Historical Map Collection, ca. 1562-2012
The Brooklyn Historical Society possesses a collection of historical maps spanning the years ca. 1562-2012. The geographic coverage of the collection includes the five boroughs, New York City, Long Island, New York State, New Jersey, New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Eastern United States. Additionally, the collection contains some items covering the United States, North America, and the Western Hemisphere.
The collection contains a variety of different types of maps, including: physical maps, political maps, transportation maps, property maps, survey maps, pictorial maps, manuscript maps, topographic maps, cultural maps, and nautical charts. It is an excellent resource for all types of research.
Currently, library staff is working to catalog all of the maps into our catalog BobCat. Many of the items in this collection have been cataloged, so we recommend that you begin your search in BobCat. The following list shows the most commonly used search terms.
- Bay Ridge (New York, N.Y.)
- Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
- Brighton Beach (New York, N.Y.)
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- Brooklyn Heights (New York, N.Y.)
- Canarsie (New York, N.Y.)
- Coney Island (New York, N.Y.)
- Crown Heights (New York, N.Y.)
- East New York (New York, N.Y.)
- Green-Wood Cemetery (New York, N.Y.)
- Fort Greene (New York, N.Y.)
- Fort Hamilton (New York, N.Y.)
- Kings County (N.Y.)
- Park Slope (New York, N.Y.)
- Prospect Park (New York, N.Y.)
- Williamsburg (New York, N.Y.)
- Real property
- Riparian rights (Note: This refers to water rights)
- Submerged lands
Types of materials:
- Aerial views
- Cadastral maps (Note: This is another word for a property map)
- Early maps (Note: This applies to maps created before 1800)
- Fire insurance maps
- Historical maps
- Public utility maps
- Manuscript maps
- Military maps
- Nautical charts
- Physical maps
- Pictorial maps
- Road maps
- Topographic maps
- Tourist maps
- Transportation maps
If you do not find what you are looking for in BobCat, you can search our map inventories. The maps are divided into three sub-collections based on their physical condition. The sub-collections are as follows: 1) Flat Maps; 2) Folded Maps; 3) Map Reproductions; and 4) Atlases. Please note that access to some of our maps is restricted, based on the age and condition of the item. If you are interested in seeing a restricted access map, please e-mail the library.
There are separate inventories for each of the sub-collections. They contain the following information for each item: 1) Title/Description; 2) Date of Publication; 3) Call Number; and 4) Subjects. The subjects use a controlled vocabulary, which is also accessible below.
There is no appointment necessary to view items in this collection, unless they are restricted access maps. If you are interested in seeing a restricted access map, please email the library.