Library's historical map collection documents a wide
range of locales, time frames, and themes, providing
information about mining, land use, road development,
and political boundaries.
Many rare, historic maps of Colorado and the West
are available for use in the Western History / Genealogy
Department's W.S. Jackson Family Map Area.
Though our maps focus primarily on the Western United
States, we have historical maps of every state in
Father Kino, a Franciscan Monk, produced this 18th
century map of the Gulf of California, which established
the fact that California was a peninsula, not an island.
Maps show the development of the West, from small-town
details to large scale travel routes.
Some of the Library's notable maps include a complete
bound volume of the 1597 Abraham Orteleus atlas, a
1692 map of California, a 1606 Gastaldi map of Europe,
and the 1574 Sebastian Muenster map of the western
hemisphere, the first to show the isthmus connecting
North and South America.
Our Colorado map collection is especially developed
and includes the Fosdick 1859 map of Denver, Jefferson
Territory, the 1862 Central City map, and both editions
of the Hayden Survey Atlas of Colorado.
Fire insurance maps provide valuable clues to building
researchers, and our collection includes the Sanborn
maps of Denver and Colorado towns dating from 1887
and real estate atlases by Baist and by Robinson.
Our rare maps and oversized items are available to
researchers by request. Some of our maps date from
periods of the earliest exploration. Our maps are
encapsulated in archival mylar and stored in spacious
maple drawers, accessible to the public.
Our map collection has been acquired by donations,
endowments, purchases, and extractions from government
documents in the Library's collection. Encapsulation
began in 1980, providing excellent protection for
rare and valuable items. Our largest piece is a 12
foot by 58 inch, hand-colored map of the Aspen, Colorado
area, published by the Colorado Midland Railway.
Types of maps in the collection:
- Explorers' maps
- Trails and trade routes
- Property and street maps
- Illustrated atlases, and birdseye maps
- Forest Service and National Park maps
- Fire insurance maps
- Railroad maps
- Aerial maps
- Road maps
You can search our map collection with the Denver Public
Use terms like "maps," "trails," "county
name," "railroads," and "mining"
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