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Special Collections Subject Guides: Maps and Atlases

This subject guide provides an overview of the maps and atlases accessible through QUB Special Collections.

Maps and Atlases in Special Collections - Overview


Special Collections & Archives holds 3 core map collections:

Core Map Collection 1: The Ewart Map Collection

The Ewart Map Collection (c. 1567-1896), is a collection of 168 original maps and facsimiles of printed and manuscript maps of Ireland. The collection was originally assembled by Belfast collector and linen merchant, Lavens M. Ewart J. P. (1845-1898). It was formally presented to Queen's University in 1954 by Ewart's grandchildren, Dr. Vivian Lutwyche, Dr. Violet Lutwyche, and Ms Lenore Dawson. A number of complementary maps have been added to the collection since the original deposit. 

The collection is comprised of 4 main categories. These are: Ewart 1 - Maps of Ireland; Ewart 2 - Maps of the Provinces and Counties of Ireland; Ewart 3 - Maps of Individual Places within Ireland; and Ewart 4 - Maps and Plans of Belfast.

A full listing is available here.

Digital Special Collections & Archives provides online access to a selection of maps from the Ewart Map Collection.

Further information about this collection is provided in the Ewart Map Collection section below.


Core Map Collection 2: Hibernia Regnum Map Collection

The Hibernia Regnum Map Collection contains 289 facsimiles of the Down Survey of the Baronies of Ireland, 1655-1659.

The collection is made up of two sets: Ulster and Munster; and Leinster and Connaught. Special Collections holds 141 maps of the Ulster and Munster Provinces. Of these, there are 105 individual maps and 36 duplicates. The collection also houses 148 maps of the Leinster and Connaught Provinces. Of these, there are 109 individual maps and 39 duplicates.

A full listing is available here.

Further information about this collection is provided in the Hibernia Regnum section below.


Core Map Collection 3: Maps of the Escheated Counties of Ireland

The Maps of the Escheated Counties of Ireland is a collection of 31 facsimiles of old maps of Ireland. They were copied at the Ordnance Survey Office in Southampton and published by Colonel Sir Henry James, R.E., in 1861. 

A full listing is available here.


Maps of the Escheated Counties of Ireland, 1609

These maps are also printed in a single bound volume, Maps of the Escheated Counties of Ireland, 1609

The atlas, which remains available for consultation in Special Collections, is also accessible online via Digital Special Collections & Archives. Please see our blog post for more details about this atlas.


Further information about this collection is provided in the Maps of the Escheated Counties section below.


Other Maps and Atlases

In addition to the core collections, Special Collections houses a wide range of maps and atlases. 

All maps and atlases outside the three core collections are searchable via the catalogue.

A number of prominent holdings are outlined in various sections below, including Ordnance Survey maps; and atlases attributed to notable cartographers such as John Speed, John Senex, William Petty, and Thomas Jefferys.

All maps and atlases are available for consultation in the Special Collections & Archives Reading Room. 

For an overview of Special Collections' holdings, please also see our blog post and infographic guide


NB This subject guide pertains to the materials held in Special Collections & Archives. Please see the Maps section of the Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology  subject guide for an overview of the resources available outside of Special Collections.


Relevant Links

Ewart Map Collection

Ewart 1.1 1572 - Eryn. Hiberniae Brittannicae Insvlæ Nova Descriptio. 


Ewart 1 is comprised of 44 maps of Ireland (c. 1567-1895) in 3 parts. Ewart 1.1 includes 19 maps (c. 1572-1895), housing the smaller maps in the collection. Ewart 1.2 consists of 15 maps (c. 1567-1797) and Ewart 1.3 is made up of 10 maps (1805-1893); these are the larger maps of Ireland. 37 maps from Ewart 1 have been been made available online via Digital Special Collections & Archives


Ewart 1.2 1735 - Hyberniæ Regni in Provincias


 Ewart 1.2 1797 - A New Map of Ireland Civil and Ecclesiastical


Ewart 1.3 1821 - A New and Improved Map of Ireland

Ewart 2.2 1662 - Vltonia; Hibernis Cuj-Guilly; Anglis Vlster


Ewart 2 consists of 36 maps of the provinces and counties of Ireland (c.1572-1895) and is split into 2 parts. These are organised by size and by date. Ewart 2.1 includes 24 maps (c.1580-1895); these are the smaller maps in the collection. Ewart 2.2 houses 12 maps (c.1572-1857), which are the larger maps in the collection.


