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Finding maps 2: Trove

A practical demonstration of how to search for and download historical maps from the National Library of Australia's Trove website.

The National Library of Australia’s (NLA) Trove website is another great place to find and download maps.

The NLA Trove website

The NLA Trove website hosts more than 100,000 scanned maps, all of which can be downloaded for free.

Trove website screenshot The National Library of Australia’s Trove website is a great place to find scanned maps.

The website can be searched in more than one way, but the following instructions provide a good way of getting started.

  • 1) Type the name of your country of interest in the search box.
  • 2) Change “All categories” to “Images, maps & artefacts” and click the search button.

Searching Trove screenshot Searching for Syria maps.

  • 3) Under “Refine your results” tick “Maps” under type, and “Online” under access.

Refine results screenshot Refining the results to only maps that are available to download.

If you have a large number of results, you can refine them further by place, date or scale!
  • 4) Browse and click on a map or map series that you are interested in.
  • 5) Click the “View” button and under “Free Access” click the link to the map.
Digital link screenshot Finding the link to the digital copy of the map.
  • 6) If you clicked on a map series, you will see an index map that will help you chose the right sheet to download. Click “Down a level” to see individual maps.
Index map screenshot An index map to the map series.
  • 7) You can use the navigation tools to pan around and zoom into your map to make sure it is of interest.
  • 8) Download the map by clicking the download tab, and the “Start download” button.
Exploring map screenshot Examining the map using the navigation tools and then downloading it by accessing the download tab.
  • 9) The map will be downloaded as a zip file – use 7-Zip or other archive software to extract it. You may want to move it to a suitable folder first, or you can do this afterwards.
Unzipped map screenshot The map has been unzipped from the downloaded file.
Did you find more useful maps on the PCL website or Trove for your area?
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