Our Map Collection provides researchers and explorers with more than 130,000 current and historical maps, as well as other geographical resources, covering every part of the world. The collection is especially strong in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania maps and atlases, and an extensive collection of aerial photos of the Delaware Valley provides a fascinating view of the development of our region over the past 70 years.
To use most of the extensive research materials held by the Map Collection, users must come to the library. However, there is a growing list of our maps and atlases that have been scanned and now appear on the library's website. There are a number of ways to search and we can provide digital copies at a reasonable cost.
Please visit the Map Collection digital collection to see maps and atlases online.
Property and land use maps and atlases chronicle the residential, business and industrial development of our great city. From 1860 through today, Baist, Bromley, Franklin, Mueller, and especially Hexamer and Sanborn, all produced detailed property insurance atlases for Philadelphia and suburbs. Ernest Hexamer published very large-scale property atlases of the city between the 1880s and 1920, and his successor, D.A. Sanborn, continued the format through today. The Map Collection has complete Philadelphia coverage for all of these publishers and complete historical coverage for all of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware for Sanborn. If you've ever wondered how old your house is, how your neighborhood developed over time or just had a question about "where something was", these atlases can help. Take a look at what's in our digital collection so far.