Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Genealogy Resources: Maps and Atlases

Finding Your Roots in the Geospatial Center & Map Collection

Genealogists from the Ancestor Hunters of Delaware County visited the GCMC on Monday, February 26, to review the genealogy resources in the Center. The GCMC includes many maps and atlases that can aid in the search for ancestors or information about family history.

The Map Collection includes county maps for all Indiana counties and most counties from around the United States. Historic county atlases are also available in the GCMC and the Atlas Collection, some dating back to 1874. The atlases include property ownership information, illustrations of settlers and homesteads in the county, and biographical information about certain settlers. Another resource is the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries, which is available for Indiana, Alabama, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi in the Atlas Collection.

Genealogists will also find soil maps of Indiana counties and other counties around the United States, historic aerial photography of some Indiana counties, and orthophotoquads from around the United States. Plat books of most Indiana counties and other areas of the United States are available in the Atlas Collection.

Historic state atlases are also available in the Atlas Collection. Some states offer more specific volumes: Virginia in Maps: Four Centuries of Settlement, Growth, and Development. An Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Indiana is available in the GCMC. This atlas provides information not only about different towns throughout Indiana, but also some of the residents of the towns.

A wide variety of historic maps of states is available in the GCMC. An interesting map for the study of Indiana is Indiana, the Influence of the Indian upon its History: Indian and French Names for Natural and Cultural Locations. Historic topographic maps are available, some dating back to the late 1890's through the 1950's. The GCMC includes Sanborn insurance maps of St. Louis and Boston, as well as twenty-three Indiana cities. Bird's-Eye View maps offer a unique panoramic view of cities, and these historic maps are available in the Center, including copies of the entire Library of Congress Panoramic Cities of Indiana set.

Contact Melissa Gentry in the GCMC if you would like more information about these genealogy resources or to schedule an informational session or tour of the Center.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Valentine Map Display

Heartland of America: Valentine's Day Map Display

The Geospatial Center & Map Collection is displaying a special map just in time for Valentine's Day on February 14. Student-assistants Casey Gentis and Amber Lukes created a map of the United States featuring Valentine-related place names. Loveland is a popular city in Colorado, but there are also many other romantic names on the map like Valentine, Montana; Darling, Minnesota; Honey, Pennsylvania; Rose Grove, New York; and Love, Arizona.

Visit the second floor of Bracken Library to view this or the many other map displays featured on the windows of the GCMC.

GIS Conference in Indianapolis

Spring Break in Indianapolis: GIS Conference Planned for March

The Indiana Geographic Information Council is hosting its 2007 Indiana GIS Conference on March 13-14, 2007. The conference features educational sessions and discussions and forums on GIS and GIS issues. The conference will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The Council is offering early bird pricing for registration through February 16, 2007. Fulltime students are also offered a discount registration. The price of the registration includes lunch for both days. Online registration is available on the IGIC website located at

Contact the Indiana Geographic Information Council at (317) 234-2924 or by email at

Thursday, February 01, 2007

February 2007 Black History Month

Black History Month: Resources and Special Display

February is Black History Month, and the Geospatial Center & Map Collection is marking the month with a special "Map of the Month" display. This map, Freedom's Tracks: A Map of the Underground Railroad is on display along with two historical pencil drawings. The drawings are on loan from the Educational Resources Center in Bracken Library's lower level. The map shows the paths taken by the slaves during the Underground Railroad. According to the map, "this map depicts routes that were certainly used, probably used, and possibly used." Land, water, and rail routes are shown. The base map is an 1873 map of the United States.

The GCMC and Atlas Collection have a number of maps and atlases related to Black History Month. National Geographic has produced numerous maps of the continent of Africa that include thematic maps on the verso: Africa's Natural Realms, Africa Today, Africa: A Storied Landscape, and The Heritage of Africa. A map of the great figures of the Harlem Renaissance is available, as well as a map of the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site. The Atlas of African-American History and The New Atlas of African History are just some of the atlases available in the Atlas Collection.

Please contact the GCMC to borrow one of these maps or for more information on the Collection.