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Historic map collection


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The Historic map collection comprises nearly 1000 maps dating from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. The majority of the maps depict North America during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but the collection also holds early maps of the New World, maps of Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa, as well as world maps and atlases. Although this is a comprehensive collection, Delaware state maps; maps of the Middle Atlantic Region; and charts of Delaware Bay make up the most extensive part of the collection.

Among the important Delaware and regional maps from this collection are John Senex's

A New Map of Virginia, Maryland & the Improved Parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey (ca. 1719), Joshua Fisher's A Chart of Delaware Bay and River (1776), Lewis Evans's Map of the Middle British Colonies (1776), and an anonymously produced Plan of Wilmington and Its Environs (ca. 1798). The collection also contains an anonymous manuscript map of Delaware (ca. 1715), a bird's-eye view map of Wilmington (1784), early twentieth-century Sanborn maps of Seaford and New Castle, and numerous road maps of Delaware dating from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The Historic Map Collection comprises a core group of maps that were collected by the curators of Special Collections during the past forty years. This part of the collection is comprehensive and includes maps from around the world dating from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries, although a bulk of the collection comprises nineteenth- and twentieth-century maps of the Delaware area.

In addition to this core group, the collection also contains three other collections that were either given to or purchased by the Library. The most significant of these is the Pearl Herlihy Daniels Collection, which includes about 150 maps, books, atlases, and visual materials, mainly related to the history of Delaware and the surrounding regions. The two other collections included are the Robert D. Fleck Collection, which comprises a group of over 250 maps of Delaware, mainly from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the Dunlap Collection, a group of fifteen maps of the Newark area.

Although these collections remain together as discrete entities, for the purposes of this finding aid, the maps are organized by their geographic locations rather than their respective collection. However, the accession number that appears next to the map's title identifies the collection: maps that were collected by the curators of Special Collections have accession numbers ranging from 01800- 03099; maps from the Dunlap Collection have accessioning numbers ranging from 03101-03107; the Fleck Collection number range from 03201-03252; and the Herlihy Daniels Collection maps range from 04001-04121.

The maps are arranged by geographical region. In most cases they are listed by continent and then country, except for United States maps, which are arranged by state. Under Delaware, the maps have been further subdivided into counties and towns. Under each geographical heading the maps are ordered by their date of publication. In the finding aid, each map's location (map case, drawer, and folder number) is noted to the left of the map title. Under the location is the accession number, which is the map's unique identifier, which is necessary, as there are multiple maps in each folder. There are also maps in the vault, in Hollinger boxes, and hung in frames. The abbreviations below appear in the finding aid after the accession number and identify the location of each map.

f - Framed map (hanging)

gr - Green map case

h - Hollinger boxes (above the green map case)

mc2 - Map case 2 (Pearl Herlihy Daniels map collection)

new - New map case

ovr - Oversized map drawers

rol - Rolled map

v - Vault

vf - Framed in vault (hanging)

Gift and purchase, various dates

Processed by Laura Cochrane and Theresa Hessey, 2001-2002. Encoded by Jaime Margalotti, February 2021.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2021 February 22
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Index and Contents List.
Scope and Contents

Please follow this link to a PDF of the Index and Contents List

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