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Map Guide: Special Collections Maps

UTA Special Collections Maps

The Virginia Garrett Cartographic History Library in Special Collections houses an excellent collection of original print and manuscript maps, atlases, geographies, books with maps, and books about maps and the history of mapmaking.  The library is located on the sixth floor of Central Library.  During fall and spring semesters, Special Collections is open 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday and 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday.  Appointments are recommended, but not required.  Call (817) 272-3393.

UT Arlington’s Virginia Garrett Cartographic History Library is renowned for its collection of maps and maps in books relating to Texas. Among the oldest are world maps from 1544 (1575 edition), 1546, 1550(1550-1572), and 1561, as well as early maps of America (the "New World") dating to 1513 (in a 1541 edition), 1540 (in a 1552 edition), 1570, 1587, 1589, 1595 (edition of 1609), and 1596(1598 edition). There are early original maps of New Spain dating from 1561 (1599 edition), 1584, and 1597 (also in a 1611 edition of "the first American atlas"). 16th-century mapmakers represented in this collection include Martin Waldseemueller (the man who named America), Peter Apian, Johannes Honter, Sebastian Muenster, Abraham Ortelius, Michael Mercator, Girolamo Ruscelli, Cornelis van Wytfliet, and Giovanni Antonio Magini.

Maps Showing the Area that Became Texas (1600s)
Special Collections has maps, atlases, and maps in books relating to the area dating from 1601, 1606, 1617(1635), 1618(1638-1649), 1626(1676), 1630, 1635(1), 1635(2), 1636, 1647, 1650 (ca.1651), 1657 (1683), 1665, 1666, 1671(1), 1671(2), 1671(3), 1674 (1681), ca.1675 (ca.1680), ca. 1675 (ca.1688), 1680, ca.1680, ca.1683, ca.1687, 1688, 1698(1), 1698(2), 1699(1) and 1699(2). Most of these focus on America and originally appeared in Dutch, French, English, and Italian atlases by such names as Hondius, Blaeu, Jansson, Visscher, De Wit, Van Keulen, Sanson, Dudley, and Coronelli.

Maps of Spanish Texas and the Borderlands 1700-1820
Among the cartographic highlights at UT Arlington from this period are original maps by de Fer from 1701, 1702, 1705, 1715, and 1718, Delisle 1703 (1745) and 1718 (the first printed map to show a form of the name Texas) and many variants, including English examples from 1721(1) and 1721(2). Particularly interesting are Spanish plans of forts to protect their missions in east Texas from 1722, a manuscript map from a Spanish expedition to inspect northern Mexico and what became south Texas dating from 1778, atlases of New Spain including a famous map of Mexico by Alexander von Humboldt (1810, 1811, 1825), English and American wall maps, including a large, rare 1819 map by Dr. John H. Robinson, a member of the Zebulon Pike's expedition to the Rocky Mountains.

Maps from the Mexican Period and the Republic of Texas 1821-1845
Special Collections owns original wall-, pocket-, and single-sheet maps of the Texas area from 1825, 1828, 1835(1), 1835(2), 1835(3), 1835(4), 1836, 1838, 1839, 1841, and 1844(1) and 1844(2) -- to mention a few.  Among the names associated with their production are Manuel Mier y Teran, Stephen F. Austin, John Charles Beales, Josiah Gregg, and William H. Emory.  There are also atlases, geographies, and books from the period that contain maps pertaining to Texas.

Maps of Texas 1846-1900
Few cartographic collections around the world can surpass UT Arlington's renowned Texas map collections, and particularly for this period. Maps pertaining to the U.S. War with Mexico 1846-1848 are exceptionally strong with materials donated by Jenkins and Virginia Garrett. In addition to U.S. government printed maps, there is a manuscript map of a scout in west Texas by Lieutenant William H. Beck of the 10th U.S. Cavalry (1880), and rare examples of maps printed in Mexico City and New Orleans. German maps pertaining to Texas, many of which are associated with the Adelsverein (a society of German nobles formed to encourage German emigration to Texas), include some of the the first printed Texas town plans (1851a) and views (1851b).  Special Collections also has original atlases, geographies, almanacs, immigration and business guides, government reports and other books that contain maps pertaining to Texas.

