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Guide to Historical Maps in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

A guide to the types and uses of historical maps in SCARC's collections


Humboldt, Alexander von, and Bromme, Traugott. Atlas Zu Alex. v. Humboldt's Kosmos in Zweiundvierzig Tafeln Mit erläuterndem Texte. Stuttgart, Krais & Hoffmann, 1851. Q158 .H919 1845 Atlas

Johnson, A. J. (Alvin Jewett). Johnson’s New Illustrated Family Atlas of the World, with Descriptions, Geographical, Statistical, and Historical. New York, Johnson and Browning, 1862. G1019 .J6

Walker, Francis Amasa, and Julius Bien. Statistical Atlas of the United States Based on the Results of the Ninth Census 1870: with Contributions from Many Eminent Men of Science and Several Departments of the Government. Washington, D. C.: United States Census Office, 1874. HA201 1870 .A8

Newton, Henry, et al. Report on the Geology and Resources of the Black Hills of Dakota: with Atlas. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1880. QE74 .P81*

Gannett, Henry. Statistical Atlas of the United States: Based Upon the Results of the Eleventh Census. Washington, D. C. Government Printing Office, 1898. HA201 1890 .A8

Eitel, Edward E., and Fireman's Fund Insurance Companies. County Atlas of Oregon and Washington: Showing All Towns, Postoffices, Railroads, County Roads, Stage Lines, Carrying Passengers, Mail and Express, and Distances between Points. San Francisco, Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., 1900. F881 .E5

Census Atlas of the World and the Panama Canal: with Special Maps and Illustrations. Portland, For the Oregon Journal, 1915. G1019 .O7

Northwest Regional Council, Pacific Northwest Regional Planning Commission, Bonneville Power Administration. Economic Atlas of the Pacific Northwest with Descriptive Text (2nd ed.). Portland, Northwest Regional Council and Pacific Northwest Regional Planning Commission, Bonneville Power Administration, 1942.  HC107.A177 N55 1942a*

Bunge, William. Nuclear War Atlas. Oxford, New York, Blackwell, 1988. U263 .B86 1988*


King, Clarence, et al. Report of the Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel. Washington, G.P.O., 1870. QE74 .K5*

Wheeler, George M., et al. Report upon United States Geographical Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian. Washington, United States Government Printing Office, 1875. QE74 .W6

Dutton, Clarence E. Report on the Geology of the High Plateaus of Utah: with Atlas. Washington, D.C., United States Government Printing Office, 1879. QE74 .P84*

Annual Report of the United States Geological Survey to the Secretary of the Interior. Washington, D.C., United States Government Printing Office, 1880. QE75 .A62

Newton, Henry, et al. Report on the Geology and Resources of the Black Hills of Dakota : with Atlas. Washington, D.C,  United States Government Printing Office, 1880. QE74 .P81*

Fisk, Harold Norman. Geological Investigation of the Alluvial Valley of the Lower Mississippi River. Vicksburg, M.R.C. Print., 1945. QE699 .U5*

Highways, Roads, and Streets

SCARC's History of the Pacific Northwest rare book collection includes a variety of books documenting Oregon highways, roads, and streets, including those cataloged under the call number TD194.5 .U557. Additional related rare books can be found under the subject headings:


Winser, Henry Jacob. The Great Northwest: a Guide-Book and Itinerary for the Use of Tourists and Travellers over the Lines of the Northern Pacific Railroad, the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company and the Oregon and California Railroad : Containing Descriptions of States, Territories, Cities, Towns, and Places Along the Routes of These Allied Systems of Transportation, and Embracing Facts Rellating to the History, Resources, Population, Products, and Natural Features of the Great Northwest : with Map and Many Illustrations. New York, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1883. F597 .W55

Hodges, L. K. Mining in the Pacific Northwest: a Complete Review of the Mineral Resources of Washington and British Columbia. With Maps. Seattle, the Post-Intelligencer, 1897. TN23.8 .H6

Heald-Menerey Company. Heald-Menerey’s geographical, commercial and recreational map, Oregon. Portland, Heald-Menerey Co., 1930. G4290 1930 .H43

United States Government Printing Office. Development of resources and of economic opportunity in the Pacific Northwest. Washington, D.C., United States Government Printing Office, 1942. HC107.A177 P23*

