Maps of California are a great resource to help learn about a place at a particular point in time. Old California maps are effective sources of geographical information and useful for historical, genealogical and territorial research.
Our collection of California maps includes many different historic and modern types of maps. The maps date from the 19th century to the present and include:
- California Township maps, including maps showing the progress of the original government surveys
- California Road, Highway and railroad maps
- California Maps showing the state’s geological features
- California Nautical charts
- California timeline of county boundaries changes
- California Military maps
- California Maps of specific towns, counties, islands, harbors, and bodies of water
- Colonial era maps of California
- Bird’s eye views of California cities and towns
Historical Maps of California are a great resource to help learn about a place at a particular point in time. California Maps are vital historical evidence but must be interpreted cautiously and carefully.
California Maps can be very useful in conducting research, especially in light of the now extinct communities. Also, because old California maps were usually commissioned by the county seat, they often display information about the county, including town names.
California Map Collections
Several books are helpful in researching the evolution of California.
- Historical Atlas of California, available in many libraries, provides a basic map reference at different points in California’s history.
- 1500 California Place Names: Their Origins and Meaning, is an excellent resource for named places and the history behind them.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) website offers for sale topographical maps of California.
Old Historical Atlas Maps of California
This Historical California Map Collection are from original copies. Most historical maps of California were published in atlases and spans over 150 years of growth for the state.
Some California maps years have cities, railroads, P.O. locations, township outlines, and other features useful to the California researcher.
Morse’s 1845 Map of California
Colton’s 1856 Map of California
1866 Sketch of Public Surveys Map of California and Nevada by the Department of Interior Land Office
1874 Map of Northern California and Nevada
1874 Map of Southern California and Nevada
Mitchell’s 1880 Map of California
1900 Map of California, USA from Spofford’s Atlas of the World
Cram’s 1901 Map of Northern California
Cram’s 1901 Map of Southern California
Map of California County Formations 1850-1925
This Interactive Map of California Counties show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county and unsuccessful county proposal from the creation of the California territory in 1850 to 1925.
California County Maps of Road and Highway’s
The California D.O.T. Highway Department does not have California County Maps available at this time.
External California Map Resources
- Old Historical Maps of California (alabamamaps.ua.edu)
- California Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers (ancestry.com)
- U.S., Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918 (ancestry.com)
- Library of Congress California Map Collections (loc.gov)
- Old Maps of California (old-maps.com)
- California Antique Maps and Historical Atlases (historicmapworks.com)
- Historical California State Maps (mapsofthepast.com)
- Antique Maps of California (raremaps.com)
- California Map Books (amazon.com)
Before, and between, the World’s defining conflicts, mapmakers were busy documenting the locales that would become the seats of war. In our map collection you will find historic maps, hundreds of our one-of-a kind troop movement maps, and numerous animated maps, in which the movements of battle come to life.
This list of battle maps show campaigns of major military conflicts including troop movements, defensive structures and groundworks, roads to and from sites of military engagements, campsites, and local buildings, topography and vegetation.
Some of the maps are manuscripts drawn on the field of battle, while others are engraved including some that have manuscript annotations reflecting the history of the battle or campaign.
A significant number of battle maps provide information about the locality that is not available elsewhere such as the location of plantations, the names of landowners in the area, the configuration of small towns and villages, and indications of prior settlement by native Americans.
American Revolutionary War Battle Maps
The Revolutionary War was a war unlike any other—one of ideas and ideals, that shaped “the course of human events.” With 165 principal engagements from 1775-1783, the Revolutionary War was the catalyst for American independence.
In our map collection you will find historic maps, hundreds of our one-of-a kind troop movement maps, and numerous animated maps, in which the movements of battle come to life.
The Revolutionary War was a war unlike any other— it was the catalyst for American independence. Find historic battle maps, troop movement maps, and numerous animated maps, in which the movements of battle come to life.
- Historic map of the Battle of Bunker Hill, Massachusetts – Action at Breeds Hill on June 17, 1775
- The Battle of ‘Bunker’ Hill 17 June 1775
- Battles of Lexington and Concord – April 19, 1775
- Battle of Long Island – August 27, 1776 – Illustrating Battle Positions Howe and Washington
- Battle of Harlem Heights – September 16, 1776 – Illustrating Positions and Movements Howe and Washington
- Battle of Valcour Island – October 11, 1776 – Illustrating – Positions and Movements Arnold and Carleton
- Battle of Trenton – December 26, 1776 – Illustrating – Positions and Movements, Wall, Washington, Ewing
- Battle of Princeton – January 3, 1777 – Illustrating -Positions and Movements
- Battle of the Brandywine – September 11, 1777
- Battles of Fort Montgomery and Fort Clinton – October 6, 1777 – Illustrating – Battle positions and movements – Prelude October 5 and 6, 1777
- Map of Clark’s Approach to Vincennes (February 21-23, 1779) Learn More: The Battle of Vincennes
- Map Invasion of Canada and Operations (September 1775 – October 1776)
- Christmas Campaign 1776-7 – Battles of Trenton and Princeton – Illustrating Positions and Movements
- Campaign of 1777 – Illustrating – Battle positions and movements – Positions and Movements