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

canceled Modern American Society and Culture Seminar

Allaying Terror: Domesticating Artisan Refugees in South Vietnam, 1956

24Oct 5:15PM 2017

This program is canceled due to illness.   This essay explores the publication of photographs of North Vietnam refugee artisans in English-language mass print ...

Brown Bag

Political Appetites: Revolution, Taste, and Culinary Activism in the Early Republic

25Oct 12:00PM 2017

Culinary activists furthered republican values in the revolutionary era as part of a political and cultural ideology. They developed a culinary vocabulary expressed in ...

Walking Tour

Weird and Worrisome Tour

25Oct 6:00PM 2017
Meet at Loring-Greenough House, 12 South ...

THIS TOUR IS SOLD OUT! All neighborhoods have secrets but some are stranger than others. Just in time for Halloween, we will explore Jamaica Plain in Boston. ...

From our Blog

Gertrude Codman Carter’s Diary, October 1917

Today we return to the 1917 diary of Gertrude Codman Carter. You may read the previous entries here:   Introduction | January | February | March | April | May June | July | August | September ...

“Mark, Traveler, this humble stone”: Quaint and Curious Epitaphs ...

I find a visit to any of New England’s burying grounds fascinating year-round, but I consider treading among slate gravestones and timeworn monuments in October a quintessential New England ...

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