Collections > Israel > Maps


The Eran Laor Cartographic Collection

MapsThe Eran Laor Collection includes ancient maps from as early as the fifteenth century, ancient atlases, travel books covering journeys to the Land of Israel and around the world, travel guides, the works of researchers who studied the Land of Israel in the nineteenth century, historical geography works, Biblical dictionaries and copies of the Bible and the New Testament that include maps.

Most of the items in the collection were donated by Mr. Eran Laor in 1975. Eran Laor was born in Slovakia, was active in the secret services of the Allied powers, and helped Jews to immigrate to the Land of Israel. After the establishment of the State, he served as a representative of the National Institutions in Europe. Laor authored books of poetry and reflection as well as an autobiography. He described the growth of his collection as “reminiscent of the description of the world that was prevalent in the Middle Ages, with Jerusalem as the center of the Earth. Around Jerusalem, in widening concentric circles, we have depictions of the Land of Israel, the Middle East…”

The Core of the Eran Laor Collection

The core of the Laor Collection are some 1,500 ancient maps of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. The collection also includes ancient maps of other parts of the world and modern maps of Israel and of Israeli cities (from before and after the establishment of the State). The collection includes maps in the European languages, Hebrew, Yiddish and Arabic.
The collection also includes modern maps of Israel and the other countries in the region, as well as contemporary maps published in Israel and forwarded to the Library in accordance with the legal deposit laws. In addition, the collection includes ancillary works in the field of ancient cartography, as well as journals and reference works.
The collection serves as a primary source for students and researchers in the fields of ancient and modern cartography and in other fields, including historical geography, general history, the history of art, the history of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel and the Diaspora, architecture and town planning, and Jerusalem studies. Those using the collection include museum and exhibition curators, school students and visitors from Israel and abroad.
All the maps are catalogued online. In the case of the maps of the Land of Israel and Jerusalem, the bibliographic entry includes a link enabling direct viewing of the scanned map. The collection includes research material on the subject of Arabic maps, maps in Arabic script, and maps issued by the Palestinian Authority.

The Eran Laor Reading Room 

Visitors to the reading room can request assistance from the expert reference staff and use reference materials in the field of ancient cartography (journals and research works). It is also possible to order a scanned copy of a map for personal or commercial research purposes (e.g. journals and books), and map posters are also available. 


 • ​The books and maps are catalogued in the Library’s online Catalogue.
 • ​The Digitized Cartographic Collection contains some 1500 ancient maps
of Jerusalem and Eretz Israel. The maps are all catalogued in the
Library’s Catalogue. This collection is updated regularly.
 • ​The websites Ancient Maps of Jerusalem, Holy Land Maps, and Historic
Cities Maps
offer direct access to scans of the maps. These websites are not
updated regularly.
 • ​Books from the collection that have been fully scanned can be found in the
Digitized Books Repository.

Opening Hours

Sunday-Thursday: 09:00-14:00​
Library services are available until 15 minutes before closing.


Collection Manager: Ayelet Rubin
Tel.: 074-733-6432

Digitized Cartographic Collection
Digitized Cartographic Collection
The Eran Laor Cartographic Collection is a physical and virtual collection of maps. The heart of the collection comprises ancient maps, atlases and travel books to the Holy Land and as such, it is the largest of its kind in the world.
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Ancient Maps of Jerusalem
Ancient Maps of Jerusalem
The collection includes maps of Jerusalem, basic info about the maps' creators and the history of cartography in Jerusalem.
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Holy Land Maps
Holy Land Maps
The glorious collection of ancient maps of the Holy Land that have been scanned for this site, is part of a larger collection of ancient maps of the world, atlases and travel journals.
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Historic Cities Maps
Historic Cities Maps
The collection includes maps, literature, documents, books, and publications about the past, present, and future of historic cities around the world, with links to similar sites on the web.
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