Thursday, September 29, 2016

Mapping 18th Century London

In the Eighteenth Century 'Grub Street' in London became the home to a concentration of impoverished writers, aspiring poets and low-brow publishers & booksellers. The literary occupants of Grub Street tended to work at the margins of London's journalistic and literary scene. Hence 'working in Grub Street' has become a pejorative phrase used against writers or 'hacks' who work for hire and are prepared to prostitute their art for profit.

The Grub Street Project is attempting to document and map London's literary and publishing scene in the 17th & 18th Centuries. As part of this project it has created a number of interactive vintage maps of London. These maps are then being used to show the locations important to London's emerging publishing & literary scenes and their associated trades.

So far the Grub Street Project has created a number of interactive versions of original 18th Century maps. At the moment Strype's 1720 Plan of the City of London, Westminster & Southwark is the only map which contains a number of layers which can be overlaid on the map. Strype's 1720 map includes layers showing the locations of coffee houses, taverns & inns and a place index providing information about London's 18th century roads and streets.

Locating London's Past is another superb tool for exploring Eighteenth Century London life. The site uses John Rocque’s 1746 map of London as the basis for exploring many aspects of London life during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century.

The data sets that can be viewed on the map include records of Old Bailey Proceedings, coroner's records, historical directories, plague deaths, archaeology finds and much more. The interactive map includes the option to switch between Roque's 1746 map and Google's modern map of London.

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