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New York City: Maps

This guide provides resources related to New York City.

Maps & Atlases

Ancestry Library - U.S. Map Collection, 1513-1990
Subscription database available to NYU-affiliated researchers containing digitized maps.

Atlases of New York City (From the NYPL Digital Gallery)
"Over 2,000 maps of New York City, including Manhattan and Brooklyn 'fire insurance maps' from the 1850's-1860, showing streets, blocks, tax lots, natural and manmade features, and more."

Atlases in the Tamiment Library
Leo Herhskowitz's donation of NYC materials included a number of atlases covering Manhattan and the outer boroughs of New York City. These atlases are currently being processed. As they are preserved and cataloged, they will appear in BobCat, NYU's library catalog. 

Brooklyn Revealed
An interactive website created by the librarians at the New-York Historical Society that lets users discover how Brooklyn streets got their names, access images from the N-YHS collections, and read about Brooklyn history.

Charting North America: Maps from the Lawrence H. Slaughter Collection and Others
Digital Collection from the New York Public Library containing over 1,000 maps of North America from the earliest printed portrayals to the close of the 19th century; multiple versions and editions allow for historical comparisons.

Cities and Towns
Maps from American Memory Collections of the Library of Congress. The collection contains 215 digital maps of cities and towns in New York State, including all the boroughs of NYC.

Digital Maps from New York Public Library's Map Division
Established in 1898, the Map Division today holds some 431,000 maps, 16,000 atlases and books about cartography. The collection is international in scope, and dates from the 16th century to the present, with a focus on cities, especially New York City. Fire Insurance, Topographic, Zoning and Property Maps of New York City in a chronological list arranged by borough.

Digital Sanborn Maps - New York, 1867-1970
Subscription database available to NYU-affiliated researchers. Digital Sanborn Maps is a collection of large-scale landbook maps which includes information such as the outline of each building, the size and shape and construction materials, heights, and function of structures, location of windows and doors. The maps also give street names, street and sidewalk widths, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers. Textual information includes construction details, ownership and building use. Includes most of the fire insurance maps of New York State produced by the Sanborn Map Company from the mid-1880s to around 1950.  Printed Sanborn Maps are also available in the New-York Historical Society Library.

Early Real Estate Atlases of New York
A New York Public Library digital collection of over 2,000 maps of New York City, including Manhattan and Brooklyn "fire insurance maps" from the 1850s-1860, showing streets, blocks, tax lots, natural and manmade features, buildings, neighborhoods, and more. 

Historical Atlas of New York City: A Visual Celebration of Nearly 400 Years of New York City's History 
Eric Homberger. Revised ed. New York: Henry Holt, c2005.

The Mannahatta Project
From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2009. "Amongst old time residents of the island on Manhattan, talk can turn to what the Lower East Side used to be like 20, 10, or even 5 years ago. Some like to bemoan the gentrification of Harlem and others recall the "bad old days" in Hell's Kitchen. The folks at the Wildlife Conservation Society are interested in the long view, and they'd like to find out what Manhattan (or Mannahatta as it was called by local Indians) was like in 1609. Over the past decade they have been involved in uncovering and investigating the original ecology of Manhattan, and they have found a natural landscape of hills, valleys, forests, fields, salt marshes, beaches, and streams. Visitors to the site can explore Mannahatta via the "Explore" page and even look at block-by-block species information. Moving on, the "Science" page gives visitors information about the science and technology involved in creating an ancient landscape. There's even a "Discuss Mannahatta" area where visitors can talk about Mannahatta-related issues with other interested persons. Finally, visitors can also go to the "News" page to find out about upcoming Mannahatta walking tours, talks, and exhibitions.

Manhattan Block by Block:  A Street Atlas
John Tauranac.  Santa Barbara, CA: Tauranac Maps, 2002.  An essential pocket atlas that covers all of Manhattan in rich detail.

Map Collection of the New-York Historical Society
Consult a searchable and browsable database to find records for the 10,000 printed and manuscript maps in the collections of The New-York Historical Society library dating from the seventeenth century through to the present.

New York City’s online map portal providing a wealth of information including the locations of schools, day care centers, senior centers, libraries, hospitals, subways, and more as well as links to websites for these facilities. This page is also a single access point to many of the numerous location-based applications on such as online property, building, statistics, and census information. The maps can be navigated either by entering a specific address or simply using zoom and scroll tools, similar to other online map applications. Consult the User Guide for tips on using this dynamic online resource.

Images, top to bottom:
New York / the plan drawn & engraved by J. Rapkin ;the illustrations drawn & engraved by H. Winkles.
Digital ID: 1254029
William Perris. Map bounded by Spring Street, Broadway, Canal Street, Thompson Street. (1857) Digital ID: 1268310

Redraft of the Castello Plan. New Amsterdam in 1660. Collections of the New-York Historical Society.

NYPL Map Warper

The New York Public Library's Map Warper is a tool for digitally aligning ("rectifying") historical maps from the NYPL's collections to match today's precise maps.

John Randall's 1811 Map of Manhattan

How Manhattan's Grid Grew
Interactive map from the New York Times:  "In 1811, John Randel created a proposed street grid of Manhattan. Compare his map, along with other historic information, to modern-day Manhattan."