We have recorded evidence of people trying to understand their locals and the world for millenia. Three-dimensional space with valleys and hills does not, however, flatten easily onto a two-dimensional vellum, paper, or papyrus. Shaped by personal perspectives maps--even "factual" ones--demonstrate an individual's specific view of the space around them, often saying more about their politics than the "real" world. Because of that human involvement, maps become historical sources for both understanding the world and the people looking at it. Maps (like the 15th c. Kangnido map or 17th c. Pierre Du Val maps to the right) are, in short, one of the fascinating avenues for studying historical world views.
On this page, you will find links to large map collections in various digital repositories around the world. These collections focus on worlds, state, and regions. Be aware that local repositories--not featured here--can be excellent places to find town and regional maps. For resources on maps as a part of Digital Scholarship (DS), visit BC's Data/Statistics/GIS portal.
This page has a lot on it. You can use the following anchors (links down the page) to jump straight to a relevant box.
These are enormous map collections. Consider starting your search here. Check area Research Guides (e.g. MENA history) for additional, local map collections.