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*African Studies Research Guide: Maps

Covers major background sources, databases and web sites related to African Studies

Historical Maps

1541 map of Africa (Princeton U.)

West Africa 1561 (U.of Florida)

1913 Map of African Religions (U. Texas)

Pink is "christian"; dark green is "heathen"


GIS/Mapping Services

Geographic Information Services (GIS) available in Electronic Data Services, Woodruff Library, Level 2

Maps & Atlases


Maps & Atlases


An overall guide to the history of mapping of Africa:

Maps and Mapping of Africa: A Resource Guide

GA1341 .M3 1997 by John McIlwaine. New Providence, N. J.: Zell, 1997.

The map/atlas section of the Woodruff Library's Reference Collection houses a number of titles related to Africa including:

Conservation Atlas of Tropical Forests: Africa/ The World Conservation Union. G2446 .K3C6 1992

New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.

The New Atlas of African History

G2446.S1 F742 1991

By G.S.P. Freeman-Grenville. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991.

Historical Atlas of Africa

G2446 .S1 H5 1985

By J. F. Ade Ajayi. Hasko, Essex: Longman, 1985.

Maps are also found in the stacks, e.g.

The Atlas of Apartheid

G2566 .E625C5 1994

By A. J. Christopher. London: Routledge, 1994.

For electronic maps check

Maps of Africa, a guide to downloadable maps compiled by Joseph Caruso of Columbia.

"Maps," Africa South of the Sahara also has a long list of resources.

Africa Historical Map Web Sites and African Historical Maps maintained by the Perry-Castaneda Map Library of the University of Texas.


Africa Interactive Maps (CD-Rom 413) in the Beck Center

Africa: Atlas of Our Changing Environment  (United Nations Environment Programme)is a unique publication which brings to light stories of environmental change at more than 100 locations spread across every country in Africa. There are more than 300 satellite images, 300 ground photographs and 150 maps, along with informative graphs and charts that give a vivid visual portrayal of Africa and its changing environment.

16th-20th Century Maps of Africa, Northwestern University. 113 scanned maps as of 2012.

Maps in Time. Here you can explore a map of Africa over time, reflecting changing colonial territories and after independence. This is a project of the British National Archives.

Maps of Africa, Stanford University's digital maps collection.

Africa Map is a Harvard project intended to make spatial data on Africa easier for researchers to discover and explore. 

Afriterra Foundation is a non-profit cartographic library and archive dedicated to assembling and preserving the original rare maps of Africa for educationa and interpretation. It maintains a searchable catalog which includes over 1000 high-reolution maps.

Audio slideshow: Mapping Africa From one of the earliest depictions of the continent - to the colonial scramble for land - the maps of Africa reveal a great deal about the people who have lived there through the centuries. Commentary on maps held by the Royal Geograpical Society from the BBC site.


SEE ALSO Political History of Africa since 1900, an interactive map.

Of Interest: Worldmapper, a project between University of Michigan and the University of Sheffield which resizes the globe according to various topics. Over 700 mpas are currently available.


Two general map sites with African collections are:


David Rumsey Maps

Oddens Maps

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