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Genealogy Guide: Maps


This website is an online map library that indexes over 400,000 maps.  It was created by a consortium of over 30 international libraries and archives, including the New York Public Library and the David Rumsey Map Collection.  Among the holdings of the New York Public Library are many Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for the New York City metropolitan area.

The University of Texas at Austin Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection offers a collection of  online maps of states around the country and countries around the world, including many historical European maps. It also contains an extensive list of links to other map websites.

The Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress holds more than 5.5 million maps. Map Collections 1500-2003 offers access to its online map collection, created from maps and atlases, which represents only a small fraction of those that have been converted to digital form. The focus of Map Collections is Americana and Cartographic Treasures of the Library of Congress. The collection includes the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, a uniform series of large-scale maps published by the Sanborn Map Company from 1867 to the present and depicting the commercial, industrial, and residential sections of some 12,000 cities and towns in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

This website has links to about 25 Special Interest Groups that focus on particular geographic regions. The websites of each of these Special Interest Groups has a map section that contains links to online map resources specific to their region.

This website is a project facilitating web pages commemorating the places where Jews have lived. It provides the opportunity for anyone with an interest in a place to create web pages about that community. These web pages may contain information, pictures, databases, and links to other sources, such as maps, that provide data about that place.




This website has links to maps of Jewish communities and their populations in Europe from 1750 to 1950.  The maps were created for the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy (IIJG) by Sandra Crystall, based on the research of Laurence Leitenberg and cover a central period of Jewish history in Europe.

The Foundation for East European Family History Studies map library offers a collection of maps of countries within the Austro-Hungarian, German and Russian empires, as well as maps of Scandinavia and nations in the Balkans. Most of the maps are from 1882, while a few others are from the 16th century or range from 1887-1910. The site also offers a guide to using maps and gazetteers in your genealogy research.

The Atlas des Deutschen Reichs by Ludwig Ravenstein is relatively rare in libraries of the United States. The atlas helps in tracing the roots of families with origins in any part of the German empire from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. Besides Germany, the maps of this atlas also cover the bordering portions of present-day Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, the Russian Federation, Slovakia, and Switzerland. Due to the large scale of its maps (1:850,000) and its thorough gazetteer of place names, one can locate even small towns and villages on the maps in the Ravenstein atlas. A special feature is one special map with an accompanying table that provides statistics on the religious denominations found throughout the German empire down to the Regierungsbezirk and Kreis governmental units.

This website has links to historical maps of the Habsburg Empire.  The maps include the First-Third Military Surveys (1763-1887), a map of the Austrian Netherlands (1764-1771), a map of the Hungarian Kingdom (1869-1887), 19th century cadastral maps, and historical maps of several European cities, including Vienna,  Budapest, London, Moscow, Paris and Rome  (18th-20th centuries).

The Gesher Galicia Map Room features a large number of digitized regional and local maps.  It also has digital images of a large number of town property maps housed in a variety of archives in Ukraine, Poland and Austria.

This website has links to detailed maps of the counties of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1904-1927.  The maps include wide areas of Central and Eastern Europe, but are especially comprehensive for the counties that are in present-day Hungary and Slovakia.

Topographic Maps of Eastern Europe offers a collection of small and large scale historical maps of the lands of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Pale of Jewish Settlement in late Tsarist Russia. The large scale topographic series included here show communities of all sizes down to the smallest villages. Evidence of Jewish presence is given by specific symbols on many of the maps. Some, like cemeteries are obvious and others like taverns more subtle. Along with the symbols, these maps show us national, provincial, and administrative boundaries that limited Jewish residence and formed a basis for the gathering of records, collecting taxes, and drafting military conscripts. Links to additional information about the places are included.