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  • Writer's pictureYasmin Elaine Waring

Interactive New York City Map ca.1879

The current historical project I'm working on is set on the eastern seaboard in the late 19th century. I can't tell you how thrilled this Texan was to discover the very accessible New York Public Library Digital Collection. I was able to locate a very legible interactive map of New York City from 1879 that has provided valuable enhancements to the story. You can zoom in and roam around the map with relative ease and the markings and type are readable.

For example, apparently there was an aquarium located at 36th and Broadway. I haven't been able to cross-reference its location with other historical records, but I am intrigued. You can identify the pocket of luxury hotels around Madison Square like the Hotel Brunswick and Hoffman House. Retail establishments like Lord & Taylor and Macy's are indicated along with the architectural strongholds like the Tweed Courthouse and Chickering Hall and Astor Place.

The map covers Battery Park to Central Park and, as it is the official "Taunton's Pocket Edition of the Merchant's and Shipper's Guide to the Port of New York 18979," details all the port stations that necklace the island from the Hudson the East River and points beyond.

If you're a history geek who was unaware of this resource, I hope you find the digital collection helpful. And if you've got a cartography fetish, this is some hearty map porn you'll have fun devouring. The images below are screenshots from the collection. Enjoy!


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