Maps

Do you like maps and historic places?

Here we are already in WEEK # 6 of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors 2022 Challenge. This week the theme is Maps. I thought I would write about some of the fantastic online resources I have come across while researching my family’s history. If you’re like me and you love history, chances are that you love old maps as well. I’m always excited when I find another great resource. I do hope that you find this list useful.

Digital Collections online

Old Maps Online – A fantastic site that indexes over 400,000 maps. It’s a sort of gateway to other websites but does a great job of presenting it in an organized manner. It is now mostly run by volunteers.


National Library of Scotland – Maps & Mapping – County Maps, Estate Maps, Ordnance Survey Maps, Military Maps, Marine Charts, Town Plans and Views… the list of historical maps is endless here. Here’s one that I found from 1914 in the area of Shandon, Dumbartonshire. At the centre of the map is Shandon House, which is where my Grandmother and her two sisters grew up because their parents, John Richard Hill Newitt & Florence Lilian Carré owned and operated the Shandon School for Boys. You can read my post about visiting this now Abandoned Mansion here.

 Source : The National Library of Scotland. CC-BY ‘Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland’

The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection – Again just a plethora of old historical maps here. My favourite is this bird’s eye view of Paris, where I was able to zoom right in to the area of Rue de l’Odeon where Sylvia Beach employed my Grandmother at her world-renowned Shakespeare & Company bookstore. Also right around the corner was No. 1 Rue Dupuytren where my Grandmother lived at the time.

Source: David Rumsey Map Collection –Composite: Plan De Paris A Vol D’Oiseeau

New York Public Library Digital Collection – There are so many collections of maps on this online resource. One that I found interesting was published by the Sanborn Map Company in 1902. Sanborn was an insurance company that produced detailed maps of Manhattan among other cities. I was able to find my Grandmother’s childhood home at 19 West 73rd Street in NYC. Located just across the street from the Dakota Apartment Building and a hop, skip and a jump away from Central Park.

Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. (1902). Insurance maps of the City of New York. Borough of Manhattan. Surveyed and published by Sanborn Map Co., 11 Broadway, 1902. Volume 7. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/9558d595-af1f-9446-e040-e00a18067fa6


Old NYC – Mapping Historical Photos from the NYPL – This site is super cool as they’ve taken historical photos of NYC and mapped them out. You can click on the Brooklyn Bridge and see old photos from when it was being built. For me, it was interesting to click on West 73rd Street and see the Dakota Building and surrounding area as it looked when my Grandmother lived on this particular street.


The British Library Online Gallery – This site has so much to offer. One map I found that relates to my family’s history is the Gallipoli Peninsula from 1915 showing a map of the area occupied by Australia & N.Z. Army Corps. This is significant for me because one of my Great-Grandmother’s brothers was killed on September 2, 1915, in the Gallipoli Campaign. You can read about three of the Carré Brothers in my previous post here.


Anyhow, I could go on and on with all of the websites that have links to old maps. Below are a few more of my favourite online resources. If you have any others that you know of, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know!


Additional Online Resources for Historical Maps

University of Toronto – Maps and Atlases

Norman B. Leventhal Map & Educational Center at the Boston Public Library

Harvard Library

The National Library of Wales

The Library of Congress

  8 comments for “Maps

  1. February 10, 2022 at 12:36 pm

    Really helpful & interesting! I’ve bookmarked all these sites, and will delve into them, thank to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. February 10, 2022 at 12:44 pm

    Some fantastic resources and I enjoyed the snippets of how you have been able to use them to explore your own family history.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. February 10, 2022 at 3:37 pm

    All excellent sources. I will have to check out a couple I haven’t been to before. The Old NYC looks particularly interesting. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. February 13, 2022 at 9:41 am

    Thanks for sharing this, there are a few I had not used before. I will definitely check out the maps at the Library of Scotland.

    Liked by 1 person

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