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Stony Brook University



Maps: Historical Maps

Contains resources for maps and geospatial research and instruction

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  Note: NYS Pathfinder

The NYS Map Pathfinder is a top-level web page in this subject guide that links to digital images of historical maps.

Historical Maps

There are several types of historical maps, and they can be found in many places in the Libraries. Historical atlases, shelved with the other atlases, are generally our best source for showing conditions as they existed in the past. Also in the atlas section are a number of facsimile editions of early atlases published from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.

Copies of the most heavily used maps for research into local history are filed in the cabinets VII and VIII on the Map of the Map Collection: NE Corner. These include the heavily used Coast Survey manuscript maps of Long Island made in the 1830s – 1880s.

Many old maps of Long Island and New York State are kept in the Special Collections Department. Inventories of these are being put in this guide or are available through the Map Collection or Special Collections Librarians. See Popular Maps for Long Island Research, a tab in this subject guide.


Maps from the Congressional Serial Set are kept in a locked cabinet near the Map Office. The key to this cabinet is kept in the map office, and access is permitted only when a librarian is present.

A number of maps useful for historical research are filed with the U.S. and foreign topographic maps. These include early editions of U.S.G.S. quadrangle maps and nineteenth century maps of Germany and the Habsburg Empire.

Historical maps on microform include Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for all of New York State, early topographic maps of New York State, and the Cassini topographic maps of France made at the end of the eighteenth century.

To view images of

New York State historical maps go to our web pages "Our Digitized Map Collections: NYS Historical Maps" or "NYS Map Pathfinder".