Map Collection

ספריית המפות


General Information

Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday 09:00-16:00
Telephone: 02-5881153

Krina Doekes Brandt
Map Librarian and librarian for Geography and Urban Studies

Telephone: 02-5880170

NEW!!!! Digital maps collection of the Hebrew UniversityClick here 

The map collection is located on the second floor of the Mount Scopus Library for the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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Collection Description

Of the 70,000 maps in the collection, about half are maps of the world and half are maps of Israel.

World Maps: global and regional maps as well as maps of countries and cities. The maps are of different types and subjects, including maps of the world on a 1:1,000,000 scale, maps of major cities in Europe, topographical maps, urban and national maps of the Middle East and so on. There are detailed maps from different time periods for some countries.

Maps of Israel A map made during Napolean's military campaign in Egypt and the Land of Israel (1799) is the chronological starting point for the collection, published by many different bodies:

  • Governments that controlled the area, their armies and auxiliaries - the Turks, Germans, British and French
  • Researchers and travellers, such as the British Foundation for the Study of Israel
  • Various commercial bodies
  • The Survey Department of the Mandate government;  and from the founding of the State, The Survey of Israel, whose earlier names were the Survey Department and Survey Branch.

The collection contains maps of many scales: alongside booklets showing the Land of Israel are detailed maps of small settlements and villages that depict houses, courtyards, wells, the function of structures and use of the land.

A substantial portion of the maps belongs to a systematic survey series begun during the period of the Mandate. Included are comprehensive maps on a 1:100,000 scale carried out in a number of series commencing in the 1930s; comprehensive maps on a 1:20,000 scale also begun in the 1930s and continuing until the end of the 1950s ; and urban maps of the larger cities - Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Haifa on a scale from 1:10,000 to 1:1250. Smaller cities were mapped in detail by the Mandate government: villages and small settlements on a scale between 1:4000 and 1:600.

In the early days of the State, Mandate-era maps continued to be printed and updated incorporating changes in settlements and roads. Later "blue and white" updates were published by the State of Israel. The topographical 1:20,000 scale series was terminated in the 1960s and maps began to be produced on a 1:50,000 scale, a system which has continued to this time and which has been augmented by the 1:100,000 topographical series. The comparison of maps from different periods enables researchers to analyze the development of the country and its settlement.

As well as the map series, the collection includes numerous individual maps from general maps to more detailed varieties such as: urban maps, topical settlement maps.

Atlases (about 350 atlases)
Atlases are on the open shelves, except for rare reserved material. The collection has a range of world atlases published from the end of the 19th century and other atlases from a variety of publishers and in a variety languages: regional atlases, national atlases of different countries and topical atlases: economic, historical, and such like. The collection also includes digital atlases on CD-roms that can be viewed on the computers in the Map Department.

Wall Maps (about 680 wall maps)
These maps are intended for instructional use. The collection contains historical, physical and political maps on a wide range of subjects. Some of the maps were designed by the Department of Geography for specific course use.  Wall maps are lent to academic staff for a semester, and it is recommended that they be reserved in advance.

Maps of the Jewish National Fund (about 8000 archival maps)
This unique collection is the property of the JNF and has been deposited in the Hebrew University for the purposes of study and research. The library has prepared a detailed catalog of the collection which consists of hand-drawn, archival documents. Most of the maps were prepared by the JNF for its work in purchasing land and preparing it for settlement and regional development. The archive has nurtured a steady stream of articles, research papers and numerous books.
As the JNF maps are rare documents, they are at the disposal of researchers and advanced research students only. They can be viewed digitally on the computers in the Map Library only