Maps of Texas 1900-Present
Among the maps pertaining to Texas from the 20th century in Special Collections are highway and road maps, oil maps, topographical and General Land Office county maps, city and town maps, geological maps, and promotional maps. The MAPSCO collection contains indexed street guides for a number of Texas cities. Sanborn Company Fire Insurance Maps of north central Texas cities and towns are temporarily available within Special Collections thanks to a long-term loan from the Texas State Archives.

Early Maps (1500s)
There are many original maps in the collections that pertain to other parts of the territories that became the United States besides Texas and the American Southwest.  Among the oldest is a map of Asia showing a portion of the northwest coast of America as "Terra incognita"in 1538,  world maps from 1544(1575 edition), 15461550(1550-1572), and 1561, as well as early maps of America (the "New World") dating to 1513 (in a 1541 edition), 1540 (in a 1552 edition), 157015871589, 1595 (edition of 1609), and 1596(1598 edition). There are original maps of the New England area from 1561 and 1597 (in the 1611 edition of the "first American atlas") in addition to maps showing northern New Spain dating from 1561 (1599 edition), 1584, and 1597 (also in the 1611 edition). 

Maps Relating to the Area that Became the U.S. (1600s)
Special Collections has original maps, atlases, and maps in books relating to the area dating from 1601, 1606, 1617 (1635), 1618 (1638-1649), 1626 (1676), 1630, 1635(1), 1635(2), 1636, 1647, 1650 (ca.1651), 16571657 (1683), 1665, 1666, 1671(1), 1671(2), 1671(3), 1674 (1681), ca.1675(ca.1688), 1680, ca.1680, ca.1683, ca.1687, 1688, 1698(1), 1698(2), 1699(1) and 1699(2).  Most of these focus on America and originally appeared in Dutch, French, English, and Italian atlases by such names as Hondius, Blaeu, Jansson, Visscher, De Wit, Van Keulen, Sanson, Dudley, and Coronelli. 

Maps of the Area that became the U.S. (1700s)
While maps of Spanish Texas and the Southwestern Borderlands from this period are a specialty, Special Collections also has other original 18th-century printed maps relating to other parts of the continental U.S. There are examples from 1703, 1710, 1713, 1715, 1719, 1720, 1746, 1747, 1750, 1752, 1755, 1756, 1757, 1763, 1775(1), 1775(2), 1775(3), 1775(4), 1775(5), 1776, 1780, 1786, 1793, 1794, 1795, and 1797.  Names associated with these maps include Heinrich Scherer, John Senex, Herman Moll, Henri Chatelain, J. B. d'Anville, Emanuel Bowen, John Mitchell, Thomas Pownall, Thomas Jefferys, Rigobert Bonne, John Filson, Daniel Smith, Mathew Carey, S. J. Neele.  

Maps of the Area that became the U.S. (1800s)
In addition to maps pertaining to Texas and the Southwest, Special Collections is very strong in original printed maps of 19th-century North America -- particularly those that depict the trans-Mississippi West. There are single-sheet maps, folding pocket and wall maps as well as maps in books, gazettes, and atlases.  "Revisualizing Westward Expansion: A Century of Conflict in Maps, 1800-1900" was the theme of two exhibits of primarily UTA maps accompanying the 2008 Virginia Garrett Biennial Lectures on the History of Cartography.  There is a gallery guide for one of these exhibits as well as exhibit research checklists that may be accessed (AR533 2008 box 2).  In addition, geographical coverage even for eastern, northern, and northwestern states can on occasion be surprisingly good, so use keyword and subject searches to find your maps.

