The New York Public Library has released an incredible collection of more than 20,000 maps
US – The New York Public Library (NYPL) has released an incredible collection of more than 20,000 maps with no known copyright restrictions. These maps can be downloaded in high resolution format for free. The collection is diverse. Included are 1,100 maps of the mid-Atlantic United States from the 1500s to the 1800s; 700 topographical maps of the Austro-Hungarian empire from 1877 to 1914; 2,800 state, county and city maps mainly of New York and New Jersey and finally the really big one for genealogists: 10,300 property, zoning, topographical and Sanborn fire insurance maps of New York city from 1852 to 1922 as well as 1,000 additional maps of the five boroughs and neighborhoods dating from 1660 to 1922. The collection can be searched by keyword. Access is free. [Free Historic Maps of New York City]
The website also has a tool that allows you to ‘warp’ (overlay) historic maps onto modern maps. We have talked about this before (the Map Warper tool is about three years old). Below is the YouTube video that describes how the process works. If you want to download a high-resolution copy of a map for your files, you need to do it through the Map Warper tool. Access is free. Registration is required. [NYPL Map Warper] Included in the NYPL map collection are estate sales of property with the deceased prominently mentioned in the advertisement. Source: From The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library This 1890 map of the Mulberry Bend district in New York City (bounded by Canal Street, Worth Street and Broadway) can be zoomed to show detail on individual buildings. Source: From The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library This YouTube video describes how the New York Public Library map warper tool works.