In the People's Archive


The Washingtoniana Map Collection consists of more than 8,000 print, microfilm and microfiche maps from 1612 to the present. These include real estate atlases, Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, and many others. The collection focuses on the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Digitized Maps

Selected real estate atlases and single printed maps are available on Dig DC. Maps are selected for digitization based on patron use, condition, research value and existing online availability.

Our digitized maps are available in two separate online collections:
  • The Maps: Real Estate Plat Books collection contains real estate atlases from 1874 to 1896 published by Faehtz & Pratt and G.M. Hopkins & Co. 
  • The Maps: City & Regional collection includes individual printed maps from the 1760s to the 1970s, covering a variety of neighborhoods, subjects, and types of maps. 

Real Estate Maps

Historic real estate atlases, or "plat" maps, show the footprints of each building extant in the city at the time the atlas was published. Washingtoniana holdings include atlases published by Hopkins (1877-1890s) and Baist (1903-67). Some early Baist atlases (1903-1919) have been digitized by DC Public Library or the Library of Congress and are available online. Atlases are arranged by volume for different parts of the city.

Plat maps convey basic information about a property such as lot dimensions, building dimensions and material. These maps also can help you note old lot numbers, old street names, and old subdivision names. Studying maps over time gives a sense of the gradual development of the neighborhood surrounding your home, and shows what existed before your home was built. You can also look for changes to the shape of the footprint to investigate alterations made to the building.

Inventory of Print Maps

An inventory of our print maps is available online. Most unique maps in the collection are available on Dig DC. Our staff can help you locate maps online and at other local repositories.

Maps on Microfilm

Maps on microfilm may be scanned to a flash drive or emailed. See our maps on microfilm inventory for a detailed list. 

Other Resources

Additional Washington, DC maps can be found online through the following institutions:

For official survey maps, please contact the DC Office of the Surveyor at 202-442-4400, located at 1100 4th St SW.

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