Maps of the U.S. (1900s)
Despite the vast quantities of maps relating to the U.S. produced during the 20th. century, UT Arlington's selection is limited, due to the focus here on Texas and the Greater Southwest. For some types of maps, such as road maps and U.S.G.S. topographic maps, Special Collections collects primarily Texas and adjoining states.

Maps of Colonial Mexico/New Spain (1500s)
One of Special Collection's oldest original maps to focus on Mexico or New Spain (which once also included nearly half of the territory of the present U.S.) dates from 1561 (in a 1599 edition), but it is based upon a map from 1548.  There are also original printed maps showing New Spain or portions of it from 157915811584, and 1597 (1611). The oldest plan of Mexico City in the collection dates from 1569. Early maps of America (the "New World") in the collections that show Mexico date to 1513 (in a 1541 edition, 1540 (in a 1552 edition), 1570, 1587, 1589, 1595 (edition of 1609), and 1596(1598). Among the oldest world maps in Special Collections to show Mexico or New Spain date from 1544 (1575 edition), 15461550 (1550-1572), and 1561. Sixteenth-century mapmakers associated with these maps include Martin Waldseemueller (the man who named America), Peter Apian, Johannes Honter, Sebastian Muenster, Abraham Ortelius, Hieronymo de Chaves, Gerard Mercator, Girolamo Ruscelli, and Cornelis van Wytfliet.

Maps of Colonial Mexico/New Spain (1600s)
Special Collections has maps, atlases, and maps in books relating to the area dating from 1601, 1606, 1617(1635), 1618(1638-1649), 1626(1676), 1630, 1635(1), 1635(2), 1636, 1647, 1650 (ca.1651), 1656 (1675), 1657 (1683), 1665, 1666, 1671(1), 1671(2), 1671(3), 1671(4), 1674 (1681), ca.1675 (ca.1680), ca. 1675 (ca.1688), 1680, ca.1630, ca.1683, ca.1687, 1688, 1698(1), 1698(2). Most of these focus on America and originally appeared in Dutch, French, English, and Italian atlases by such names as Hondius, Blaeu, Jansson, Visscher, De Wit, Van Keulen, Sanson, Dudley, and Coronelli. Other names associated with these maps include Antonio Herrera y Tordesillas, Johannes de Laet, Matheus Merian, Athanasius Kircher, Arnoldus Montanus, John Ogilby, John Thornton, Jean Baptiste Nolin, Heinrich Scherer, and Louis Hennepin.

Maps of Colonial Mexico/New Spain (1700-1821)
There are original maps from 1701, 1702, 1702, 1703, 1703 (1745),  1705, 1705-1732, 1710, 1712, 1715, 1715, 1717, 1718, 1718, 1719, 1720(1), 1720(2),  1722, 1725,  1733, 17631770(1), 1770(2),  1778, 1801, 1810, 1810, 1810, 1811, 1811(1825), and 1819, Names and firms associated with these maps include Nicolas de Fer, Mount & Page, Delisle, Herman Moll, Father Eusebius Kino, Henri Chatelain, Henry Popple, Covens & Mortier, Jose Antonio Alzate y Ramirez, Father Juan Morfi, Thomas Lopez, Alexander von Humboldt, Aaron Arrowsmith, Zebulon Pike, and John H. Robinson. 

Maps of Mexico 1821-1849
Special Collections has excellent examples of maps of Mexico from this period, including one of the finest collections anywhere of maps relating to the U.S. War with Mexico, from 1846-1848. In addition to maps appearing in government documents, there are manuscript maps by U.S. Army soldiers, commercial wall maps, single-issue pocket and atlas maps printed in the U.S., Mexico, and elsewhere.  A few highlights include maps of Mexico from 1828, 1837, Disturnell's maps of Mexico from 1846 and 1847, J. G. Bruff's copy of a map captured from General Mariano Arista (1847), Mitchell's map of Mexico (1847), House & Brown's map of Mexico (1849), and manuscript maps by U.S. Army engineer Lieutenant Henry Washington Benham (1846-1847).

