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Series Information
(Cartographic Records)

Series Description

Since Baltimore's formation as a town in 1729, the city has accumulated a vast amount of cartographic records. Throughout these years various agencies have been responsible for the creation and maintenance of such records. During the eighteenth century, the Baltimore County Surveyor was generally accountable. With the incorporation of the city in 1797 the Baltimore City Commissioners periodically contracted with a private surveyor for such work and from the mid-nineteenth century the rosters of municipal officials usually included such a "city surveyor." The 1898 charter designated an elected city surveyor, a position that was maintained until the creation of a Department of Public Works in 1925 and its absorption of these responsibilities. In 1968 the Baltimore City Department of Public Works was reorganized to include a Bureau of Engineering with a Division of Surveys and Records where such work is now conducted.

Although these records do not technically constitute a "record group," having been maintained by numerous municipal agencies, the nature of these records provide for their organization into an artificial group.

For further information about Baltimore's cartographic records see Newton D. Mereness, Maryland as a Proprietary Province (New York: Macmillan Company, 1901); Ord. 47 (1797); Baltimore City Charter of 1898, Sect. 205; and Ord. 450 (1925). See also MS.4, Bouldin Survey Records, at the Baltimore City Archives.

For a listing of available ward maps refer to William G. Lefurgy, "Baltimore's Wards, 1797-1978: A Guide," Maryland Historical Magazine 75 (June 1980): 145-53. also available as a reprint from the Baltimore City Archives. A complete inventory of all Baltimore maps completed prior to 1824 is also available for consultation.

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DateSeries NameDescriptionMSA Citation
  Details1730-1964Microfilmed Cartographic Records

Maps and some architectural records microfilmed in 1964 and the majority destroyed. These records consist mostly of maps for the opening and closing of streets but also include bridge designs, railroad and other transportation routes, parks, docks and other harbor construction, general Baltimore maps, Burnt District map (1904), estates, and political subdivisions. There are a large number of architectural drawings consisting of such buildings as the powder house, city spring, City Hall, pump house at Druid Hill Park, Richmond and Lexington Markets, the new court house, Maryland National Guard Armory, and the municipal jail.

There is an index arranged by record number and another arranged alphabetically by location or subject. These records are on 35mm apperature cards; a number of the originals were salvaged and are currently at the Peale Museum or Baltimore City Archives. Also available on microfilm (BCA 202-15; 1389-1401)

  Details1729-1816Jehu Bouldin Atlases

Copies of older maps ordered to be made by the Mayor and City Council in February 1816. These maps were copied by Jehu Bouldin and approved by John Hargrove and Samuel Young in October 1816 when the project was completed. There are a total of sixty-six maps covering 1729-1816 and showing major annexations to the town, opening of streets and alleys as public highways, resurveys, widening of public highways, alterations to the Jones Falls, construction of wharves in the basin, and surveys of property boundaries. There are also fourteen maps (nos. 67-80) that were compiled by Jehu Bouldin in 1817-19 relating to surveys done in that period or bound in with these other maps at a later date. All eighty maps were bound in what was originally classified as Atlases "1" and "1 1/2."

Also available on microfilm (BCA 1273, 1387).

  Details1767-1818"Atlas 6"

A collection of maps bound together in the nineteenth century. These are original maps submitted to the city register, all copied in Series 2. Most of the maps were completed by George G. Presbury and Jehu Bouldin. An artificial numbering system has been used since some of the maps originally bound in this "atlas" are missing.

Also available on microfilm (BCA 220).

  Details1783-1878"Atlas 5"

A collection of maps bound together in the nineteenth century. The majority of these maps were completed before 1820 and thirty of these maps are duplicate copies of maps in Series 2 and 3. Most of the maps were completed by Jehu Bouldin and relate to surveys in the harbor, especially concerning the extension of wharves and" the widening and clearing of the channel. Other subjects include the construction of a bridge over the Jones Falls in 1798 with an engineering drawing and specifications; alley and .street extensions; limits of the city, 1817; railroad -owned property, 1839; property owned by the municipal government and being auctioned to the public, 1851; a published map showing the location of public schools, 1866; and a survey of the fish house property, 1878.

Also available on microfilm (BCA 220).

  Details1792-1840"Atlases 2 to 2 1/2"

Atlases of maps bound together in the nineteenth century and covering the period 1792 to 1840, with the majority of maps completed in 1820-36. Of these maps only seven are duplicates of maps in Series 2 to 4, although they were probably duplicate copies of original maps as all are of a uniform size (83 x 57 cm) and some sheets contain two or more maps. Most of the maps were completed by Thomas H. Poppleton, Jehu Bouldin, A. J. Bouldin, and Owen Bouldin and concern lot boundaries, construction and extensions of wharves, street and alley openings and extensions, and harbor surveys.

Also available on microfilm (BCA 218, 1273, 1387).

  Details1729Linen TracingsLinen tracings of maps completed under the direction of James W. Shirley of the Topographical Survey in 1904-06. Many of these maps are originals in the Baltimore City Archives including those in Series 2 (nos. 1-80), Series 5 (nos. 81-148), Series 4 (nos. 234-69), and Series 3 (nos. 270-336). Numbers 149-223 are linen tracings of two atlases (atlases "3" and "4") that are no longer extant.BRG12-6
  Details1906Atlas of the City of Baltimore, MarylandPublished atlas map showing ward boundaries, street car lines, street names, and index numbers to a series of highly detailed maps. Specific area maps provide information relating to building uses and construction and house and block numbers.BRG12-7
  Details1896Atlas of the City of Baltimore, MarylandSame as Series 7 except a decade earlier.BRG12-8
  Details1914Square Mile SheetsPrintings of atlas sheets of Baltimore City published in 1914 under the authority of the Topographical Survey Commission. Consists of thirty-six sheets covering the entire city.BRG12-9
  Details1794-1928Miscellaneous Maps

Assorted published maps of Maryland, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., 1794-1928. Microfilmed items include published maps of Baltimore Wards (1859, 1860, 1873, and 1888), Patterson Park (1876), and Druid Hill Park (1879). Also available is City Atlas of Baltimore, Maryland and Environs (Philadelphia: G. M. Hopkins, 1876) and detailed section maps on wards and providing information on building use and ownership plus ward maps for ca. 1908.

