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Image: Courtesy Brooklyn Historical Society

You can now peruse 1,500 fascinating historical maps of NYC and beyond

The Brooklyn Historical Society has digitized part of their collection

Will Gleason
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Will Gleason
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Interested in New York City history? Now you can take advantage of a cool new resource to dive into it on a block-by-block basis.

The Brooklyn Historical Society has digitized over 1,500 maps from their collections which depict regional areas throughout the years including Brooklyn, Long Island, New England and beyond. The historical artifacts span a time period from the seventeenth century to the present day.

Map topics that are currently showcased on the collection’s homepage include maps of specific Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods, maps showing the development of land use and public transit and maps depicting the area’s natural environment and leisure areas.

In addition to browsing topics, you can also search for specific keywords to see what past records there are of various things throughout the city. For instance, a search for “restaurants” (something I often find myself searching for on map databases) returned this fascinating result, a colorgraph map of Manhattan from 1954 depicting specific restaurants among other tourist-friendly info. (Looks like Grand Central Oyster bar was a go-to then, as well!)

Under the leisure section, you can explore a lot of detailed records on the development of various city parks including this remodeling plan for Carroll Park made all the way back in 1892. Maps are able to be filtered by location, subject, date and genre. 

And if that’s whet your appetite for more NYC history, check out this cool site that lets you see what your New York building looked like in the 1940s.

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