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Map of Galway

The final composite Tiff file totalled a whopping 14.4 GB, but that is data alone. The real joy of the resulting digital copy is in how it allows for the map to be experienced anew. Details the size of a centimetre can be enlarged on screen. One can explore the streetscape of Galway, flying over buildings with a bird's eye view. The cartographer's skill is revealed in the level of detail achieved in the scenes of everyday life: a group hunting on foot and horseback, a sailboat navigating the docks, people swimming in the waters of the mill, a person herding cattle, another carrying a basket of goods.

This map has a long history of reproduction, in the form of lithographs and analogue transparencies, and this new digital version is only the latest and, given the ever changing landscape of digitisation it will not, we suspect, be the last.

Shelfmark: TCD MS 1209/73

Gill Whelan

Gillian Whelan is a professional photographer and Senior Photographer in the Library's Digital Collections. She has been involved with digitisation of museum, library and archive collections in various heritage institutions since 2005. She has a particular interest in historic photographic techniques, and a research interest in vernacular photography.