UCB Libraries

Maps: Historical

historical map image

 

Search below to find historical maps. Return to the Map Library main page to search for maps by topic.

 

  • In the
    Library
  • Colorado & U.S.
    (online)
  • World
    (online)
  • Genealogy
    (online)
  • Databases
    (online)

 

Colorado

The majority of historical maps of Colorado in the Map Library are uncataloged.  The Map Library has the following types of maps:

 

  • Topographic maps dating back to the 1880s
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
  • Maps of the state/territory of Colorado, including city and county maps
  • Mining maps
  • Plat maps
  • Tourist and road maps

U.S.

The Map Library's collection includes:

  • Topographic maps of the United States dating back to the 1880s
  • Limited collection of state, city, and county maps of areas other than Colorado (cataloged and uncataloged)
  • Historical atlases for many U.S. states and cities, including atlases with reproductions of historical maps
  • Historic Urban Plans: reproductions of city maps and views. You can do a keyword search in Chinook: “historic urban plans AND (area of interest)”

International

The Map Library's collection includes:

  • Army Mapping Service – World War II-era maps with topographic features, mostly Europe, some north Africa, Japan, Pacific Islands
  • Historic Urban Plans: reproductions of city maps and views. You can do a keyword search in Chinook: “historic urban plans and (area of interest)”
  • Baedeker's: late 19th and early 20th century travel guides, predominantly for Europe. You can do a search in Chinook with author "Karl Baedeker (Firm)"
  • City Plans: World War II-era city plans, mostly Europe, North Africa and Japan (uncataloged, ask library staff for help)
  • Historical atlases for many international countries and cities including atlases with reproductions of historical maps.
  • The Map Library also has detailed historical maps of England, Ireland, and Scotland.

Tips

See our Tips & Tools page for searching Chinook, the library’s online catalog. Keep in mind that for reproductions of historical maps, displaying results by date won’t show the original date of the map.

 

Please contact library staff to find uncataloged maps, or if you need help.

 

 

Click each of the categeory titles below to learn more about historical maps available online.

 

+ Colorado

 

Building Colorado Story by Story: the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map collection
Digitized fire insurance maps of Colorado from the early 1880s through 1922. More of these maps are available in paper in the Map Library.

 

Creating Communities: Digitizing Denver's Historic Neighborhoods
From the Denver Public Library's Western History and Genealogy: site includes digitized historical maps, photographs, information about historic buildings for seven Denver neighborhoods.

 

David Rumsey Map Collection

The historical map collection has over 28,000 maps and images online. This links to the search results for Colorado Maps.

 

+ U.S.

 

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

David Rumsey Collection
The historical map collection has over 28,000 maps and images online. The collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century North American and South American maps and other cartographic materials. Historic maps of the World, Europe, Asia, and Africa are also represented.

 

Library of Congress: American Memory Map Collection

Historical maps from the Library of Congress: Cities and Towns, Conservation and Environment, Discovery and Explorations, Cultural Landscapes, Military Battles and Campaigns, Transportation and Communication.

 

Perry-Castañeda Map Collection: U.S. Historical Maps (University of Texas at Austin )

“Early Inhabitants,  Exploration and Settlement, Territorial Growth, Military History, Later Historical Maps, Other Historical Map Sites, and Historical Maps of U.S. Cities”

 

Historical Maps of the United States (University of Alabama)
Organized by state

 

BLM: General Land Office Records
Survey search for scanned images of survey plats from the Bureau of Land Management.

 

NOAA's Office of Coast Survey Historical Map and Chart Collection
The Office of Coast Survey's Historical Map & Chart Collection contains over 20,000 maps and charts from the late 1700s to present day, including nautical charts, hydrographic and topographic surveys, city plans, and Civil War battlefield maps.

 

Urban Transition Project
"The Urban Transition Historical GIS Project is directed by John Logan, Professor of Sociology at Brown University. It uses historical census data to document the state of U.S. cities from the end of the 19th Century into the early 20th Century." Includes web-based maps and downloadable data.

 

Atlas of Historical County Boundaries Project

"The Atlas presents in maps and text complete data about the creation and all subsequent changes (dated to the day) in the size, shape, and location of every county in the fifty United States and the District of Columbia." Available as interactive maps and downloadable GIS data.

 

Daily Weather Maps Home Page: NOAA Central Library
This site provides access to historical daily weather maps from 1871-2002 and links to the site for weather maps for 2003-present.

 

 

 

 

Click each of the categeory titles below to learn more about historical maps available online.

 

+ Worldwide coverage

 

David Rumsey Collection
The historical map collection has over 28,000 maps and images online. The collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century North American and South American maps and other cartographic materials. Historic maps of the World, Europe, Asia, and Africa are also represented.

 

Historical Maps – Perry-Castañeda Map Collection  ( University of Texas at Austin)
Historical maps indexed by region. Also look at link “Historical Maps on Other Web Sites.”

 

Historic Cities: Maps & Documents
From a joint project of the Historic Cities Center of the Department of Geography, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Jewish National and University Library.

 

Old Maps Online Portal

Using a geographical search, find historical maps available online in libraries around the world.

 

Historical Map Archive (University of Alabama) 

Maps indexed by region and date.

 

Historic Cities: Yale Map Collection

Antiquarian Maps and Historical Cities.

 

Map History / History of Cartography - WWW-Virtual Library
This site, compiled by Tony Campbell, the Map Librarian of the British Library in London, is part of the Institute of Historical Research in London's server, "History". Includes extensive lists of links to online map sites, organized by region and theme.

