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Historic Map Works Library Edition: Viewing Maps

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.

Available Map Viewers & Options

All maps will be visible using the map viewer (see image below), which contains the following functions/tools:

To VIEW, click on the Map Title to open the image in the viewer; use the cursor to click and drag the image or the arrows at the bottom center of the viewer to move the image.  The small window in the top left of the viewer will display a navigation pane with a thumbnail image of the map being viewed. Click and drag the small image to assist in viewing specific portions of the larger image in the main viewer.

To ZOOM, either use the cursor to click on the area you wish to zoom-in on, or utilize the + or – symbols in the toolbar at the bottom center of the viewer to zoom in or out.  The upward facing arrow on the top left of the toolbar can be moved left to right to zoom in or out.  The ¾ circle with an arrow is used to reset the image to the original size and center it in the viewer.

To CROP, click the Crop button in the top right of the viewer.  The page will refresh and you are able to click and drag anywhere on the image.  A selection box will appear (this may take a few seconds).  Move the selection box by dragging it; resize the box by dragging one of its corners. Click the "Crop Image" button at the bottom of the page to display and print or save your downloadable cropped image.

To PRINT, click the Print button at the top right of the viewer to view the image in a refreshed page.  Once the image has loaded (image will contain digital watermarks reading “Historic Map Works”), the print options for the local printer will display.

To SAVE, click the Save button at top right of the viewer and choose “Save File”. In Firefox, this will download the file to the specified location. In IE, you will be given the option to Open or Save the file.  File is a JPEG.


Additionally, geo-coded maps found in Historic Map Works™ will provide a new Historic Earth™ Basic overlay tool so that the historic map may be seen in context with current maps of the same area or region. See the images below for reference and tips.

Once you have selected the map of interest and you are viewing it in the viewer, click the green Historic Earth™ Basic  button to load the overlay (see below).  You may adjust the opacity of the overlain historic map by using the slider to the right side of the page and change the base layer displayed just beneath the slider.  Using the left-hand zoom tool, you can zoom in on a specific area of both maps to see more detail and understand change over time of borders, streets, geographical/topographical features, etc. represented on the historic and modern maps. See the following three images for examples of opacity and zoom adjustments.

Image 1: 100% Opacity

Image 2: 75% Opacity with zoom


Image 3: 41% Opacity with zoom