RootsTech 2014

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Online Digital Map Collections by State

A New Universal Atlas Containing Maps of the various Empires, Kingdoms, States and Republics Of The World. With a special map of each of the United States, Plans of Cities &c. Comprehended in seventy sheets and forming a series of One Hundred And Seventeen Maps, Plans And Sections ... Philadelphia, Published By S. Augustus Mitchell, N.E. corner of Market & 7th Streets. 1846. Entered ... 1846, by H.N. Burroughs ... Pennsylvania. (title page by) J. Knight Sc.
Although it is evident that there are a huge number of genealogically important source documents that have not made there way online through digitization efforts, maps are an exception to that rule. Every inch of the world's surface is now available in digital format and tens of thousands of historical maps have also been digitized and most are available for free online.

The reason for listing all these digitized map links is twofold; first to produce the links and provide the information, second to illustrate the fact that searching online can be an endlessly productive activity. I am always skeptical of anyone's claims that they have searched all the available records. Every time I returned to this project, I found more links and no, I did not go to any one source and simply copy someone's work. In some cases, I incorporated part of the list from a particular website, but I did not find anyplace where all these websites were listed. I also intend to incorporate all this information in the FamilySearch.org Research Wiki over the next few weeks (months?).

The attention of the genealogical community has been focused on maps available through huge online repositories and portals. Some of the largest of these include the following:
There are many, many more that could be listed. You can, of course, search any one or all of these large online collections for maps of the individual states of the United States and other places around the world. Please excuse any duplications in links. Sometimes, the link applied to more than one state and sometimes it was difficult to tell if the links went to the same website or not. 

However, in the United States, it is important to note that there are also significant map collections in most states. The following is a listing of some of the map collections available for each state in the United States. I have included some of the larger collections. Please understand that this list is not exhaustive. You may find even more online locations by searching for "state name map collections." Of course, there are huge numbers of paper maps available in libraries and other repositories across the country, but many of those are merely copies of maps already digitized. Have a good time looking at and searching all these maps. 

It is interesting to see that some states have extensive digital map collections and other have practically nothing online. In Arizona, for example, both the state universities have huge map collections but practically none of those are digitized or available online. This also reflects the condition of the rest of the state archives, some have huge collections online such as the State of Washington, others practically nothing. Also, some of these state collections contain maps from all over the United States and world. 

Alabama 
Alaska
American Samoa
California
Colorado
Connecticut
District of Columbia
Hawaii 
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Northern Marianas Islands
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Virgin Islands
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

7 comments:

  1. Wow! What a great list. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. A phenomenal list, James! Thank you for taking the time to put it together. I have many of these, but any one map might be the one needed to move forward. I so love maps!!

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  3. I can't tell you how happy I am to get this! Thank you so much.

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  4. Here is a great map over the years of the City of Pittsburgh, I love your list. I have posted the link on my Blog "Oakmont Genealogy Study Group"

    On the Pittsburgh map you can trace the changes through the years.

    http://peoplemaps.esri.com/pittviewer/

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  5. There are 3 city maps with names of deedholders-

    Pittsburgh, PA- http://peoplemaps.esri.com/pittsburgh/

    Cleveland, Ohio- http://peoplemaps.esri.com/cleveland/

    Toronto, Canada- http://peoplemaps.esri.com/toronto/

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  6. I didn't see http://mapofus.org on the list. My team and I have loved using this for client projects for years because you can see county boundaries change over time - extremely helpful. We wrote about it here: http://genealogistsblog.legacytree.com/2014/07/early-united-states-maps-we-love.html

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