Original published maps include Denis Griffith's 1794 map of Maryland; Fielding Lucas, Jr. Baltimore map of 1841; Simon J. Martinet's maps of Maryland (1865, 1866, and 1885); neighborhood map of Baltimore (1884); J. L. Smith's map of Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia (1889); other general maps of the city (1892, 1919, and 1928); volume two of the 1880 Sanborn map of the city; and published atlas of Wards 21 and 22 by Winfield W. Thompson.

  Details1792-1912Miscellaneous Maps

A collection of manuscript and printed maps belonging to the municipal government transferred from temporary storage at the Peale Museum and concerning the following: "Lunn's Lot" and "Howard's Timber Neck" (1782-83); Fells Point (1787); harbor area (1794, 1814, 1819, 1902); Hilton Street (1824); Washington Monument Square (1829); York Avenue (1848); Eutaw Street (1854); general maps of Baltimore (1819, 1912); proposed water supply routes (1853); Swan Lake Aqueduct (1862); Union Railroad (1866); Patterson Park (1899); Lake Chapman and Mt. Royal Reservoir (1867); Baltimore, Chesapeake, and Atlantic Railroad Company (1906); Johns Hopkins Hospital site (n.d.); and airline tunnel from the Gunpowder Falls (n.d.). This series includes five manuscript maps by George C. Presbury, Surveyor of Baltimore County, completed in 1782-87.

A numerical listing of these maps is available at the Baltimore City Archives.

  Details1885, 1887Atlas of the City of Baltimore, Maryland

Two volume atlas covering all areas north of Baltimore Street and similar in context to Series 7 and 8.

Available on microfilm (BCA 219)

  Details1836-1867"Plats, City of Baltimore No. 3"

An atlas of maps recopied and bound in the midnineteenth century. The first dozen maps by municipal surveyors A. J. Bouldin and Owen Bouldin, 1836-40, were ordered recopied by res. 21 (1837) and res. 45 (1840). The remainder maps are contemporary copies by municipal surveyors Owen Bouldin, 1844-46, 1850, 1854; A. J. Bouldin, 1852; Thomas P. Chiffelle, 1847-55, 1858; and Gilbert H. Bryson, 1854, 1856, 1859-61, 1865-66. These maps all concern alley and street opening and extensions, estate maps, and municipal property.

Also available on microfilm (BCA 220, 1057)

  Details1840-1868"Atlas B"

An atlas of maps recopied and bound in the midnineteenth century. These maps were prepared by municipal surveyors Owen Bouldin, 1840, 1844, 1846, 1848, 1850, 1855; Thomas P. Chiffelle, 1849-52, 1854-56, 1859; A. J. Boudin, 1850-51; Gilbert H. Bryson, 1860-62, 1865-67; and Simon J. Martinet, 1868. These maps concern alley and street openings and extensions and harbor surveys. There is also a complete set of linen tracings of this series prepared by Joseph W. Shirley of the Topographical Survey in 1906.

Also available on microfilm (BCA 220 and 1388)

  Details1730-1848"Plats, City of Baltimore No. 4"

A collection of nineteenth century manuscript copies of early Baltimore maps including surveys for various additions to the town, 1747, 1750, 1754, 1766, 1782-84, 1792; 1730 survey of the original town; 1773 survey of the town; 1786 tax map showing original tracts; 1805 map of "Philpots Addition" used in a chancery court case; 1830 plan of the property of St. Mary's Seminary; and 1848 survey of property adjacent to the Northwest Branch of the Patapsco River.

Also available on microfilm (BCA 220)

  Details1797-1828"Early Additions to Baltimore Town"

Assortment of manuscript plats and transcribed land records relating to parcels of property added at various times to the land area of Baltimore. It is not clear why this material was created or who prepared it.

Restricted to microfilm (BCA 1057)

  Details1894-1895Topographical Survey FilesCorrespondence between the chief engineer, the survey commission as a whole, and the city comptroller and one report of expenditures covering the period May-October 1893. The letters primarily concern fiscal and financial requests and questions but also reflect some of the survey's responsibilities (laying out street lines, preparing maps and plats, and surveying property, particularly in the 1888 annexation to the city). The Topographical Survey Commssion, consisting of the Mayor, City Comptroller, and City Register, was created by virtue of Ord. 98 (1893) to make geodetic and topographical surveys of the city and prepare official maps and plats; the square mile sheets found in Series 9 were a product of its work. The commission had the power to appoint a chief engineer, whose records are found here. The Topographical Survey Commssion and the office of Chief Engineer were abolished in 1926 (Resolution 7, approved September 27, 1926) and all their powers, functions, and responsibilities transferred to the Bureau of Plans and Surveys of the newly-created Department of Public Works.BRG12-17
  Details1879-1952Sanborn Insurance Atlases

Published atlases showing streets, land use and ownership, and structures in Baltimore City. Similar in content to Series 7, 8, and 12. Also included are two volumes of the metropolitan area 1929-1967.

There is a container listing available.

  Details1796-1935Ward Map FileThis artificial collection contains originals, reprints, and copies of maps and plats, with a few exceptions, that show the changing of the political districts (wards) in the city throughout time.BRG12-19
  Details Hampden-Woodbury Maps BRG12-20
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