David Rumsey Historical Map Collection

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Graeciae Antiquae Tabula Nova" from 1708

The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection is one of the world's largest private map collections. It has some 150,000 maps and cartographic items. The collection was created by David Rumsey who, after making his fortune in real estate, focused on collecting 18th- and 19th century maps of North and South America, as this era "saw the rise of modern cartography."[1]

There are now over 55,000 digitized maps available through his website, http://www.davidrumsey.com, about 150 of which are currently being hosted through Google Earth layers. Select maps are also featured at the Rumsey Maps island in Second Life. as well as 2D and 3D GIS. A new MapRank search tool has been added enabling geographical searching of about 12,000 maps from the collection by map location and coverage. The website has additional viewers from Luna Imaging, Inc, most popular being the LUNA browser which doesn’t require any special plug-ins or software to view the collection, zoom into image detail, create slide shows, media groups, presentations and more.

The website also has a blog listing new additions to the collection, featured maps, news, videos, and related sites.

In February 2009, David Rumsey announced that the entire collection would be donated to Stanford University, including 150,000 maps and their digital images, as well as the database used to track the images.[2] Stanford will house the collection in a new David Rumsey Map Center to be built in the main library. The davidrumsey.com web site (where the images are posted on-line) will continue as a separate public resource.


  1. ^ Ganahl, Jane (27 September 2004). "David Rumsey made a living in real estate. Then he charted his future to match his passion: maps". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  2. ^ "Maps of Americas past". Stanford News Service. Stanford University. 4 February 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2009. 

External links[edit]

Media related to David Rumsey Historical Map Collection at Wikimedia Commons