The Lehigh Valley Historical Maps Consortium, coordinated by Lafayette Librarian John Clark, are excited to announce the launch of a new website, “Historical Maps of the Lehigh Valley” on May 24, 2021. The website is designed to give anyone interested in the past and present of this region access to maps from the collections of local museums, college and university libraries, historical and genealogical societies, and public libraries. This website will be a platform for a growing collection of digital map images documenting the history of our area, as well as a centralized registry of the physical maps available for in-person research at area institutions. This site is sponsored in part by the Lehigh Valley Engaged Humanities Consortium, with generous support provided by a grant to Lafayette College from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Users may browse about fifty digital map images covering our area at various scales from the 18th through the 20th centuries. They can also search a table of over one hundred map records which identify physical maps held in several local libraries, archives, and museums. These physical map records identify the institution holding these maps and provide a library call number (or other archival identity information) for easy search during a visit to the institution holding these maps.
While the collections in the website are limited for the moment, the detailed technical work which forms the foundation of this website has been completed, and the consortium will now able to scale up the number of maps which may be discovered in the website rapidly over the coming year. At the moment an inventory of over one thousand five hundred map records has been painstakingly gathered during visits to the various institutions and is being organized for inclusion in the website. Be sure to check in on a regular basis as this website becomes a significant portal for discovering and accessing historical maps of the Lehigh Valley.
Anyone in the Lafayette community who is interested in finding local historical maps – both physical and digital – is encouraged to contact John Clark of DSS (firstname.lastname@example.org). John can not only help you find and acquire maps but can also give you guidance in using digital map images in Geographic Information Systems software for comparing historical maps over time, and comparing past landscapes with contemporary satellite views of our region.