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Archives and Special Collections: Sudan Archive: Maps

Our collections

The Sudan Archive holds an extensive collection of maps of Sudan (covering modern-day Sudan and South Sudan) and neighbouring countries. Most were printed by the Sudan Survey (Maṣlaḥat al-Misāḥah) and the 1:250,000 series has particularly good coverage of the whole area. The Survey also produced thematic maps (such as population or agriculture).

The 1:250,000 scale series of printed maps covered Africa. Although over time the sheet numbers changed, the area covered remained the same, each sheet covering an area of 1.5 degrees of longitude and 1 degree of latitude, at a scale of 1 inch equalling 4 miles. Each part was the equivalent of one sheet of a 1:1,000,000 scale map, and was made up of 16 sheets, lettered A - P.

Although some areas were mapped before the First World War, comprehensive coverage is reached by the 1920s and 1930s. Reprints of these continued to be made until 1956. In the late 1930s the German Army produced a slightly reduced reprint of these maps (which have not been digitised) and in the 1950s the U.S. Army Map Service reprinted some maps. In the 1960s and 1970s the Republic of Sudan printed the maps again with revised boundaries and provinces.

Keysheet to Sudan 1:250000 map series33 34 35 36 43 44 45 46 53 54 55 56 64 65 66 67 77 78 86

This image is the key to the 1:250000 series of Sudan Survey maps of Sudan produced between 1856 and 1950. Click on the area of interest within the red lines to load an enlarged version of that set of sheets (any area without a number did not have a sheet produced). Durham University Library does not hold a complete set of maps. Maps in this series later were numbered on a scheme following the 1:1,000,000 Africa series index

Anglo-Egyptian Sudan: Merowe. Africa. 1:250,000; sheet 45-F. 1933 (SAD/PF 3/1)

An additional map index to our other digitised printed map holdings is available online (see full screen). (Clicking this link will take you to the uMap website.)

See full screen

Availability online (digital images)

If you would like to purchase digital copies of specific items from any of our collections, please get in touch.

If you are a member of teaching staff at Durham University and would like to use material from Archives and Special Collections within your lectures or seminars, we may be able to scan or photograph items for this purpose.  Please contact us as early as possible with any teaching digitisation requests.

See also our guide to Digitised Collections Online for further information on our digital resources.

Access to original sources

The collections mentioned above are located at Palace Green Library.  Our current opening hours are as follows, but see also below.

  • Monday to Friday: 10am to 4:30pm
  • Saturday: closed
  • Sunday: closed

For further information on visiting to use the collections, please use our enquiry form.

See separate Libraries and Site Information guide for further information on Palace Green Library.

Due to essential works, there will be a period of restricted access to the Archives and Special Collections throughout April and May. Details of opening times can be found in our Library Sites guide.  Appointments will be required for all visits during April and May, please use the enquiry form to book.  Please give three working days notice for appointments and include a full list of document references or shelfmarks so that we can best enable your research access.

Where to start

Sources elsewhere

The National Records Office (Khartoum)

South Sudan National Archives (Juba)

The National Archives (UK)