Ewart 2.1 1610 (i) - The Province of Connaugh with the Citie of Galwaye Described


Ewart 2.1 1662 - Baronia Udrone in Comitatu Catherloughae


Ewart 2.1 1890 (ii) A Map of the County Antrim

Ewart 3.2 1593 - A Representation of the Siege of Enniskillen Castle in February, 1593


Ewart 3 consists of 19 maps of individual places in Ireland (c. 1592-1890) and is split into 2 parts. These are organised by size and by date. Ewart 3.1 includes 11 maps (c. 1601-1890); these are the smaller maps in the collection. Ewart 3.2 contains 8 maps (c. 1592-1760) and an explanatory booklet; this part houses the larger maps in the collection.


Ewart 3.1 1601 - The Siege of Kinsale a Fac Simile of the Original Engraving


Ewart 3.1 1723 (ii) - Carlingford Lough - Sea Chart


Ewart 3.1 1836 - Dublin


Ewart 3.2 1700 - Chart of Kinsale Harbour

Ewart 4.1 1685 - The Ground Plan of Belfast


Ewart 4 includes 69 maps and plans of Belfast (c. 1570-1896) and is split into 4 parts: Ewart 4.1 includes 28 maps and plans (c. 1660-1896); Ewart 4.2 consists of 14 maps and plans (c. 1680-1896); Ewart 4.3 contains 8 maps and plans (c. 1781-1886); and Ewart 4.4 houses 19 maps and plans (c. 1570-1896). These are organised by size and by date.

Ewart 4.1 and Ewart 4.2 include maps and plans of the whole of Belfast, with Ewart 4.1 containing the smaller items and Ewart 4.2 housing the larger items. Ewart 4.3 and Ewart 4.4 include maps and plans of individual places within Belfast, with Ewart 4.3 containing the smaller items and Ewart 4.4 housing the larger materials.


Ewart 4.1 1757 - Plan of the Town of Belfast Anno 1757


Ewart 4.1 1889 - Marcus Ward's Shilling Map of the City of Belfast


Ewart 4.1 1890 - A Bird's-Eye View of the City of Belfast 1890, also Shewing the Extent of the Town in 1690


Some of the maps and plans in Ewart 4 are discussed in the 2 part article, ‘Belfast Maps’ by Lavens M. Ewart. This was published in the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, Second Series, 1 (1) 66-69, and 1 (2) 99-105. This is available for consultation in the McClay library. Please see the catalogue for further details.

William Petty

Great Britain and Ireland


Special Collections holds 4 copies of Geographicall Description of ye Kingdom of Ireland by William Petty. The volumes, dated 1689, are available for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room

Each item contains a 'Great Britain and Ireland' map (pictured above) and a copy of 'A Generall Mapp of the Kingdom of Ireland' by Francis Lamb:

Generall Mapp of the Kingdom of Ireland


NB One of the 4 volumes is missing the above two maps as well as a 'Queens County' map; see the catalogue entry for bibliographic details.

These volumes also contain maps of the 4 provinces in addition to individual county maps; a selection is shown below:

Ulster Province


14 - County of Downe


16 - Dunagall or Tyrconel


29 - Cork County​

Portrait of William Petty, 1683 


Special Collections holds a 1685 copy of Hiberniae Delineatio Quoad Hactenus, or Petty's Maps of IrelandPlease see the catalogue for bibliographic details.