 

National Maritime Musem Collections Online (charts and maps)
“The National Maritime Museum collections contain more than 100,000 sea charts and maps dating from the medieval period to the present day.”

 

+ Africa
+ Americas

 

Caribmap

A Cartographic History of the West Indies.

 

The Atlas of Canada - The Atlas of Canada Site Map
Maps that show the physical and cultural geography of Canada. Look under “History” and “Map Archives” for historical maps.

 

MIRAGE - Map Image Rendering DAtabase for GEoscience
A digital image library of Geological Survey of Canada maps. The GSC has published thousands of maps since the mid-1800's. More than 10,000 of these maps have been scanned and are available.

 

+ Asia

 

Antique Maps (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

"The Antique Maps of China collection includes more than 230 maps, charts, pictures, books and atlases. It represents almost all samples of China maps produced by European cartographers from the 16th to 19th centuries."

 

Digital South Asia Library (a project of the Center for Research Libraries and the University of Chicago)

Maps from the Imperial Gazetteer of India.

 

Japanese Historical Maps (East Asian Library, UC Berkeley)
From the East Asian Library at the University of California, Berkeley. Contains about 2,300 early maps of Japan and the World.

 

+ Europe

 

FEEFHS (The Federation of East European Family History Societies): Map Library
Scanned 19th century maps of eastern European countries.

 

Gettysburg College Digital Map Collection (from the John H. W. Stuckenberg Map Collection)
The majority of the collection consists of three 17th century atlases and over 500 separate maps from the 16th through the 19th century.

 

United Kingdom
Old Maps of the UK (Ordnance Survey)
"The UK's most comprehensive historical map archive comprising site centred historical maps covering England, Wales and Scotland...from the mid-19th Century onwards, from OS County Series, OS Town Plans and post-war National Grid mapping to unique Russian Maps of UK target locations from the cold-war era." (Free viewing, most pay to download images.)


A Vision of Britain through Time: Historical Mapping (University of Portsmouth)

Topographic maps, boundary maps, and land use maps from 1801- 2001.

 

Scotland

Ordnance Survey Scottish town plans, 1847-1895 (National Library of Scotland)
"62 towns were surveyed by Ordnance Survey, at the largest scales in their entire history (1:1,056, and 1:500), collectively forming a comprehensive snapshot of urban Scotland in the late 19th century. From the 1870s, fourteen towns were revised again, allowing useful chronological comparisons to be made."

 

Ireland
Irish Historical Geological Maps (Geological Survey of Ireland, the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland, and the British Geological Survey)
"This site displays a range of historical geological maps, sections and memoirs of Ireland, mostly from the 19th century."

 

The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Irish Maps
This collection comprises more than 70 maps, amongst the earliest cartographic representations of Ireland, depicting plantations, fortifications and townships during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I. Attractive and colourful, these maps include the famous 1567 map of Hibernia by John Goghe... Some of the maps are by Richard Bartlett, on whom John Andrews has recently written in his book 'The Queen's last map-maker', obviously drawn before Bartlett was beheaded by inhabitants of Donegal. Other well known mapmakers of the day are represented, such as Robert Lythe, Francis Jobson, Richard Bartlett and John Norden.

 

Irish Historic Maps (Ordnance Survey Ireland)
From Ordnance Survey Ireland. 6-inch series (1837-1842) in color and greyscale. 25-inch series (1888-1913) in greyscale. NOTE: maps must be purchased to view.

 

Spain
Map Library of Catalonia Digital Collections
Focus is on Catalonia and Spain; also includes world and other regional maps from the 18th-20th centuries.

 

Germany

Alt-Berliner Stadtplan-Archiv.
Historical maps of Berlin, 1738 to 1989.

 

Netherlands

Maps of Holland and Utrecht (University of Utrect)

"A digital representation of a collection of printed maps from the provinces of Holland and Utrecht from the 16th through the 19th centuries."

 

+ Middle East

 

Holy Land Maps
From the Eran Laor Cartographic Collection.


Walker Collection: Maps of Asia Minor and the Middle East, 1511-1774
Maps of Asia Minor and the Middle East, 1511-1774. From the University of Melbourne.

 

Armenia and Karabakh, history, maps, images, multimedia and info
History of Armenia; Includes a nice page of historical maps of Armenia.

 

 

 

Genealogy resources in the CU Boulder University Archives.

 

BLM Land Patents database
Provides live access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States. Also provides image access to more than two million Federal land title records for Eastern Public Land States, issued between 1820 and 1908.

 

Federation of East European Family History Societies Maps
Scanned 19th century maps of eastern European countries

 

JewishGen
This gazetteer searches for place names. Names can be searched using the Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex system, which allows for a phonetic match in case an exact spelling is not known. This system was developed especially to address Slavic and Yiddish names, but can be used to find places in other languages as well.

 

GeoNames Search

Database of placenames and variants.

 

United States Board on Geographic Names

This Federal body wascreated to maintain uniform geographic name usage throughout the Federal Government.

 

Museum of Family History Map Room (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
More than one hundred topographic maps of various regions in Poland, along with some from Belarus and the Ukraine; all dated between WWI and WWII.

 

Using Maps in Genealogy (USGS)
An online booklet by U.S. Geological Survey that describes how maps can be used in genealogical research. Lists useful publications and resources.

 

 

U.S. Congressional Serial Set

Digital version all the reports, documents, and journals of the U.S. Congress. Can limit search to maps.  

 

ARTstor

Contains over one million high-quality images, including images of maps.

 

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)

Archival collections with primary sources and other resources from the eighteenth century, including maps.

 

Nineteenth Century Collections Online

Archival collections with primary sources and other resources from the nineteenth century, including maps.