Follow this guide to learn how to best use the David Rumsey map collection for your research. This article contains a Genealogy How-To Video demonstrating how to find free maps on the David Rumsey website.
Ever since maps were first carved into clay tablets in ancient Babylon, historians have relied upon them to provide a snapshot of a place at a particular time. For genealogists, historical maps are a window into where ancestors lived, worked and traveled. Maps bring context to genealogical research challenges and can help you scale even the tallest brick walls.
The David Rumsey Map Collection
website, named for the noted map collector, looms large in the online cartography world. The site has digitized more than 33,000 maps, globes and atlases over the past 25 years. And while the collection focuses on rare 18th- and 19th-century maps of North and South America, it also features maps of Asia, Africa and Europe.