Included in this volume is the above portrait and 36 maps. It contains a general map of Ireland; maps of Leinster, Munster, Ulster, and Connaught; and individual maps of the Counties of Ireland. 

A facsimile of this atlas, published in 1968, is also available for consultation in Special Collections. Please see a table of contents below:

For further bibliographic details, consult the catalogue entry.

Three maps from the Ewart Map Collection, pictured below, have been attributed to William Petty:

Ewart  2.1 1685 (i) - The Province of Ulster


Ewart 2.1 1685 (ii) - The County of Antrim


Ewart 2.1 1685 (iii) - The County of Downe


For further information about these maps, please see the Ewart Map Collection listing

Irish Historic Towns Atlas Series


The Irish Historic Towns Atlas project, established in 1981 by the Royal Irish Academy, records the development of different historic towns in Ireland. The materials within this series contain maps with supplementary text. Special Collections holds 29 volumes from this series.

These are broken down as follows:

No. 1, Kildare; No. 2, Carrickfergus; No. 3, Bandon; No. 4, Kells; No. 5, Mullingar; No. 6, Athlone; No. 7, Maynooth; No. 8, Downpatrick; No. 9, Bray; No. 10, Kilkenny; No. 11, Dublin Part I, to 1610; No. 12, Belfast Part I, to 1840; No. 13, Fethard; No. 14, Trim; No. 15, Derry-Londonderry; No. 16, Dundalk; No. 17, Belfast Part II, 1840 to 1900; No. 18, Armagh; No. 19, Dublin Part II, 1610 to 1756; No. 20, Tuam; No. 21, Limerick; No. 22, Longford; No. 23, Carlingford; No. 24, Sligo; No. 25, Ennis;  No. 26, Dublin Part III, 1756-1847; No. 27, Youghal; No. 28, Galway/Gaillimh; No. 29, Drogheda


The Irish Historic Towns Atlas series also contains supplementary fascicles. 14 of these are available for consultation. These cover Kildare, Bandon, Kells, Mullingar, Athlone, Downpatrick, Bray, Dublin to 1610, Trim, Belfast to 1840, Fethard, Dundalk, Kilkenny, and Derry.

Special Collections also holds 3 volumes (pictured below) which aid the interpretation of the Irish Historic Towns Atlas series.

Hibernia Regnum Map Collection

Hibernia Regnum - Ulster and Munster Provinces, Table of Contents


The Hibernia Regnum Map Collection contains 141 maps (facsimiles) of the Ulster and Munster Provinces consisting of 105 individual maps and 36 duplicates. These include maps from Dunnagal County, Londonderry County, Antrim County, Tyrone County, Downe County, Monaghon County, Ardmagh County, Fermanagh County, Cavan County, Clare County, Limrick County, Tipperary County, Waterford County, Corke County and Kerry County. 

NB The names of the individual counties have been taken directly from the maps, hence the difference to today's county names.


Ulster Province - The Barony of Tyrehugh in Dunnagal County


Munster Province - The Liberties of Kinssale in the County of Corke

Hibernia Regnum - Leinster and Connaught Provinces, Table of Contents


The Hibernia Regnum Map Collection includes 148 maps (facsimiles) of the Leinster and Connaught Provinces consisting of 109 individual maps and 39 duplicates. These include maps from Louth County, Dublin County, East Meath County, West Meath County, Longford County, King’s County [Offaly], Queen’s County [Laois], Kildare County, Wicklow County, Catherlog County [Carlow], Kilkenney County, Wexford County, Letrim County, Slego County and Mayo County.

NB The names of the individual counties have been taken directly from the maps, hence the difference to today's county names.


Leinster Province - The Barony of Moydow in the County of Longford


Connaught Province - The Barony of Rosclogher in the County of Letrim

Maps of the Escheated Counties of Ireland

1.1 - A Generalle Description of Vlster

The Maps of the Escheated Counties of Ireland collection includes 31 maps. 28 of these maps are the result of a survey directed by Sir Josias Bodley in 1609. The 3 maps entitled 'A Generalle Description of Vlster', 'Tyrone &c.', and 'Tyrconnell &c.' are earlier (c. 1603) and have been attributed to cartographer Richard Bartlett. 

