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Historical Census and Ward Maps: General

A guide to the cartographic resources of Cornell University Library with links to online resources.

Ward Maps

NYC 1857


Before the development of the current census geography, the Census Bureau used city voting wards as census divisions. Because these maps identify in which ward a particular street address was located when a given census was taken, they provide a key for locating and interpreting the information gathered in early federal and state censuses.

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has published Ward Maps of United States Cities : A Selective Checklist of Pre-1900 Maps in the Library of Congress (Olin Maps + Z6028 .U575 W2). The selection includes the 25 most populous cities found in the 1880 decennial federal census, plus 10 other cities which are frequent subjects for population or genealogical research. The checklist describes 232 maps dating from 1790 through 1899. All of these maps have been reproduced on Olin Microfiche 1546. Maps are available on fiche for the following cities:

Albany, NY Cincinnati, OH Louisville, KY Pittsburgh, PA
Allegheny, PA Cleveland, OH Memphis, TN Providence, RI
Atlanta, GA Columbus, OH Milwaukee, WI Richmond, VA
Baltimore, MD Denver, CO Minneapolis, MN Rochester, NY
Boston, MA Detroit, MI New Haven, CT St. Louis, MO
Brooklyn, NY Hartford, CT New Orleans, LA St. Paul, MN
Buffalo, NY Indianapolis, IN New York, NY San Francisco, CA
Charleston, SC Jersey City, NJ Newark, NJ Washington, DC
Chicago, IL Kansas City, MO Philadelphia, PA

Subject Guide

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