District of Columbia Maps

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This entry was originally written by Johni Cerny in Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
The District of Columbia Family History Research series.
History of the District of Columbia
District of Columbia Vital Records
Census Records for the District of Columbia
Background Sources for the District of Columbia
District of Columbia Maps
District of Columbia Land Records
District of Columbia Probate Records
District of Columbia Court Records
District of Columbia Tax Records
District of Columbia Cemetery Records
District of Columbia Church Records
District of Columbia Military Records
District of Columbia Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
District of Columbia Archives, Libraries, and Societies
District of Columbia Immigration
African Americans of the District of Columbia
District of Columbia County Resources


The largest collections of District of Columbia maps can be found at the National Archives and Library of Congress. The following publications are excellent gazetteers, atlases, and maps for genealogists:

  • Long. John H. Atlas of Historical Boundaries: Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia. A Project of the Dr. William M. Scholl Center for Family and Community History, Newberry Library. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1996.
  • Martin, Joseph. A New and Comprehensive Gazetteer of Virginia and the District of Columbia. Charlottesville, Va.: the author, 1835. Available at the Library of Congress, the FHL in Salt Lake City, and the University of Virginia Library in Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • National Geographic Society (U.S.) Cartographic Division. Round About the Nation’s Capitol. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1956.
  • Passonneau, Joseph and Partners. Washington through Two Centuries in Maps and Images. New York: Monacelli Press, 2003.

The Library of Congress houses the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Washington, D.C., 1888–1950, with microfilm copies available at the District of Columbia Archives.

The Washingtoniana Division of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library has a complete microfilmed set of Baist’s Real Estate Atlases for the years 1887–1965 and more than 8,000 maps on microfiche. The Washingtoniana Division and the District of Columbia Historical Society have complete sets of city directories dating from 1822.

The Family History Library (FHL) has a series of Washington, DC, ward maps dating from 1829 to 1868. Some Maryland and Virginia gazetteers, maps, and atlases include sections for the District of Columbia.

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