Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Maps online from the New York Public Library

The New York Public Library (NYPL) website descriptions of its Image Collections include mentions of several with maps.

Image of title page, Atlas of Madison County, Beers.To uncover the maps across all these collections, one may wish to use search rather than browse. A subject search for "Maps" returns 834 subjects containing the word "Maps." Be warned that not all images have a subject assignment, so a keyword search or advanced search is the safer route.

New York State County and City Atlases

The NYPL recently digitized 43 state, county and city atlases covering New York and New Jersey prior to 1900. The NYPL map division has more than 420 titles from this period. I read somewhere on the NYPL website that many of these atlases were in response to the 1876 centennial. I had always assumed it was somehow an outgrowth of the end of the Civil War.

Many of these maps are cadastral in nature. That is, they contain the names of the owners. I imagine most of the cadastral maps for New York that one must pay to see on Ancestry.com can be viewed without charge on the NYPL website.

Detail from a Madison County atlas map showing location of dwellings and names of residents.
Detail from a Madison County atlas map showing location of dwellings and names of residents.

See this page for a list of digital holdings from this series. You might prefer viewing the maps with the LizardTech MrSID plugin using Internet Explorer.

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