Highlights from the 20,000+ maps made freely available online by New York Public Library

The New York Public Library have made available online, free from all restrictions, high resolution copies of more than 20,000 historic maps. Containing maps from the 16th through to the early 20th century, the collection focuses mainly on the United States, particularly New York, but also features maps from other countries. The images of Manhattan and surrounding boroughs offer a fascinating snapshot of the development of one of the most densely populated areas in the world. The maps can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page, and downloaded, through the Map Warper – a wonderful project which aims to make historic maps viewable as overlays on modern maps. Here’s our highlights from the collection, focusing on maps made of New York City.

(Would you like one on your wall? We made the 1857 map of New York featured below into a giant poster which you can buy here from our online shop.)

New York Public Library
Underlying Work: Mostly PD Worldwide, but some only PD U.S. | Digital Copy: No Additional Rights
Download: Right click on image or search on Map Warper for higher res versions

central park
Central Park (1863) – Source.
new york map historic
Aerial survey, Manhattan Island, New York City (1921) – Source.
new york map
New York City, Zoning, 1915 (1)Tentative Use Districts (2) Tentative Height Districts – Source.
morningside park map
Preliminary Study for the Design of Morningside Park (1873) – Source.
morningside park
Revised general plan for Morningside Park, to accompany report by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux (1887) – Source.
parks and places
Public squares, parks and places in the city of New York (1852) – Source.
new york map
Map of the City of New York, showing its political divisions and subdivisions (1870) – Source.
bronx
Plan of the Bronx International Exposition, East 177th Street, Borough of the Bronx, New York City (1916) – Source.
map
The Narrows Tunnel: chart of borings (1922) – Source.
The West End Plateau of the city of New York, 1879
The West End Plateau of the city of New York (1879) – Source.
New York City map. Including an index to the streets of New York and Brooklyn
New York City map. Including an index to the streets of New York and Brooklyn (1857) – Source.

(Would you like this on your wall? We made it into a giant poster which you can buy here from our online shop.)
Van Cortlandt Estate to be sold
Van Cortlandt Estate to be sold (1920) – Source.
gfdg
To His Excellency Sr. Henry Moore, Bart., captain general and governour in chief, in & over the Province of New York & the territories depending thereon in America, chancellor & vice admiral of the same, this plan of the city of New York, is most humbly inscribed (1776) – Source.