free folders and this, along with relocating the historical collection, should ultimately secure the long-term conservation of the original material and preserve it for future generations.

Key figures:

Project Launch: 2013

Status as of 2021: Thus far over 19,000 map sheets have been catalogued and can now be found on u:search. About 7,500 maps have been scanned, 765 of which are available online as individual maps not protected by copyright as well as 148 map series comprising of 2,670 map sheets. Of these objects 540 have been long-term archived in Phaidra. We are constantly working on uploading and the long-term archiving of further maps.

Digital Copies:

u:search: Collection Digitised Maps

Goobi Viewer: Collection Digitised Maps
Phaidra: Digitalisierte Karten der Fachbereichsbibliothek Geographie und Regionalforschung