Occasional posts on subjects including field recording, London history and literature, other websites worth looking at, articles in the press, and news of sound-related events.

06 February 2011

Historical maps now online

LARGE MAP SCANS of Old London Town are now online here and you can start scrutinising them from the historical London maps page.

Of all of them so far, the Booth Poverty maps have to be my favourite. There is endless detail to inspect on them, and you might be struck by the constancy of relative wealth and poverty in some areas from the end of the 19th century to the present day.

The small scan of Bartholomew’s Road Surface Map of 1909 has, for now, been consigned to Dickensian orphan status on this page. I’ll probably get a high-resolution scan done of the entire map sometime.

The obvious missing layer in the All-in-One London Map is one covering the middle of the 19th century. There are maps for the beginning and end of the century, yet in that time population growth broke free of the Malthusian trap thanks to food imports and improved farming methods. In 1800 there were just under a million Londoners. In 1900 there were 6.5 million.

Other bit of site news: the London Sound Survey has been selected for inclusion in the British Library’s UK Web Archive as an example of a site ‘that reflects the rich diversity of lives and interests throughout the UK’.

It’s not up there yet, but this is still a good insurance policy in the event of being hit by a cement truck bounding towards the Olympics site.