Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Historical Maps Online

"The intent of the Historical Maps Online project is to electronically publish the images of maps charting the last 400 years of historical development in Illinois and the Northwest Territory." That's the first line on the website, which is a collaborative project of the University of Illinois Library and the University of Illinois Press, with help from other outfits including the Newberry Library.

The site's search function is odd, such that "Edwards County" with or without quotes brings up 213 hits, most of them irrelevant, whereas "Edwards" alone brings up 4, including the relevant county page from Warner and Beers' 1876 atlas of the state. These atlas pages are the most obviously genealogically useful ones -- with old towns and all townships delineated for each county -- but they can't be enlarged as much as one would like.

Browsing categories for this collection are topographic maps of Illinois (290), North America (89), Northwestern Territory (11), former colonies in North America (1), Louisiana Territory (14), Canada (Nouvelle France) (9), early maps (49), South America (111), Mexico (6), Illinois (756), Indiana (32), Champaign County (749), Indians of North America (769), Warner and Beers Atlas 1876 (286), and maps from the Newberry Library (9). Thanks to Diane Walsh on the St. Clair County mailing list for pointing this out.

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