Monday, August 25, 2008

For map lovers: New England historic maps online

I am a lover of maps, so you can imagine my excitement when I learned of the University of New Hampshire Library website's Historic USGS Maps of New England and New York. Dating from the late 19th-century to 1950, this topographical collection is a treasure for anyone researching the New England area. According to the website, "This online collection of over 1,500 USGS topographic maps includes complete geographical coverage of New England and New York from the 1890s to 1950s." The digital collection was placed on the internet because of the difficulty that researchers experienced trying to access historic maps of the area. In particular, one map enthusiast interested in locating abandoned railroad right of ways in New Hampshire began the project after finding that no single New Hampshire library had a complete collection of historic maps of the state.

The digital map collection now includes images from many research repositories in New Hampshire covering various areas of New England and New York. Digital maps from the Harvard University Map Collection are also included.

I found a gem in this 1941 survey of the Quincy, Massachusetts area which includes a view of the Fore River shipyard where many of my Tierney family ancestors worked.

Also researching Massachusetts? You might want to start with the Historic USGS Maps of Massachusetts Alphabetic Town Listing.

Thanks to Dick Hillenbrand of
Upstate New York Genealogy for mentioning the map collection at Old Maps of New York Towns Online and to Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings for spreading the news about the Historic USGS Maps of New England and New York.

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