The maps held in this collection are certified facsimiles unless otherwise indicated. 5 of the maps are photographic reproductions. Please see the listing for further information.

A bound volume, Maps of the Escheated Counties of Ireland, 1609, contains coloured versions of the 31 maps in this collection with the exception of 'The Baronie of Omey'which is missing from the volume. It also includes a copy of John Thomas' representation of the siege of Enniskillen castle. 

This atlas has been made available online via Digital Special Collections & Archives and remains available for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room. Please see the catalogue for bibliographic details. A supplementary blog post is also available here.


Relevant Links

Other Notable Atlases

Plate 90 - Alava 


Special Collections holds a copy of the Atlas Geofráfico de España by Tomás Lopéz.

Dated 1804, this historically significant copy of Lopéz' atlas was taken from a captured French baggage train by Major James Walker during the Peninsular War.

The atlas was presented to Queen’s by Major Walker’s son and is now held within Special Collections where it is available for consultation in the Reading Room. Please see the catalogue for bibliographic details. This resource has also been made available online via Digital Special Collections & Archives.

Many of the maps are marked. André Masséna’s military routes through Portugal are indicated in red ink. Auguste de Marmont’s routes are marked in yellow ink on the maps, ‘Partido de Toro’, ‘Valladolid’ and ‘Salamanca’ with pencil markings drawn on ‘Vizcaya’ and ‘Alava’. Major Walker’s own notes can also be found on this map (pictured above).

The below article provides further detail about this atlas. It is available for consultation in the McClay Library, and may also be accessed online:

Andrews, T. J. (1901) 'Massena's Lines of March in Portugal and French Routes in Northern Spain', English Historical Review, 16 (63), 472-497.

5, 6. North-America on a Large Scale


Special Collections & Archives holds a 1776 copy of The American Atlas by Thomas Jefferys, which is available for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room. Please see the catalogue entry for bibliographic details.

This atlas includes 29 maps, often spread across multiple sheets. An index is provided below:

1, 2, 3. North and South America

4. The Russian Discoveries

5, 6. North-America on a Large Scale

7. The Continent of North America

8. The British Empire in North America

9. The River St. Laurence

10. The Gulf of St. Laurence

11. The Island of St. John, in the Gulf of St. Laurence

12. The Island of Newfoundland

13. The Banks of Newfoundland

14. Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton

15, 16. New England, Containing the Provinces of Massachusetts Bay, New-Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode-Island

17. New-York, and New-Jersey

18. The Province of Quebec

19. Pennsylvania

20, 21. Virginia and Maryland

22, 23. North and South Carolina

24. Florida East and West

25. The River Mississippi

26. The Bay of Honduras

27, 28. South-America

29. The Straights of Magellan


A Map of the World


Special Collections holds a copy of Modern Geography: Or All Known Counties in the World, by John Senex.

This atlas is a collection of 34 maps dated 1708-1725. These maps, spread across 54 sheets, were bound together and published in 1728.

This item is available for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room. Please see the catalogue entry for bibliographic details.

III. Armagh and the Third Blackwater Fort


Ulster and Other Irish maps, c. 1600 is a collection of 23 maps by Richard Bartlett and others, primarily of Tyrone and Kinsale.

The maps illustrate Mountjoy's campaigns in Ireland. They were collected and compiled into this volume by G. A. Hayes-McCoy, published in 1964.

This item is available for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room. See the catalogue for further bibliographic details.

A selection of maps is pictured below:

IV. Charlemont Fort


V. Dungannon, Tullahoge and a Crannog


VI. Inisloughan Fort


The Kingdome of Irland


Special Collections holds a copy of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland Described by John Speed, dated 1627.

