About the Map Collection

The Archives at Queens Public Library's map collection is an incredibly rich resource documenting the transformation of Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk, Long Island, New York City, and New York State from rural, empty farm land into one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the United States.

The maps document this region's land ownership, homes, political and property boundaries, land formation, transportation routes, significant landmarks, and more.

Their diversity of documentation is matched by their diversity in size from very small to very large, and in type from hand-drawn surveyor's maps to bird's-eye views to mass-produced maps.

The Archives groups maps by creator or subject and places them in alphabetical order. Almost all of the groups have subgroups, which are also organized by subject or creator and listed in alphabetical order. The Archives further divides maps by size and chronological order.

If a map documents more than one neighborhood, village, town, city, county, or state, the division identifies them with the next largest single political boundary. For example, if a map documents the neighborhoods of Sunset Park and Park Slope, the Archives identifies the map as Brooklyn City. If a map documents the villages of Mineola and Rockville Centre as two villages in Hempstead and North Hempstead Towns, the Archives identifies it as Nassau County. If a map documents the Long Island Rail Road from Long Island City and Flatbush Avenue to Montauk and Orient Point, spanning all four counties of Long Island, the Archives identifies it as Railroads, Long Island and Long Island Rail Road.

The following is a note about the identification and listing of maps documenting Kings, Nassau, Queens, and Suffolk Counties:

  • For neighborhoods in Kings and Queens Counties, the Archives uses the names currently used in the Archives' vertical files. For towns in Kings and Queens Counties, the Archives uses the original town names in the two counties, including New Lots, Long Island City, and the Rockaways.
  • For Nassau and Suffolk County maps, the Archives separates them by county and then lists them in alphabetical order by the single political boundary documented—incorporated village, town, or county.

The Archives at Queens Public Library reserves the right to screen requests for access to these collections.

See a List of the Maps in our Collections

See the Maps in Our Digital Archives

Search all Maps