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Historic Map Works Library Edition: About

Historic Map Works™ Library Edition is one of the most extensive digital map collections available, with over 1.5 million high-resolution, full color historic maps.

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Historic Map Works collections include:

Property Maps, over 1.5 million cadastral maps cover the development of the United States since the late 1700's to the present day.

Antique Maps, over 100,000 antiquarian maps covering the world from the 15th to 19th centuries, mostly drawn from the University of Southern Maine's Osher Map Library.

Directories & Illustrations, with tens of thousands of related listings, images, business ads, and statistics from city directories, atlases, bird’s eye views, and more.

Click HERE to review the product information page.

What is Historic Map Works Library Edition?

Discover the physical places of the past—from big cities to small farms—with Historic Map Works™ Library Edition. With access to more than five centuries of maps, genealogists, historians, and researchers can gain insight into how physical and human geographies have changed over time.

The core of the collection consists of land ownership (cadastral) maps illustrating the geographic and developmental history of the United States. This unique content allows users to track the "residential genealogy" of families and locations.

The special attention given to image quality allows users to see the details that are so important to the use of maps in research. High-resolution digital scanning clearly reproduces even the smallest features, including street and property names, plat dimensions, and structural details.

The interface lets users search by keywords, location names, and other advanced features. Unique search features include:

  • World Map uses an intuitive point-and-click world map to help locate data visually.
  • Search by Address finds maps by street name, city, and state. Approximately 20% of the maps have been geo-coded and are therefore searchable by address. By using the Geo-code functionality you can compare a modern Google map with the historic map to see details over time.
  • GPS Mapfinder pinpoints maps via latitude and longitude coordinates on those maps which have been geo-coded.
  • Points of Interest features over 60 different “Points of Interest” such as buildings, cemeteries, churches, hospitals, lakes, parks, summits, by which to browse maps.

Plus, features like image previews, zoom in/out, and image cropping make reviewing and using the maps easy.

Historic Maps Works™ Library Edition is an exclusive distribution and development partnership between ProQuest and Historic Map Works™, which brings the collection to libraries globally.


Useful map type definitions and terminology:


  • Cadastral = maps showing property boundaries and ownership.
  • Antiquarian maps = a global collection of antiquarian maps detailing five centuries of exploration since the 15th century, including maps obtained through an exclusive arrangement with the Osher Map Library.
  • Directories = a collection of city directories, listing residential names and occupations; yearbooks; phonebooks; and other historical books.
  • Illustrations = contemporary illustrations, photos, and bird’s eye views of American buildings, towns, and people of prominence.
  • Geo-coded = any map which has been assigned Lat/Long coordinates which allow the user to search for that map using a standard modern address.
  • GIS = geographic information systems; systems that contain different types of data that can correspond to a geospatial area; includes mapping software and its application with remote sensing, land surveying, aerial photography, mathematics, photogrammetry, geography, and tools that can be implemented with GIS software.
  • Location Based Research = layering data points onto a specific location to gain insight and identify trends for that area.
  • Time Series Research = tracking specific observations of a region over time.