Rare and Historical Map Collection

Collection Type: 
  • Maps
Special Collection: 
Yes

Special Collections has a substantial collection of cartographic materials. Our rare and historical maps include Kingston, Canada, North America and the world. A main subject specialization is historical cartography--maps illustrating the growth of cartographical knowledge and of geographical discovery with particular reference to North America. The collection also houses 17th and 18th century maps that illustrate the discovery and exploration of Canada. A large number of these have come into our possession through generous donations.

Ruddell Collection of Early Maps

The Ruddell Collection of Early maps is a strong holding of 175 maps that includes maps of the world and North America, detailed maps of Canada, and several nineteenth and twentieth century atlases. Among the historical maps are copies of maps by famous early mapmakers such as Ramusio, Magini, Ortelius, Mercator, Blaeu, Hondius, Delisle, d'Anville. Please consult the checklist for an inventory of the holdings.

Fyfe Maps

These maps provide an excellent depiction of the development of Canada; from geographical discoveries in the 17th century to the technological growth of the 19th century. Also included in this material is an illustrated interpretive depiction of the far north and Arctic regions. The Fyfe checklist can be consulted for an inventory of the material.

Charles N. Bell Collection

The Charles N. Bell Collection of maps contains almost 200 maps of primarily North America and Canada. Also included are a number of Blaeu maps. As these items have not been catalogued, please consult the checklist.

Fire Insurance Plans

A collection of Canadian fire insurance plans. More comprehensive holdings are in Stauffer Library with the Maps & Geospatial Data collection. You can search these plans through QCAT.

Ask Us

For help locating resources, using the library, or to request a research consultation, try our Ask Us service.

ask us more