Coppedge, Robert O., and Youmans, Russell C. Resource Atlas: Natural, Human, Economic Public. Corvallis, Oregon State University Extension Service, 1973. HC107.O7 R31 1973*

Beckham, Stephen Dow, et al. Historical and Archaeological Resources of the Oregon Coastal Zone: a Resource Inventory Report to the Oregon Coastal Conservation and Development Commission, September 1974. Florence, Oregon Coastal Conservation & Development Commission, 1975. F881.2 .B36*


Stansbury, Howard, et al. Exploration and Survey of the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah: Including a Reconnaissance of a New Route through the Rocky Mountains. Washington, Robert Armstrong, Public Printer, 1853. F826 .U559 1853

United States. War Department. Reports of Explorations and Surveys, to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Washington, Beverly Tucker, etc., 1855. F593 .U5*

_____. The National Atlas: Containing Elaborate Topographical Maps of the United States and the Dominion of Canada, with Plans of Cities and General Maps of the World: Also, Descriptions and Tables, Historical and Statistical, with a Reference List Containing the Names of Cities, Towns, Villages, and Post-Offices in the United States, with Their Location: Accompanied by Special Railway and Scientific Maps and Articles. Philadelphia, O.W. Gray & Son, 1881. G1200 .G68 1881


Kotzebue, Otto von, and Eschscholtz, Johann Friedrich. A New Voyage Round the World in the Years 1823, 24, 25, and 26. London, H. Colburn & R. Bentley, 1830. G420 .K6

Mitchell, S. Augustus. Mitchell's School Geography. A System of Modern Geography, Comprising a Description of the Present State of the World, and Its Five Great Divisions, America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceanica, with Their Several Empires, Kingdoms, States, Territories, Etc. Illustrated by an Atlas of Twenty-Eight Maps, Drawn and Engraved to Accompany the Work, 2d rev. ed. Philadelphia, Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., 1848. G125 .M5 1849

Cram, George Franklin. Cram’s Unrivaled Family Atlas of the World. Chicago, Henry S. Stebbins, 1885. G1019 .C686 1885

Additional Highlights from SCARC's Rare Book Collections

Parker, Samuel. Journal of an Exploring Tour Beyond the Rocky Mountains: Under the Direction of the A.B.C.F.M., Performed in the Years 1835,  ’36, and  ’37: Containing a Description of the Geography, Geology, Climate, and Productions, and the Number, Manners, and Customs of the Natives: with a Map of Oregon Territory. Ithaca, published by the Author, 1838. F880 .P22 1838

Sage, Rufus B. Map of Oregon, California, New Mexico, N.W. Texas, & the Proposed Territory of Ne-Bras-Ka. New York, F. Michelin, 1846. G4125 1846 .S18

Wilkes, Charles. Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition: During the Years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842. London, Ingram, Cooke, 1852. Q115 .U461 1852

United States War Department. Reports of Explorations and Surveys, to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Washington, D.C. Beverly Tucker, etc., 1855. F593 .U5*

Emory, William H., et al. Report on the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey, Made Under the Direction of the Secretary of the Interior.  Washington, D.C. Cornelius Wendell, 1857. F786 .U5

Barry, J. Neilson (John Neilson), and Fred Orville McMillan. Captain Clark’s 1806 Map of the Willamette River: Made from Indian Charcoal and Sand Maps and Clark’s Reconnaissance of the Lower River: the Historical Note, Annotations and Modern Place Locations, 1952-1955. 1952. F592.7 .B371 1952

Secondary or Tertiary Resouces in SCARC's Collections

Map research can be supported by a variety of secondary and tertiary sources in SCARC's rare books collections as well, including:

Wagner, Henry R. (Henry Raup). The Cartography of the Northwest Coast of America to the Year 1800. University of California Press, 1937. GA401 .W2*

Wheat, Carl I. (Carl Irving). Mapping the American West, 1540-1857; a Preliminary Study. Worchester, American Antiquarian Society, 1954. GA401 .W41 1954

McArthur, Lewis A. (Lewis Ankeny), and Lewis L. McArthur. Oregon Geographic Names. 5th ed., Portland: Western Imprints, the Press of the Oregon Historical Society, 1982. F874 .M16 1982*