The volume is available for consultation in the Reading Room. Bibliographic details are available here.

Special Collections holds 5 additional maps by John Speed in the Ewart Map Collection. Please search the listing for further details.


9. Manchuria


Special Collections holds a copy of China: Postal Atlas: Showing the Postal Establishments and Postal Routes in Each Province. This atlas, published in 1933 via the Directorate General of Posts, is available for consultation in the Reading Room. Please see the catalogue for further bibliographic details.  

This atlas includes rich detail which will be of interest to those researching the historical and geopolitical context of China in 1933. Please see an index  below:



NB Special Collections holds a wide range of manuscripts, books, and digital resources pertaining to China. Please see the China subject for further information. 

Ordnance Survey


The Old Ordnance Survey Maps of Ireland are well represented within Special Collections.

This includes approximately 50 items from The Godfrey Edition. These materials, which are available for consultation in the Special Collections & Archives Reading Room, are located at the following shelfmarks:

hp G5784.D7 FERG

hp G5790.O5

These maps cover the following areas:

Northern Ireland

Co Armagh; Co Antrim and Belfast; Co Down; Co Fermanagh; Co Londonderry; Co Tyrone

Republic of Ireland

Co Cavan; Co Dublin; Co Leitrim; Co Monaghan; Co Donegal

Please use the catalogue to search for specific areas. 


Ordnance Survey of Ireland - Microfiche Archive


Special Collections holds 300 sheets of positive Microfiche of Ordnance Survey of Ireland Six-Inch Maps of Ireland, 1833-1844.

For further details on these materials, please consult the catalogue entry.


Ordnance Survey in the Ewart Map Collection

The Ewart Map Collection, in particular, Ewart 2 and Ewart 4, house a number of Ordnance Survey Sheets. Please search the listing for further details.


Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland and Ordnance Survey Letters

Special Collections holds the Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland which complement the first Ordnance Survey of Ireland, and includes an index. There are a further 17 volumes of Ordnance Survey memoirs transcriptions covering Antrim, Armagh, Down, Monaghan and Cavan.



Additionally, Special Collections holdings' include volumes of Ordnance Survey Letters. See the catalogue for further details.


Old Ordnance Survey - England and Wales


The Old Series Ordnance Survey Maps of England and Wales is a series of 8 volumes which are available for consultation in the Special Collections & Archives Reading Room. 

The series offers a reproduction of the 110 sheets of the Old Series Ordnance Survey which is the first large scale mapping of England and Wales.

Volume I covers Kent, Essex, East Sussex and South Suffolk; Volume II covers Devon, Cornwall and West Somerset; Volume III covers South-central England; Volume IV covers Central England; Volume V covers Lincolnshire, Rutland, and East Anglia; Volume VI covers Wales; Volume VII covers North-central England; Volume VIII covers Northern England and the Isle of Man

Please follow this link to the catalogue for further bibliographic details.


QUB Map Library

If you are unable to find the Ordnance Survey materials you require using the catalogue to search, the QUB Map Library will be able to assist. Please see the Map Library - School of Natural and Built Environment section below for further information.

Map Library - School of Natural and Built Environment

The QUB Map Library has rich map and atlas collections. It is particularly strong in Ordnance Survey materials, which include the 1st editions. The Map Library will be able to accommodate all OS enquiries falling outside of Special Collections' holdings.

The Map Library collection is extensive, with worldwide coverage. It includes soil maps, geological surveys, sediment maps, naval and admiralty charts, town plans, solar maps, and a wide range of atlases.

The Map Library is located in room 01.007 in the Elmwood Building. Please note that there are restricted opening hours of between 2.30pm and 4pm on Wednesday afternoons. For enquiries or an appointmentplease contact: 

Contact Us

Special Collections & Archives

The McClay Library |  Queen's University Belfast | 10 College Park | Belfast | BT7 1LP

028 9097 6333 |

Head of Special Collections & Archives: Deirdre Wildy | 028 9097 6218 |