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The stories behind historical maps from Library and Archives Canada's vast collection.

Plan of Melville Island

Plan of Melville Island  (Map: John G. Toler, Plan of Melville Island Situated in the North West Arm Near the Town of Halifax Nova Scotia, 1812, Library and Archives Canada, Sir John Coape Sherbrooke Fonds, e011073122.)

Map: John G. Toler, Plan of Melville Island Situated in the North West Arm Near the Town of Halifax Nova Scotia, 1812, Library and Archives Canada, Sir John Coape Sherbrooke Fonds, e011073122
Today it’s home to a yacht club, but two centuries ago Melville Island was packed with prisoners, not boats
Library and Archives Canada, e007152030

(Map: Lieut. Henry Roberts, Chart of the N.W. Coast of America and the N.E. coast of Asia, explored in the years 1778 and 1779, Prepared by Lieut. Henry Roberts under the immediate inspection of Capt. Cook, 1784, Library and Archives Canada, e007152030)

Map courtesy Library and Archives Canada, e007152030
Canada’s Pacific coast took tangible shape after a visit from one of history’s most famous navigators
Hessel Gerritsz, Tabula nautica qua repraesentantur orae maritimae

Map: Hessel Gerritsz, Tabula nautica qua repraesentantur orae maritimae, meatus, ac freta, noviter a H Hudsono, Anglo ad caurum supra Novam Franciam ndagata anno 1612, Amsterdam, 1612, Library and Archives Canada NMC 19228 

Map courtesy Library and Archives Canada, NMC 19228
Henry Hudson’s final voyage helped open North America’s interior, but it was a journey with disastrous consequences
(Map: Jacques-Nicolas Bellin, Carte Réduite du Golphe de St. Laurent, 1754, Library and Archives Canada, NMC 25295)

(Map: Jacques-Nicolas Bellin, Carte Réduite du Golphe de St. Laurent, 1754, Library and Archives Canada, NMC 25295)

(Map: Jacques-Nicolas Bellin, Carte Réduite du Golphe de St. Laurent, 1754, Library and Archives Canada, NMC 25295)
Jacques-Nicolas Bellin’s 18th-century map reveals how the pursuit of the humble fish helped shape the nation
General James Murray's map of the St. Lawrence, 1763. Library and Archives Canada, NMC 135035

General James Murray's map of the St. Lawrence, 1763. (Map courtesy Library and Archives Canada, NMC 135035)

Map courtesy Library and Archives Canada, NMC 135035
A look at the cartographic gem commissioned 250 years ago by Quebec’s military governor
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