Is there a source for historical shapefiles of Europe in the modern era, i.e. starting ca. 1400?

I know that "where can I find historic border data" questions were asked multiple times but I couldn't find an answer to my specific question.

  • +1 Good answers to this question would be useful: in many cases, one has to scan maps (which are often bad to begin with) and georeference them manually. – whuber Oct 28 '13 at 13:38

This page gives you border shapefiles of the whole world over the centuries:



The services has been discontinued, see the answer from Joseph below.

If you want more details, you might georeferenece and digitize some old maps from here:


But don't expect too much accuracy ;-)


Unfortunately, ThinkQuest has been discontinued as of 1st July 2013. However, their data has been archived, most of which should be available from the ThinkQuest Library.

Hopefully you can still find what you're looking for :)


Direct link to the ThinkQuest downloads mentioned in other answers: http://web.archive.org/web/20080328104539/http://library.thinkquest.org:80/C006628/download.html


Searching for a similar set, I stumbled across this resource:


However there's no projection info or .prj files, so it doesnt seem usable?

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