The Topic: 
Historical Maps

Easier - People have used maps to locate places, measure distances, plan trips, and find their way.
Harder - The colonization of the Americas by Europeans created a need for many new maps. As pioneers moved westward, explorers and army engineers mapped trails and surveyed government lands.


Ancient Maps
This website includes around 750 maps from 3,000 B.C. to 1700 A.D. arranged by historical period.
Rare Map Collection at the Hargrett Library (Univ. of Georgia)
Early maps in this collection are of Colonial and Revolutionary America, the period of Union and Expansion, the Civil War, historical maps of Georgia, and rail, river, and highway maps.
Specific Map-sections Within the Collection:
2) Reconstruction and Expansion (United States from after the Civil War to 1884)
3) Revolutionary America
Map Collections-1544 to 1999 (American Memory at the Library of Congress)
Americana and Cartographic Treasure; images created from maps and atlases and are restricted to items that are not covered by copyright protection.
Other Map-sections Within American Memory:
2) Mapping the National Parks
3) Discovery and Exploration of the Americas
Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection (Univ. of Texas at Austin)
Here are thousands of maps from all over the world are available, including historical maps of the U.S.
Links-page at Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection:
2) Historical Map Web Sites
 Choose and complete a project using historical maps:
Be A Map Detective. Select a historical map from one of the websites below. Then visit Mapquest and find a map of the same area today. Compare and contrast the two maps. Speculate on why the location has evolved to its present form. Construct a series of transparent overlays that show how the location has evolved over time.
Compare/Contrast Two Locations. Find historical maps of two different locations that were made near the same time period. Compare and contrast the two different locations based on what you find.
Uncover An Old Map. Locate the earliest map of the town, city or area where you live. Use the resources of your local public library or a regional historical society. If you are unable to find a historical map, create a map that you think might have been accurate years ago. Write a fictional story about someone who might have used the historical map.
Pretend You are an Explorer or Settler. Select a historical map. Visualize what the area would have been like long ago. Pretend you are moving into the location. What type of business, enterprise, or job would you be involved with? Where would you locate and why? What type of changes would you make?
A Dozen More Historical Map Websites
The American Civil War1861-1865
This collection of maps maps show where Civil War battles were fought in each state, as well as brief descriptions of the battles.
Early California Explorers from Magellan maps.
You can see the dates and routes taken by Ulloa, Cabrillo, and Vizcaino while exploring the coastal area that later became California.
Other California Historical Maps:
2) Gutierrez Map (First Map of California)
3) Map of California in 1895 from the Color Landform Atlas of the United States
Routes of First Three Crusades from Catholic Encyclopedia
Here is a map of the countries bordering on the Mediterranean at the time of the First Crusade and the routes of the first three Crusades.
More Crusade Maps:
2) Second and Third Crusades (Fordham University)
3) Routes of the Fourth and Later Crusades (Catholic Encyclopedia)
4) Syria and the Holy Land at the Time of the Crusades (Catholic Encyclopedia)
Exploring the West from Monticello (University of Virginia)
This exhibit usies historical maps to trace the westward exploration in NorthAmerica. It features facts on the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Other Lewis and Clark Mapsites:
2) Route West (Lewis and Clark)
3) Route East (Lewis and Clark)
4) Maps (PBS Online-Lewis and Clark)
Another University of Virginia Collection:
5) U.S. Territorial Maps 1775-1920
The Earth & the Heavens: The Art of the Mapmaker
This is a British library exhibit with some of the oldest historical maps that mapmakers used to try to determine the shape of the earth and of the cosmos.
Historical Maps from Early America (Archiving Early America)
Here you find maps and information of some early battles, as well as a map of Boston.
Historical Maps Online
This is the links-page at the University of Kansas Thomas R. Smith Map Collection.
Map Case
View a selection of worldwide historical maps from the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library Map Room.
Maps of Ancient Greece
Here you can compare how the Greeks mapped their civilization with how it really looked.
Map of the Byzantine World
This map is from the University of Michigan's Byzantium exhibit.
Portuguese Nautical Master Charts
This website shows a changing World view by comparing views of sailing charts of 1440 to maps of 1516.
United States in 1895
It takes a while to download this map from the Color Landform Atlas of the United States.
north arrow
map room
U.S. Geological Survey
map collection
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson 1/99,Updated 1/00, 6/01, Update by Nancy Smith 11/01