Historical Map Collection, ca. 1562-2012

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.

Maps available for request in the reading room can be found in our catalog Bobcat. The following list shows some of the most commonly used search terms.

Places:

  • 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.)
  • Bushwick (New York, N.Y.)
  • Canarsie (New York, N.Y.)
  • Carroll Gardens (New York, N.Y.)
  • Clinton Hill (New York, N.Y.)
  • Coney Island (New York, N.Y.)
  • Crown Heights (New York, N.Y.)
  • Downtown Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • DUMBO Historic District (New York, N.Y.)
  • East New York (New York, N.Y.)
  • Gowanus (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.)
  • Red Hook (New York, N.Y.)
  • Williamsburg (New York, N.Y.)

Subjects:

  • Canals
  • Cemeteries
  • Ferries
  • Landowners
  • Local transit
  • Parks
  • Piers
  • Railroads
  • Real property
  • Riparian rights (Note: This refers to water rights)
  • Roads
  • Sewerage
  • Submerged lands
  • Subways

Types of materials:

  • Aerial views
  • Atlases
  • 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

Map Reproductions

The library also has a number of positive, negative, and blueprint copies of maps from our own collection and from other collections. Most of these reproductions are not in Bobcat, but can be found on this spreadsheet. Map reproductions can be identified by their call number, which end with .R (e.g. B A-1910.R). There are no restrictions on viewing reproductions. Please see a member of the library staff to request any reproduction for review.

Click here to view the Map Reproductions Inventory

Restricted Access

Please note that access to some of our maps is restricted, based on the age and condition of the item. Most of these maps are not in Bobcat, but can be found on this spreadsheet. Restricted access maps can be identified by their call number, which end with .RA (e.g. B A-1899.Fl.RA). If you are interested in seeing a restricted access map, please e-mail the library. Library staff will determine whether the map can be handled at the time of your request.

Click here to view the Restricted Access Maps Inventory

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.

 

BHS Maps Spreadsheet with GIS

The cells in this spreadsheet are extracted from the MARC records in Bobcat. Some MARC formatting has been preserved, most notably the pipe delimiters and subfield identification–e.g. |2 indicates subfield 2 in the 034 field. Some may wish to convert the subfield delimiters into commas to create a CSV sheet, while others will want to work with the MARC fields as is. We have decided to present this data basically as it comes from the catalog, as it is easy to manipulate the data for individual needs.

Only a part of the map collection is included in this spreadsheet. As we continue to add GIS information to records, the sheet will be updated.

Click here to view the Maps Spreadsheet with GIS

 

Digitized Maps

The screenshots below are the maps BHS has already digitized and that are available as reproductions.  They can be requested with the call number that appears below the image and by filling out our Reproduction Application form.  Our fee schedule for providing this service is here.  Please email the library with any questions.