maps

3 Feb 2017

Searching the Historic American Buildings Survey

Interested in searching the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) to find a connection between an ancestor and a specific place?
HABS was established in 1933 when Charles E. Peterson, a young landscape architect proposed the project. It was initially founded as a “constructive make-work program for architects, draftsmen and photographers left jobless by the Great Depression. By creating an archive of historic architecture, HABS provided a database of primary source material and documentation for the then-fledgling historic preservation movement.”
Today, a division of the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) administers HABS, the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), and the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS). Records include “556,900 measured drawings, large-format photographs, and written histories for more than 38,600 historic structures and sites dating from Pre-Columbian times to the twentieth century.” The collection is managed by the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress.
When I searched HABS for churches in Cook County, Illinois, I […]

4 Nov 2016

U.S. Immigration Interactive Map 1880-2000

A fascinating U.S. Immigration Interactive Map 1880-2000, Immigration Explorer, is available online at The New York Times.
Both a research tool and a way to understand more about your immigrant ancestors, the map is highly customizable. As you can see in the image above, you can select from various countries to see how each settled across the United States each decade between 1880 and 2000. Data are available at the county and state levels for immigrants from these and other countries:

All foreign-born
Canada
Czechoslovakia
England
France
Germany
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Norway
Poland
Spain
Sweden
Russia

I love maps like these because I remain fascinated by my own immigrant ancestors, who left Norway, Sweden, Prussia, Austria, and Scotland, to come to Chicago during the Second Wave of U.S. Immigration. The push-pull factors for my ancestors migration were pretty evenly split between poverty and joining siblings who had already come to America.

This map and others […]

18 Aug 2016

Free Aerial Photography Resource for Genealogists

The ASPRS Aerial Data Catalog is a free aerial photography resource for genealogists to use in their research.

Provided by the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), this is a useful tool for locating aerial photography for both U.S. and international geographic areas of the past and the present. ASPRS bills this database as “the Source for Finding Aerial Collections”.

The ASPRS Aerial Data Catalog aggregates aerial photography from private companies, universities, states, non-governmental organizations, and federal sources. The catalog contains metadata allowing users to determine if coverage exists over an area of interest. The acquisition date, film type, sensor type, and scale are also provided along with the repository contact information. Click here for more information.

Once you have located a set of records, you can narrow a search by applying a filter once, or multiple times, to refine your search. If you need assistance, please check the Help page for more tips.

Here are some of the latest uploads to this site, […]

11 Aug 2016

Rambles Through Our Country in 1890

The Library of Congress Prints and Photos blog today features an 1890 game called Rambles Through Our Country – An Instructive Geographical Game for the Young. While it’s nice just to marvel at the chromolithograph printing of this colorful game, this item has research value for genealogists working on records from the United States in 1890.

There are probably no earth-shattering revelations here, but the images and the way in which Americans viewed individual states in 1890 makes interesting reading, as well as providing context for your research.

Lara Szpszak writes, “The goal of the game is to help players become familiar with American geography and the treasures the United States has to offer. A player spins the “teetotum” and places their counter on the matching number on the map. Each number then corresponds to a location and description in the accompanying booklet. Fortunately, the booklet is available online from the Internet Archives!” […]

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