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.


7 Answers 7


You might georeferenece and digitize some old maps from here:


but don't expect too much accuracy.


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


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

  • This is the ThinkQuest library re-uplodade
    – G M
    Commented Jan 20, 2022 at 11:21

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 However, their data has been archived, most of which should be available from the ThinkQuest Library.


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


I recently found this website, though unfortunately the data is not free. It is also available from Stanford University, on the off-chance you're in some way affiliated with them or know someone who is. https://www.euratlas.net/shop/maps_gis/gis_1600.html


These replication files from Carter, Ying, and Abramson (APSR, 2022) have great data on historical European borders: https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataset.xhtml?persistentId=doi:10.7910/DVN/5O3EOW


https://github.com/aourednik/historical-basemaps/ Direct link to this dataset on github, with links leading to other resources as well

https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataset.xhtml?persistentId=doi:10.7910/DVN/5O3EOW This data seems to be not available anymore. Any alternative or backup of the data set to be found?

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