The team at the Gibraltar Garrison Library, assisted by Cpl Tim Hammond, MOD’s Command Photographer, have embarked on a collaborative project with the aim of creating a digital archive of the Ordinance Survey maps of Gibraltar held at the Library.
The project came about when Cpl Hammond volunteered his services to the Library after a research enquiry led him to the maps. His passion for capturing images had him return to the Library shortly afterwards, ready to begin the arduous task of carefully recording each section of the maps. Cpl Hammond has also very skilfully composed a legend using a modern map of Gibraltar for reference, which a researcher can use to easily identify which section of Gibraltar they wish to focus on.
The archive is comprised of 53 Ordnance Survey maps from the late 19th to mid 20th century with each map providing details of geographical and landscape features of Gibraltar, including boundaries, buildings, recreational spaces, footpaths and roads. Importantly, these maps had formerly been used for operational purposes and therefore offer an additional layer of data which places their function within a significant historical context.
Each map has been carefully scanned by Cpl Hammond to capture the smallest detail in high definition. The maps, which are stored at the Garrison Library, will now be made even more accessible to members of the public who may be interested in Gibraltar’s history and its changing landscape. The digital format not only ensures quick and easy online access but also protects the originals from excess contact and damage.
Minister for Heritage, Prof John Cortes, said, “Ordnance Survey maps are essential to understanding the fabric, if not historical layering, of our physical environment. So what a treat to have these 53 maps digitised and accessible to all on the Garrison Library’s webpage! I am very encouraged by plans to continue to digitise the remaining maps in their collection and indeed, by the efforts of the Library team in their well-appointed collaboration with the Command Photographer to produce this digital footprint”.
The map archive is available online via the Gibraltar Garrison Library website: www.ggl.gi