Maps and views blog

2 posts from December 2013

23 December 2013

What are these bits of maps?

Georeferencing the Library's Goad plans of British and Irish towns is progressing well.  I've been asked several times, however, about the miniscule slices of maps that we're asking you to place. What are these obscure and tiny pieces of maps, and how to tell where they are located?Goad - bit of mapPieces such as above are portions of original paper map sheets as published by Chas. E. Goad Ltd. When a block or other important area extended beyond the bounds of the page, it was simply printed elsewhere on the sheet, with a reference to its location. This was done for reasons of economy; key areas could be included without adding to the cost of paper and printing. In the sheet below, the dark outline indicates an inset, with the block number "8" identifying its location on the main map.

  Goad - bit on page

So how can a user of BL Georeferencer know what sheet a bit appears on? All insets are linked to the main map page on which they appear. Choose the "This Map" tab within the Georeferencer application. By clicking "Original web presentation", the bit is shown on the larger map sheet which will include a reference to its location.Goad - continued map
These map "bits" are important to place in order to provide the full available mapping of an area! Above image of the Deptford Bridge area of London shows the "bit" adjacent to its location on the main map sheet.

Once properly georeferenced, these small pieces will continue and complete the maps in their correct places - an eloquent solution to the problem of viewing insets on paper maps!

Try out BL Georeferencer if you are up for a visual, geographic, and historic challenge. Locating the remaining pieces is a like solving a Victorian map puzzle!

03 December 2013

Don't put a foot wrong in Georgian Bath

A new and correct plan of the city of Bath and places adjacent, produced in 1750 (and in numerous further editions thereafter) included a number of very useful points of information for the Georgian visitor-tourist to Bath, which during the 18th century became the incredibly popular spa resort we recognise today.


A new and correct map of the city of Bath and places adjacent. Published in Bath, 1750. Engraving. British Library Maps *5030.(17.). PUBLIC-DOMAIN-LABELi

Local publishers were rather smart in noting the market for a concise map with added historical descriptions, detailing things like the postal service, and most importantly the ‘Rules relating to Bath as they stand in the Pump Room.’

These are the rules of etiquette to be observed when attending Bath’s oh so fashionable assembly rooms. The pump room was where families new to the town would announce themselves. Created and maintained by a man called Beau Nash – Bath’s unofficial master of ceremonies – the rules provide a brilliant insight into society and public spaces, a map of society. Observe

7. that no gentleman or lady take it ill that another dances before them except such as have no pretence to dance at all.

8. That the elder ladies and children be content with a second bench at ye ball as being past or not come to perfection.

9. That ye younger ladies take notice of how many eyes observe them. N.B. this does not extend to ye have at alls.

10. That all repeat of such lies and scandal be shun’d by all company ; except such as have been guilty of the same crime, N.N. several men of no character, old women and young ones of question’d reputation are great authors of lies in this place being of the sect of levellers

It all sounds like valuable advice to me, of at least equal value to the map of the town and its history. With this latter information to hand, one could demonstrate familiarity and learning when engaged in conversation. I can just imagine a family fighting for a glimpse of the map en route to the pump room. ..

…or maybe that wouldn’t be a Georgian thing to do.

The British Library’s Georgians Revealed exhibition is now open