Every word counts

Talk Atlas: A World of Maps from the British Library

Atlas: A World of Maps from the British Library

British Library

Key facts

Genre: Lecture with live speech-to-text


Discover the unique map collection of the British Library

Tom Harper, Lead Curator of Antiquarian Maps, leads you on a journey through some of the rarest and most significant maps found in our collection, based around his latest book, Atlas: A World of Maps from the British Library.

From the publication in 1595 of the first ‘atlas’ by the Flemish cartographer Gerhard Mercator, the term has become a universally adopted title for books containing accurate, uniform and evenly spread maps of all or some of the world. Tom’s book is an atlas with a difference. Few of the maps shown could reasonably be called ‘accurate’ in the modern sense and could almost certainly not be used to plan a journey. In this lecture, packed with images, we travel in a way that regular atlases do not allow. By looking at old maps and getting to know their stories we can be transported back to the times in which they were made. 

This event will have speech to text interpretation.

This event first took place in Autumn 2018 and returns due to exceptional demand.

Tom Harper is Lead Curator of Antiquarian Maps at the British Library. His publications include the British Library exhibition catalogue Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line, and A History of the 20th Century in 100 Maps, which he co-authored in 2014. The generous, full-colour illustrations of each map in Atlas: A World of Maps from the British Library range from the Klencke Atlas (1660) to Hokusai’s Map of China (1840–41), from a 1682 pirate map of Guatemala to 20th-century cartographic postca

Event details

Tue 29 Jan 2019, 7:00pm

This event is sold out.

Live subtitling by ST office outdoor unit(s)

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Venue details

British Library
The Arts Council
The Arts Council
The Arts Council