Cartographic materials

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National Library of Latvia stores the largest collection of printed maps in the country, providing preservation and access of maps issued in Latvia, and collection development. Cartographic materials began to enter in the NLL along with its foundation, but the creation of separate collection was started in 1948. The collection includes more than 39 thousand units, which covers the closer and further countries and regions, continents and oceans, the world as a whole. These are maps, city maps and atlases, as well as tourist guides and books on cartography, cartographic history and other materials.

National cartography collection which stores more than ten thousand Latvian maps and atlases, as well as editions what illustrates the territory of Latvia, published in different years, has great cultural and historical importance. They give the notion on ​​the history of national cartography development from its beginnings up to the present day. In collection can be found first maps in Latvian language issued by Baltic German pastor Rudolf Schulz (1807-1866) during the middle of 19th century, the first atlas in Latvian "Atlass ar septiņpadsmit landkartēm" (Atlas with seventeen landmaps), published in 1861, and works by the first Latvian cartographer Matīss Siliņš (1861-1942). Map collection from Latvian independencetime also is very rich.

Topographic maps have important meaning in acquisition of geographic information on Latvia. These are maps created during the second half of 19th century by the Tsarist Russian army, imperial German army editions (from 1894 to 1916), the independent Latvian army editions and the Soviet army editions at different scales. Topical information is provided by the latest topographic maps of Geospatial Information Agency in scale 1:50,000, 1:25,000 and 1: 10,000.

Atlas collection contains more than 1400 editions of different thematic and geographic coverage, starting from the 18th century until today.

Information on trips to near and distant countries and cities can be obtained from a wide range of tourism and road maps, as well as from a variety of guides. Reference resources collection of the unit holds around two thousands of books - encyclopaedias, dictionaries, handbooks and special editions on geography, history, cartography and cartographic history topics.

Interested persons can use the electronic collection of maps and atlases in CD and DVD formats, for example, Latvian electronic atlas, "JS Latvia" created by map publishing "Jāņa sēta", as well as collections of scanned maps from stocks of NLL and other national libraries.

Digital Library provides access to collections of scanned maps "Latvia in the 16th-18th Century Maps" and "On the roads". New options for studying maps are offered by Map portal – search, selection and exploration of historical maps, search of place-names and addresses, measuring of areas and distances, as well as historical cartographic comparisons with modern data.