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A service of the Illinois State Library and the Office of the Illinois Secretary of StateILLINOIS DIGITAL ARCHIVES


Historic Maps of Aurora browse-->>

The historic maps in this collection represent a unique historical resource. These maps show the physical changes and growth, over time, of Aurora. They also show changes in the city's political boundaries such as ward changes, street names, and, in some cases, building and business locations. Maps in this collection include:

1860 map of Kane County - this map is one of the earliest owned by the Aurora Historical Society and may be the earliest extant map of Kane County.

Aurora city maps dated 1859, 1868, 1872, 1876, 1884, and 1891 - these maps show the growth and development of Aurora, including street name and ward boundary changes.

"Aerial view" maps of Aurora, 1867 and 1882 - detailed artists' renderings showing streets, houses, and buildings.

Illinois National Guard World War I Intelligence Maps browse-->>

The Illinois State Archives serves by law as the depository of public records of Illinois state and local governmental agencies. This collection (RS 301.110) consists of maps used during World War I and brought back to Illinois by the 33rd Infantry Division of the Illinois National Guard. The 33rd Infantry Division was federalized in July of 1917 and was the only division from the Illinois National Guard to fight in the war as its own unit. These maps are the only known maps to survive the war and provide a great insight into the situation faced by the 33rd during the war. The collection was transferred from the Illinois National Guard to the State Archives in 1958. The collection is primarily made up of American and French intelligence maps but does include one German propaganda poster (#35). The maps vary in information and include topographical information, trench locations, enemy troop and supply locations, and placement of allied units as the war neared its end in October and November of 1918.

Related 33rd Infantry material available at the State Archives includes daily correspondence of battlefield orders (October-November 1918); enemy organization maps (September-November 1918); and battlefield intelligence maps (October-November 1918).

Illinois State Highway Maps browse-->>

The history of the Illinois state highway map was written by Ron Peddicord and published as “The Evolution of the Illinois Official Highway Map, 1917 to 1992” in Illinois GIS&MapNotes, v. 11, no. 2, Summer 1993, p. 2-12. In that article, Ron details the evolution of printing in black and white versus color and on one side versus both sides, the change in the line and point symbols showing roads and other types of information, the different cartographic companies making the map, and other facets of its history. Ron also states that the Illinois State Library owns one of the two definitive collections of the Illinois state highway map. This historic run is so valuable for so many purposes that the State Library map staff chose to scan the state highway map as one of its first web map access projects. The State Library holds the Governors/Div. of Highways/IDOT version as well as the Secretary of State’s version but only the Secretary of State’s version was scanned except for some years, such as the 1950’s and 1960’s, when only a Div. of Highways version was published.

The description of some of the cover images of the official map can be found at http://www.idot.illinois.gov/transportation-system/Network-Overview/highway-system/official-highway-map-collection However, the full map, front and back, has never been available on the web before. Starting in 1917, when the roads were trails and were named instead of numbered, through the early years of Rt. 66, the beginning of the interstate highway system, to the present day, one can watch the Pontiac Trail become Rt. 66 and then fade into memory as I-55 erases Rt. 66.

The web version of the images is JPEG2000. Upon request, the State Library map staff can send a TIFF version or can make a full-scale color paper copy.

Railroad Maps of Illinois browse-->>

As a crossroads state, as well as incorporating the city of Chicago, a terminus of industry going back to the 19th century, Illinois was a crucial link in the railroad industry. Both passengers & freight were moved in great numbers throughout our territory. One of the most valuable collections held by the Illinois State Library is a collection of railroad maps showing the development of the state's rail system starting in 1854 and up through the present day. At one time many companies crisscrossed the state, but as time passed lines gradually merged as numerous went out of business, their track bought up by the remaining entities until only a few remained. These maps will show what companies existed when and where their track went. Also electric rail passenger lines, i.e. interurban railroads, will be shown on these maps as well. One can still find traces of their tracks, but the maps will show the entirety of these long gone modes of public transportation.

The web version of the images is JPEG2000. Upon request, the State Library map staff can send a TIFF version or can make a full-scale color paper copy.

U.S. Surveyor General's Records for Illinois -- Federal Township Plats browse-->>

This collection (U.S. Surveyor General's Records for Illinois, Record Series 953.012, "Federal Township Plats") consists of official plat maps of all congressional townships statewide; these were primarily drawn from field notes of federal surveys conducted from 1804-1855 in what is now Illinois. Additional plats were created from 1868-1891; these were drawn primarily from new surveys conducted in parts of some townships statewide, as well as those for islands and lakes along the Fox River. The plats were prepared by the United States Surveyor General’s office. In 1957, the Secretary of State received official custody of the plats for deposit in the Illinois State Archives.

Plat maps include information as the township's legal description; delineation of sections; measurements in chains and acres; and topographical and vegetation features (e.g., prairie, timber, bodies of water, salines, swamps). Occasionally man-made features (e.g., roads, settlements, Native American traces) are noted in the plats, as are additional features such as survey and claim numbers to various lands, and boundary lines (including those delineated in treaties with various Native American tribes).