The David Rumsey Collection is a fascinating website containing thousands of old maps. While their focus is on the Americas, there are also plenty from the UK.

A quick glance through the results from a search for Glasgow brought up a Polish Army Topography Service map from the Pergamon World Atlas (1968) of Glasgow and its surroundings, which curiously mentions High Blantyre; a Batholomew’s map clearly showing woods and parks, along with country houses, the poorhouse, the asylum and the Antonine Wall; and an 1848 map of Scotland, which for some reason picks out Douglas Mill Inn!

While the search results suggest there are hundreds of possible matches, the majority of maps listed were those published in Glasgow, rather than of Glasgow, but you can narrow the search using the fields on the left hand side, making the results far more relevant.

My favourite map so far in this collection is the Ports And Harbours On The West Coast of Scotland by A Fullarton & Co (1872). The top half shows the Firth of Clyde, with inserts for main ports of the time: Rothesay, Largs, Irvine, Greenock and Troon, hinting at the popularity of trips Doon the Watter. The lower half of the page is focused on the City of Glasgow, but with the additional details of docks, slipways, and industry connected with the Clyde. Paisley Canal is shown, as is the Glasgow Harbour Railway.

The map also shows lots of details of Glasgow in the middle of spreading westwards, with Gilmourhill (Site of New College) marking where Glasgow University now stands, and Merkland Farm where ranks of ship builders would sprout.

So, not a lot to look at for this immediate area, but worth checking out anyway for some wee gems I’ve not seen elsewhere.

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