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Map Information: Historic Maps

National History Day Maps at Stanford

Maps have been used by people across diverse cultures to communicate ideas that range from land use to voting rights. Stanford Libraries has a wide collection of maps, from around the world and from different time periods, for use in your NHD projects.

To help you develop your project, this website provides:

     • NHD topic ideas

     • Design ideas for your exhibit or website project

     • Guides to reading & analyzing maps

      • Help with finding useful maps

      • Where to look for additional resources

Historical Map Collections in New Mexico

The New Mexico State Library has many historic maps in its collection. All historic maps must be used in the library. Please ask a librarian to see if we have a paper copy of the map you are interested in.

Fray Angélico Chávez History Library The institutional successor of New Mexico's oldest library (1851) and part of the Palace of the Governors, the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library is a non-circulating, closed stack research facility, it preserves historical materials in many formats documenting the history of the state, the Southwest, and meso-America from pre-European contact to the present. It's map collection includes more than 5,000 items.

University of New Mexico Map and Geographic Information Center  This collection is mostly maps of New Mexico, the Southwest and western United States, with a few maps of the world or other various places in the world. Some are original maps and some are facsimile reproductions, with dates ranging from the late 1400's to the early 1900's. The collection includes: topographic maps, Navajo Nation maps, New Mexico plat maps, New Mexico Road maps, and color versions of the New Mexico Sanborn maps. 

Highlands University's Beisman Collection A unique collection of northeastern New Mexico survey and plat maps, field notebooks, plat descriptions, equipment, and business and legal records created by local surveyors, mostly Henry C. Beisman, other surveyors include J. B. Franzini and V. K. Jones. Search business papers, correspondence, plat descriptions, etc. 


Fire Insurance Maps (Sanborn Maps)

Available at the NM State Library for in-library use. Fire Insurance Maps online provides user-friendly access to an extensive historical map collection. The maps are high definition and display important historical details not visible on black and white map scans. This collection of historic maps includes index maps and is searchable via interactive mapping or by place name. Though the date range varies by location, generally the coverage is from the late 1800’s into the 1950’s. Features include: mark-up tools, side-by-side viewing options, detailed instructions for reading Sanborn maps, and high resolution map downloads. Color versions of Sanborn maps are a challenge to find and extremely useful for a variety of needs. We are happy to be providing access to this collection and look forward to helping you with your property research needs.

FIMo includes map research tools and search tips to make finding maps for a specific location easier than ever before.  Maps in this collection include publications by Sanborn, Perris, Hexamer, Whipple, Baist, Bromley, Hopkins and others.  FIMo is an invaluable resource for research on urban development patterns, past property uses and occupants, family homes, and genealogy.

Sanborn maps are also available online through the Library of Congress

Digital Historical Map Collections

David Rumsey Map Collection Database There are now over 88,000 items online, with new additions added regularly. The site is free and open to the public. Here viewers have access not only to high resolution images of maps that are extensively cataloged, but also to a variety of tools that allow to users to compare, analyze, and view items in new and experimental ways. The physical map collection is housed in the David Rumsey Map Center at the Stanford University Library.

Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection The University of Texas Austin has digitized many historical maps from their general collection of more than 250,000 maps covering all areas of the world. 

Old Maps Online is an easy to use index to over 400,000 maps provided by paticiapating institutions including: USGS Historical Topographic Maps, The David Rumsey Map Collection,  New York Public Library Map Division, and the Harvard Library Map Collection. 

USGS topoView The maps shown through topoView are from the USGS’s Historical Topographic Map Collection (HTMC). The goal of this scanning, which started in 2011, is to provide a digital repository of USGS 1:250,000 scale and larger (more detailed) maps printed between 1884 (the inception of the topographic mapping program), and 2006. Currently, there are more than 178,000 maps in the HTMC. The National Geospatial Program is accurately cataloging and creating metadata to accompany high-resolution, georeferenced digital files of each of these printed maps. At present, these maps are offered as GeoPDFs, through The National Map and the USGS Store. However, additional formats are now being offered for evaluation and use through topoView to include: GeoTIFF, JPEG, and KMZ.

Library of Congress Digital Map Collection The Geography and Map Division (G & M) has custody of the largest and most comprehensive cartographic collection in the world with collections numbering over 5.5 million maps, 80,000 atlases, 6,000 reference works, over 500 globes and globe gores, 3,000 raised relief models, and a large number of cartographic materials in other formats, including over 19,000 CDs/DVDs. The online Map Collections represents only a small fraction that have been converted to digital form.

Map Collections from the University of Texas at Arlington With more than 5,000 maps depicting all parts of the world, the collection emphasizes the Gulf Coast region and the greater Southwest. It includes maps dating from 1493 to the present and features noted cartographers.

Cary's New Terrestrial Globe. Cary, John, ca. 1754-1835 ; Cary, William, 1818