Monday, February 12, 2018

British Library Maps at Pelagios Commons

British Library Maps at Pelagios Commons
Liber Insularum Cycladum (Arundel MS, f.157v)
During Phase 3 of Pelagios (2014/2015) we worked with various sources to  encompass “Early Geospatial Documents” – including early Christian Mappae Mundi and pilgrimages, Portolan charts, and Islamic and Chinese maps. In collaboration with the team at the British Library, and funded by the A W Mellon Foundation, the following digital sources are available to download and use. Each is accompanied by an XML and Excel file containing catalogue information relating to each image.
Cornaro Atlas
Digitised Cornaro Atlas. Egerton MS 73
This dataset comprises of 37 images from a Portolano executed by different Venetian artists between 1489 and 1492, known as the ‘Cornaro Atlas’
Insularium Illustratum
Digitised Insularium Illustratum. Additional MS 15760
This dataset comprises of 123 images from the Insularium Illustratum, an account of the islands of the Mediterranean, and of some others produced by Henricus Martellus Germanus in 1495.
Liber insularium Arcipelagi
Digitised Liber insularum Arcipelagi Cotton MS Vespasian

This dataset comprises of 82 images from the Liber insularum Arcipegelagi, an illustrated account of the islands and major ports of the Mediterranean produced by Christophori Bondelmonti around 1422.
Liber insularium Cycladum
Liber insularum Cycladum. Arundel MS
This dataset comprises of 45 images from the Liber insularum Cycladum produced by Christophori Bondelmonti around 1422.

Maps after Ptolemy’s Geographia
Maps after Ptolemy’s Geographia. Burney MS 111

This dataset comprises of 68 images from a Greek manuscript edition of Ptolemy’s Geography containing many diagrams and coloured maps, and produced between the 1375 and 1425.
 Portolano. Egerton MS 2855

This dataset comprises of 7 images from a Portolano produced in 1473 by Grazioso Benincasa.
Single Sheets and Supplementary Materials (A selection of individual maps and non-map based medieval materials such as travel accounts).
This dataset comprises of 30 images selected among individual maps and non-map based medieval materials such as travel accounts. DOI:
Note: Due to the extreme sizes of some of the zip archives (often well in excess of 4GB), we recommend using a dedicated zip archive application, to open and extract these datase


  1. Thanks for posting this!

    Many of the toponyms from these maps were also transcribed (to a large extent by then-team-members-now-Pelagios-alumni Cat Crossley and Pau de Soto, but also other contributors).

    To be honest, we're still working through the backlog of making this data publicly availabe, and giving it the proper presentation & discoverability it deserves. Will happen over the following months. Meanwhile here are examples of some of those beatuiful maps, annotated with transcribed toponymy:

    What we have available online so far, from the documents (texts and maps) that were annotated by the Pelagios 3 team is here:

  2. P.S.: all annotation data available for download in different formats under open license. (Go to the 'Download Options' section via the top navigation bar.)