The Rare Books and Special Collections Library maintains over 5,000 maps documenting Egypt and the Middle East, with an emphasis on Cairo’s urban development. Dating from the 18th to 20th centuries, they include atlases, topographic and cadastral maps, insurance plans, and street, transportation, and communication maps, and were produced by entities ranging from the Egyptian Survey Authority to the British military and UNESCO. Travel and other maps may also be found in various rare books and archival collections.
The RBSCL also maintains eleven historical atlases of Egypt, the most prominent one of which is the Historical atlas of Lower Egypt by Prince Omar Tusson (1:250,000). This work has a sequence of nine maps that show the urban development of Egypt’s Delta from the Byzantine period up until 1933. Other noteworthy cartographic works include the National Atlas of Egypt, published by the Survey of Egypt in 1928, following the International Geographical Union conference at the Egyptian Geographical Society in 1925.
Selected maps, including the detailed insurance plans of downtown Cairo, are available in the Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library.
The Rare Books and Special Collections Library has a subject specialist in maps who can provide service to researchers in using these materials, as can Research Services Desk staff located on the third floor of the library; see Contact Us and Doing Research at the RBSCL for details. Consult the Library Catalog for searching for such materials, and selected holdings are available online in the Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library.