About the Map Collection

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) map collection houses over 4,300 maps of general and research interest covering all parts of the world, but with a special focus on Alexandria, Egypt, the Arab world and the Mediterranean region. The bulk of the cartographic materials are housed in the B4 reading area in special drawer units used for keeping the maps flat. Folded maps are kept in special box displays on the nearby shelves.

The collection contains maps (categorized by scale), atlases, and cartographic reference volumes. All the cartographic materials (with the exception of some flat maps stored in closed stacks) have been cataloged and can be found in the BA Catalog. A highlight of the BA map collection is the collection of government maps prepared by the Egyptian General Survey Authority

The flat map collection provides comprehensive coverage of Alexandria with both topographic and thematic (administrative divisions, buildings, transportation, etc.) mapping.

The map collection's holdings are predominantly modern materials, but there is a good collection of classical maps and Egyptian historical maps in the rare book and manuscript collections, which date back to the 15th Century.

Types of Maps

Detailed or city plan maps
1:500 to 1:5,000
Show small details of a select area, such as maps of Alexandria
Topographic maps
1:1000,000 to 1:2,500,000
General reference maps showing city borders, coastlines, and rivers using contour lines highlighting elevation differences
World maps
1:1000,000 or 1:2,500,000
Highlighted world regions.

BA holds a large collection of geographical atlases on different subjects such as topographical, geological, historical and satellite atlases. Most atlases include detailed indexes. The collection includes general and geological atlases of Egypt and satellite atlases showing all Egyptian counties and cities.