Map of the Month – March 2013

This month’s featured map was published by the German publishers Wagner & Debes circa 1900.  It likely reflects the high volume of German-Americans residing in Brooklyn at the time.  According to Montrose Morris of Brownstoner, by the end of the 19th century, German Americans were the most successful ethnic group in New York City.  In trying to date this particular map, we looked at the various clubs that are listed in the key at the bottom left, one being the Germania Club.  As Morris notes, the Germania Club was founded in 1859 and was originally located on Atlantic and Court Streets.  As the club grew, it acquired new land in order to build a bigger and better clubhouse that was finished in 1890 and located on Schermerhorn Street near Smith Street.  If you look carefully at the map, you will see that the Germania Club is located on Schermerhorn Street near Smith Street, indicating that the map was published after 1890.


Brooklyn. ca. 1900. Brooklyn Historical Society Map Collection.

Brooklyn. ca. 1900. Brooklyn Historical Society Map Collection.


(Click on the image to see more detail)

Interested in seeing more maps? You can view the BHS map collection anytime during the library’s open hours, Wed.-Fri., from 1-5 p.m. No appointment is necessary to view most maps. Our cataloged maps can be searched through BobCat and our map inventories through Emma.

Map of the Month is part of a project to catalog our map holdings, funded through the Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Collections program. If you would like to help us do more of this kind of work with our exciting map holdings, donate here.

Elizabeth Call

About Elizabeth Call

I have been the librarian at the Brooklyn Historical Society since 2006. In addition to managing the reference function for the library, I am responsible for overseeing the books, maps, and special collections.
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