Maps

The map collection at the Massachusetts Historical Society consists of approximately 2,500 maps and charts, including many manuscript maps. From its founding in 1791, the Society has collected maps that illustrate the history and development of the entire United States. The collection is particularly strong in maps of Boston, Massachusetts, and New England, including the first map printed in Massachusetts.  

Highlights

Highlights of the collection include the Francis Russell Hart Collection of maps of the West Indies and Central America, and the charts and engraved printing plates for Joseph F. W. Des Barres's Atlantic Neptune, 1776-1781. The Samuel Chester Clough collection consists of manuscript maps and atlas plates prepared by Clough in the early 20th century for a massive, but unfinished, topographical history of Boston.

How to Find Maps

The Society's maps, manuscript maps, and atlases are cataloged in ABIGAIL

Selections Online

View selected maps online.

Images of over 50 maps owned by the MHS are available for purchase through Historic Map Works, a company that maintains a digital map database of North America and the world. For a list of MHS images available for purchase as reproductions through Historic Map Works click here.

Upcoming Events

Online Event; Conversation

Boston in Film: From Eddie Coyle to Manchester by the Sea

9Jul 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program.

REGISTER HERE The 1973 film The Friends of Eddie Coyle was not a box office smash but it became a cult classic and was particularly popular among film makers and film ...

Author Talk; Online Event

These Fevered Days: Ten Pivotal Moments in the Making of Emily Dickinson

15Jul 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program.

REGISTER HERE Emily Dickinson’s interior world was extraordinary. She loved passionately, was hesitant about publication, embraced seclusion, and created 1,789 ...

Brown Bag; Online Event

Anatomical Acts: Exploring the Intersections between Popular Anatomy and Popular Theatre in ...

16Jul 12:00PM 2020

In this informal presentation and Q&A, Mia Levenson, a short-term research fellow at the MHS, will contextualize her research as the intersection of three historical ...

From our Blog

This Week @MHS

Join us for a program this week! Here is a look at what is going on: - Tuesday, 29 January, 5:15 PM: Better Teaching through Technology, 1945-1969, with Victoria Cain, Northeastern ...

Founder to Founder

Like so many good stories here at the Historical Society, it began with a reference question. Jeremy Belknap, hunting through his sources, asked Vice President John Adams for some help. Belknap, the ...

Read more from our blog

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