Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Clarke Historical Map Database Now Available

Detailed view of a John Farmer map
in the Clarke's Historical Maps Database

The Clarke Historical Library has a wealth of historical maps from Michigan, the Great Lakes, and beyond. Maps of areas as small as a single township to the entirety of the world can be found at the Library.

Clarke's Historical Maps Database showing thumbnail
images and brief descriptions for each map
Recently, staff of the Clarke and the CMU Libraries systems staff, particularly student assistant Lindsay Gabriel in the Clarke and Eric Cronstrom in systems, created a searchable database that allows any researcher anywhere in the world to find a brief description, low-resolution image, and citation to a bibliography for maps in our holdings.

Currently, information and images are available for 340 maps in the William Jenks Collection and five additional maps of the African continent from the Wilbert Wright Collection of Africana and Afro-Americana. As more maps are inventoried and images are taken of them, the information will be added to the database. 

Using the database is simple. Researchers can browse through all of the maps or use the search bar to search for a word (e.g. Detroit) or a simple term (e.g. Lake Huron) to find all of the maps in our holdings that match those search terms. When possible, we have linked the citations to bibliographies to the digital editions of those bibliographies so researchers can have access to even more information.

To view the map database, click on this link or look for "Historical Maps" in the "Resources" dropdown on the Clarke Historical Library webpage. We look forward to the expansion of this database and welcome any comments about edits or changes that need to be made.