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Using maps

image - looking at an antiquarian map


The Library’s Map Collection is the largest in the north of England and offers an extensive range of topographic and thematic mapping for the UK, as well as wide-ranging coverage for the rest of the world.

The collection has particular strengths in: 

  • Historical and modern maps of Northern England and Greater Manchester
  • Official Government mapping
  • Topographic and geological mapping of the UK
  • 18th and 19th century antiquarian mapping
  • Ephemera (including supplements to magazines, posters and advertisements from the 19th to the 21st century)
  • Cartographic artworks 

The collection provides examples of cartographic design and techniques spanning hundreds of years.  They are a valuable resource for anyone studying geography, urban planning, architecture, archaeology, history, visual arts and material culture.  



Find out more

Our Guide to Special Collections contains a summary of the Map Collection.

Many of the printed maps are recorded in Library Search. To search for maps, use the 'advanced search' option and set the 'material type' to ‘maps’.

Items form the Map Collection can be consulted in the Map Room, located in the Purple Ground area of the Main Library.  All items included in the collection are for reference use only. Altases and some reference maps are available to browse in the Map Room however, most maps must be retrieved by prior appointment.

Images of some of our maps are available online via our Image Collection

Contact us

To make an appointment to view maps and for any other map related enquiries, please contact us:


Tel: +44 (0)161 275 3764