Maps of Mexico 1850-1909
Numerous original printed maps show Mexico's drastically altered northern boundaries in this period; interesting examples date from 1849, 1850(1), 1850(2), ca.1850(early 1900s), 1853(1), 1853(2), 1853(3), 1854, 1857, and 1858. There are also original maps relating to the French intervention in Mexico (1861-1867), including examples from 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865, and 1866. Antonio Garcia Cubas' Mexican atlas (1858, 1884 and 1886 editions) as well as his Atlas Pintoresco (1897) are highlights from the rule of Porfirio Diaz (1876-1910).

Maps of Mexico 1910-present
Special Collections has topographic maps of portions of Mexico produced for various departments of the Mexican government over a period of years. Among these is an atlas published by the Secretaria de Agricultura y Fomento, Direccion General de Geografia, Meterorologia e Hidrologia from 1942.  Coverage is stronger along the U.S-Mexico border.

General Maps of the Gulf/Caribbean 1500-1799
One of Special Collections' strengths are general maps of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. There are original printed maps from 1513(1541), 1579(1581), 1597(1611), 1601, 1635(1638), 1666, 1670, 1671, 1680, 1683, 1700, 1702, 1703(1), 1703(2), 1703(1745), 1712, 1713, 1715, 1717, 1721, 1725, 1746(1), 1746(2), 1749, 1750, 1755, 1759, 1760, 1762(1), 1762(2), 1763, 1775(1), 1775(2), 1775(3), 1777(1), 1777(2), 1777(3), 1777(4), 1777(5), 1785, 1789, 1794(1), 1794(2), and 1795.  The Library's Virginia Garrett Lectures series have twice focused on the Gulf and the Caribbean, once in 2002 ("The Third Coast") and more recently in 2012 ("Pearls of the Antilles"); researchers may consult printed gallery guides that are available for the exhibits that accompanied both.

General Maps of the Gulf/Caribbean 1800-present
There are single-sheet maps, including sea charts and wall maps, as well as maps in books and atlases from around the world. Standard atlases and geographies often included a general map of the Caribbean or West Indies that occasionally featured an inset of a single island that had world-wide significance or national commercial importance for the intended audience. 

Maps of the Greater Antilles
Hispaniola (Haiti/Dominican Republic) -- Special Collections has maps from 1528(1534), 1561, 1579(1581), 1597(1611), 1671, 1671(City of Santo Domingo), 1750, 1780, 1782, 1809(ports), 1811, 1814, 1820, 1821, 1842, and 1872. 

Cuba -- There are original printed maps from 1579(1581), 1597(1611), 1630, 1638, 1680(1681), 1715, 1762, 1799, 1802, 1805, 1809(ports),  1814, 1821, 1832, 1855(1), 1855(2), 1860, 1895, 1898, and 1899, as well as Havana from 1762(1), 1762(2), 1762(3), 1762(4), 1762(5), 1809, 1832, 1855, 1860, 1872, 1895, and 1901.

Jamaica -- Special Collections has original maps from 1579(1581), 1597(1611), 1601, 1638, 1671, 1715, 1717(1763),  1721, 1740(1), 1740(2), 1752, 1758, 1785(Port Royal), 1794, 1809(ports),  1842, 1848, 1855, and 1858.

Puerto Rico -- Original maps date from 1579(1581), 1597(1611), 1601, 1638, 1750(western end), 1788(eastern tip only), 1809 (ports), 1821, 1842, 1832, 1855, 1913, 1898, 1899, 1899 (San Juan Harbor).

