USAGEN-L ArchivesArchiver > USAGEN > 2010-07 > 1279105638
From: "Scott R. C. Anderson" <>
Subject: [USAGEN] Atlas of Historical County Boundaries
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2010 11:07:18 +0000 (GMT+00:00)
> The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries now available online
> The Newberry Library is pleased to announce the completion and release
> of its Digital Atlas of Historical County Boundaries, a dataset that
> covers every day-to-day change in the size, shape, location, name,
> organization, and attachment of each U.S. county and state from the
> creation of the first county in 1634 through 2000.
> Nearly every aspect of American life can be described, analyzed, and
> illuminated through data gathered and organized by county or available
> in county records, and knowing how and when boundaries changed is
> often the key to finding and understanding great quantities of
> historical data. For example, a farm may have been in one family for
> many generations, but over the decades changes in county lines may
> have effectively moved that farm from one county to another. When
> looking for old family records, how does the modern genealogist know
> which county seat will hold great-grandmother’s marriage certificate?
> How does an attorney know which county seat recorded the deed to
> great-great-grandfather’s farm?
> In addition, population figures are commonly aggregated at the county
> level, but comparing statistics from one enumeration to the next may
> not accurately reveal actual change. Was a change in the figures from
> census to census due to population movement or to a change in the
> boundaries of the reporting counties, or to a combination of both?
> With the Newberry’s Atlas of Historical County Boundaries,
> genealogists, geographers, historians, political scientists,
> attorneys, demographers, and many more now can find accurate county
> data that will greatly assist them in their research.
> The data are organized by state and are available online in four versions:
> * Viewable, interactive maps (electronic analogues to printed maps) on
> which the historical lines have been plotted against a background of
> the modern county network
> * Downloadable shapefiles for use in geographic information systems (GIS)
> * Downloadable KMZ files for use with Google Earth
> * Downloadable and printable PDF files (each full-page frame shows a
> map of a different version of each county, with the historical
> boundaries displayed against a background of the modern county
> Supplementing the polygons and maps for each state are chronologies,
> commentary on historical problems, long and short metadata documents,
> and a bibliography.
> The project began in 1988, with principal funding provided by the
> National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency.
> Additional support came from the Newberry Library, which also served
> as headquarters, and from other foundations and individuals. The
> Newberry Library is the copyright holder; all files of the Digital
> Atlas of Historical County Boundaries are free for use under an
> Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Creative Commons License.
> Queries should be addressed to . The Website for
> the Atlas is publications.newberry.org/ahcbp.
> Douglas Knox
> Director of Publication and Digital Initiatives
> The Newberry Library
> 60 West Walton Street
> Chicago, IL 60610
|[USAGEN] Atlas of Historical County Boundaries by "Scott R. C. Anderson" <>|