Maps and views blog

Cartographic perspectives from our Map Librarians

03 May 2017

Picturing Places launched!

Last week the British Library was pleased to announce the successful launch of Picturing Places, a new online learning resource.  


The Tower of London with London Bridge and the City, from Charles of Orléans' "Poetry", around 1483. British Library Royal MS 16.F.II (f.73).

This is the first the British Library has dedicated to its extensive visual materials, and as the national collection of topographical materials, we are hoping to transform, elevate and broaden perceptions of topography through it, the related Transforming Topography research project , and our cataloguing and digitisation of the King’s Topographical Collection.

The site’s essays cover diverse subjects, themes such as pleasure gardens  and the Grand Tour, artists such as Thomas Gainsborough and JMW Turner, and particular works of art such as Mark Wood’s 1785 map of Kolkata



John Hassell, 'The Village of Thursley, looking westwards,' 1824. British Library Crach

We would like to thank the funders of the Transforming Topography project who have made this project possible - the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, Marc Fitch Fund, Coles Medlock Foundation, Finnis Scott Foundation, Thriplow Charitable Trust and SP Lohia Foundation.

And we are greatly indebted to our authors. There are currently over 90 involved with the project, from current PhD students to Emeritus Professors, in fields such as art history, cultural geography and history, and it has been a pleasure to unlock our collections with experts from such diverse fields.

This is the first phase of the project, so watch this space – there is currently more content ready to publish, more being edited and more has been commissioned, so do keep an eye on the site as it continues to grow. 

Follow @BL_prints and @BLMaps on Twitter for updates and highlights.

Felicity Myrone