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Exploring Digital Ottoman Map Collections-Part 2

Dijital Osmanlı Harita Koleksiyonlarını Keşfetmek-2


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We continue to introduce the resources in the Digital Ottoman Studies Map Collections with the second part. In this blog post, we explained the historical map collections in the libraries of important universities in Turkey and also all around the world.


1) Duke University Ottoman Empire Maps Collection, 1869-1920

The collection, which was colected David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in 2018 and 2019, consists of maps showing the geographical and political borders of the Ottoman Empire and Anatolia from the end of the 19th century until the Republic Era.


Image 1 Homepage of Duke University Ottoman Empire Map Collection


Although the maps in the collection are not fully available online, the university library sends them when the researchers request.


Please click for details.


2) Istanbul University: II. Abdulhamid Maps Collection

Sultan II. Abdulhamid's Yıldız Palace Library constitutes the unique collection of Istanbul University Rare Book Library. 1529 sheet and roll maps, plans, atlas and drawing books in this unique collection were made available with the New Look at the Old World-II. Abdulhamid Maps Collection Project.


Image 2 Homepage of New Look at the Old World-II. Abdulhamid Maps Collection


The collection includes physical and political, demographic, ethnic distribution, detailed topographic, nautical maps, plans, and atlases.


Image 3 New Look at the Old World-II. Abdulhamid Maps Collection: Map of Anatolia and Rumelia. İstanbul: El-hac Muhammed Emin Efendi No: 1 Press, 1293.



In addition, maps and plans covering many languages such as Bulgarian, Russian, French, German, Arabic, English, Italian, Latin, Greek, Hungarian and Ottoman are also available in the collection.


Image 4 New Look at the Old World-II. Abdulhamid Maps Collection: Bouvard, [Joseph Antoine] Constantinople: Avant-projet: Place du Sultan Beyezid.” Paris, 1902.


Please click for details.


3) Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Atatürk Library Map Collections

The Collection which generally includes the maps produced by the Şehremaneti Heyet-i Fenniye Şubesi, is one of the most important collections of the Atatürk Library. In addition to this, maps of the collection cover from the 15th century to the 1940s.


Image 5 Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Atatürk Library Map Collections: "Map of Istanbul - Bilâd-ı selâse ." Istanbul: Erkan-ı Harbiye-i Umumiye Press, 1333.


More than 10,000 maps in the collection are available online. Thus, researchers can easily subscribe to the database and download PDF versions of the maps.


Please click for details.


4) The Ronald and Pamela Walker Collection of Maps of Asia Minor, 1511-1774.

Melbourne University, one of Australia's oldest schools, has a collection of important historical maps in its library. One of these collections consists of the maps of Asia Minor by Ronald and Pamela Walker.

Image 6 " Natoliam modern, dicunt eam partem quam Asiam Minorem appellavere veteres." Jode, Gerard, 1578.

The collection includes more than 100 digitized maps of Asia Minor from the 16th century to the end of the 18th century. At the same time, the digitals of all maps in the database are accessible, and detailed information about the maps is also included there.


Please click for details.


5) MapHub:

MapHub is a database that allows the creation of interactive maps, easily generating maps by adding various data and labels. In this database, researchers can add photos and arrange items in groups as they wish. In addition, the data in these interactive maps can be imported and exported in GeoJSON, Shapefile, KML, GPX, or CSV formats.



Image 7 MapHub


One of the current examples of interactive maps about the Ottoman Empire produced by Tufan Kaya. The map which named “Ottoman Population Atlas" described by Kaya “ is an open platform for anybody who would like to contribute to recreating the ethnic-religious demographics of the Ottoman empire with reliable sources.”



Image 8 Example of Ottoman Population Atlas


Ottoman Population Atlas shows the regions under the domination of the Ottoman Empire and researchers can reach the population data based on the 1914 census by focusing on where they want. In addition, the locations on the map are classified according to the administrative units of this period.


Image 9 Example of Ottoman Population Atlas


Please click for MapHub.

Please click for Ottoman Population Atlas.


6) Trains of Turkey

Trains of Turkey is a database containing maps showing the development and routes of the railway history in Turkey. The site also contains detailed information about the development of the railway from the Ottoman Empire to the present.


Image 10"Plan du réseau, Société des Tramways de Constantinople", 1920.



Most of the information on the site includes resources accessed over the internet. However, book lists of English, French, German and Turkish sources about the history of the railway are also shared. Besides, all researchers who have maps and information about Turkish railway history can easily upload their resources to the site.


Please click for details.


7) University of Chicago Library – The Maps of Heinrich Kiepert

One of the remarkable map collections in the University of Chicago Library belongs to Heinrich Kiepert, who considered important geographers of the second half of the 19th century. The Kiepert Collection also includes maps of the Ottoman Empire, which he visited many times between 1850 and 1890.


Image 11 The University of Chicago Map Collection: Heinrich Kiepert "General-Karte von der europäischen Türkei." Berlin, 1853.


Kiepert's maps contain as accurate data as possible according to the conditions of the period, they are designed to be easily understood by everyone. The digitals of the maps in the collection can be accessed from the database and all of them are easily downloaded in different sizes.


Please click for details.


8) SALT RESEARCH: Map Collections

SALT RESEARCH: Map Collections consist of maps and plans dating mainly from the 19th or 20th centuries and featuring Istanbul and its various districts (such as Galata, Pera, Tophane, Eminönü, Pangaltı, Kasımpaşa, Şişli, Nişantaşı, Kadıköy, the Bosphorus and its environs, the Prince’s Islands, etc.), as well as Izmir, Edirne, and other Anatolian provinces.