Online Historical Maps of New York City

The New York Public Library has recently finished the digitization of 124 atlases on New York City. Most are fire insurance; i.e. Sanborn, maps of the city and its boroughs. The volumes range from 1815-1948 and contain over 7000 maps. If you want to see what neighborhoods looked like in startling detail back in the day, this would be a good first stop. These maps give you an idea of how the city has expanded over time, and that it did not have the same boundaries as it does now. For instance, where we grew up in Brooklyn is not even on the maps from the 1880s.


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