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Stanford's Library Map of London

SKU: 9544

Stanford's Library Map of London

Date of publication:

Printed Measurement:
38 x 46 cm (per sheet size)

black and white


  • Edward Stanford Ltd
  • Stanford's Library Map has been described by bibliographer Ralph Hyde as ‘unquestionably the most detailed and useful commercial Map of London produced in the Victorian period’.

    Covering 120 square miles and prepared on a scale of 6 inches to the mile under the supervision of Trelawny Saunders, it was conceived as part of the series of 'Library Maps' which Stanford initiated in the 1850s in acknowledgement of the popularity and commercial possibilities presented by the Public Libraries Act.

    London Becomes the Largest City in the World

    There was a pressing need for a new map: in the 30 years since Greenwood's large-scale survey London had become the largest city in the world, and patchy revisions of earlier material were failing to keep pace with the new bridges, railways and acres of new buildings – both public and private.

    Stanford's map was one of two original large-scale surveys which were first put before the public in the year of the International Exhibition of 1862, the other being the map by Edward Weller which was issued in parts with the Weekly Dispatch Atlas. Weller's map is clear and detailed, but cannot quite match Stanford's in terms of quality. In the decade before the first detailed Ordnance Survey map of London, Stanford's Library Map had no other serious rival. The pace of change continued unabated and the map was scrupulously revised to show developments such as the embankment of the Thames and the new subterranean railway system.

    Condition & Materials

    24 lithographed map sheets, each 38 x 46 cm, black and white with occasional use of hand colour, minor spotting and dustiness (most noticeable on first sheet), blank versos; original buff card portfolio, with green cloth spine and matching but frayed green ribbon ties; portfolio soiled and worn, with loss of upper right-hand corner; dusty publisher’s paper label to cover, and with index map and key to front paste-down. Published in London. The hand colouring on this map includes a Metropolitan Railway extension picked out in red to sheets 9, 10 and 11, and the Borough of Battersea in outline colour on sheets 13, 14, 17 and 18. 


    Hyde: Printed Maps of Victorian London, 91 (15)