Maps of the Lesser Antilles
Coverage is scattered in original printed maps for these islands: General maps 1597(1611), 1827, 1842; French Antilles 1717; Dutch Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao), 1764, ca.1856; Anguila 1788; Antigua 1717(1763), 1721, ca.1740, 1763; Barbados 1671(1), 1671(2), 1698(ca.1760), 1717(1763), 1721, ca.1740, 1766(Bridge Town), 1794; Barbuda 1842;St. Christopher (St. Kitts)1717(1763), 1740, 1794; Nevis 1764, 1794, 1842; Dominica 1794, 1842, Grenada 1762, 1794; Guadeloupe 1756, 1759, 1825, 1845; Martinique 1759(Fort Royal), 1825, 1845, 1782, 1902; Margarita 1814, 1816; St. Barthelemy 1788; St. Lucie 1763; St. Martin 1788; St. Vincent 1717(1763), 1794; Tobago 1820, 1827, 1966; Trinidad 1814, 1816, 1827, 1842, 1847, 1966; and the Virgin Islands 1777. 1788, 1794, 1815, 1832, 1842.  

Maps of Continental Coasts
While particularly strong in maps of the coast of Texas, Special Collections also has original printed maps of the Gulf coast from Louisiana to Florida and from northern Mexico south and east past Yucatan, as well as of the Caribbean coast from Central America to northern South America.  There are examples from 1646 (Dudley), 1832 (Blunt)

Maps of Other Islands
Bermudas 1671, ca.1740; Bahamas 1775, 1782, 1794, 1807, 1832, 1872, 1881.

Maps of Arlington
For Arlington, Special Collections has original, single-sheet street maps and plans as well as other maps and plans in books and pamphlets for the years 1878 (actually a 1913 copy of a Texas & Pacific Railway plan), 1924, 1926, 1931, 1943, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1959(a), 1959(b), and from the 1960s to the early 2000s. There are historic plans of the North Texas Agricultural College Campus (now UTA, for 1924 and 1931), nearby Dalworthington Gardens (1936), Summit Grove Addition (1947), Parkview Addition (1947, 1949, and 1950), as well as city attractions including Arlington Downs racetrack (1936(a), 1936(b)), Six Flags (1961, 1971, 1985, 1987, 1990-1992) and Seven Seas (1972) amusement parks, and various shopping malls.

Maps of Fort Worth
Fort Worth is well-represented in Special Collections with single-sheet plans, street maps and multi-page pamphlets and guides for the years 1853 (actually a 1937 newspaper copy), 1885, 1888(a), 1888(b), 1895, 1903, 1907 (fragile original see copy), 1912, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1928, 1929, 1936, 1939 and 1947-1990s. There is an original bird's-eye view of Fort Worth by Henry Wellge for 1891, plus there are modern copies of the Fort Worth bird's-eye views of 1876 and 1886 from other collections. Certain early Fort Worth additions merited special maps or plans: North Glenwood (1898), Rosen Heights (1903), Polytechnic and Niles City (1912, 1917), Camp Bowie (1917, 1918), and “the Interurban Addition” (1919).

Maps of Dallas
For Dallas and her suburbs, there are single-sheet street maps, plans, and/or multi-page guides for the years 1874, 1878, 1890, 1895, 1900 (1980 copy), 1901, 1913, 1915, 1917, 1919, 1923, 1934, 1936, 1937, ca.1940, 1940, ca.1941, 1943, 1951, 1954, and 1972.  Particularly extensive is the MAPSCO, Inc. collection of Dallas street guides dating from ca.1965-2010.

Maps of Tarrant County
Special Collections has maps for the years 1849 (manuscript map drawn ca. 1895), 1895, 1917, 1920, 1924, 1927, 1931, 1950s-1990s). There are also USGS topographical maps for 1917 and for 1959 (Arlington Quadrangle), a detailed soil survey map for 1924, and a geological map for 1956. 

Maps of Dallas County
Special Collections has a geological map of the county from 1918 and a detailed soil survey from 1924.

Road Map Collection
Special Collections has a collection of road and street maps of the DFW area that may be accessed on site at the Special Collections Reference Desk on the Sixth Floor of the Central Library, open 9AM-5PM Mondays through Saturdays (and an additional 2 hours on Mondays until 7PM during Fall and Spring semesters only). See AR442.

The oldest map in Special Collections is a world map dating from 1493. Other world maps date from 1544 (1575 edition), 1546, 1550(1550-1572), and 1561.

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