The Historic Maps Project

Historic MapIn cooperation with the Pennsylvania State Archives and several county historical societies, PennDOT has recently completed the transfer of many historic highway, county, and topographic maps to a digital format. This involved scanning all available maps on a large format scanner, then storing the files on CDs. Three sets of CDs were produced; one for the
State Archives, one for PennDOT's Central Office, and one for each of PennDOT's Engineering Districts.

The Historic Maps Project is a significant accomplishment for several reasons. First, many of the maps are detailed enough to depict individual houses, structures, railroads, factories, and other properties that are no longer standing, but may constitute important archaeological sites or may have significantly disturbed the landscape during their construction and/or demolition. This is invaluable information for archaeologists, architectural historians, and highway planners. Historic Map

An additional benefit of the project is increased access to the maps. The digital format provides opportunities for multiple research requests from remote locations. It also limits the handling of the original maps, many of which are very fragile.

Historic MapThe increased availability of these maps is a benefit that extends well beyond the needs of PennDOT. As the results of this initiative become publicized, we're hoping academic researchers, other agencies and institutions, and local citizens and interest groups will take advantage of these wonderful and extremely useful resources. If you'd like more information about the historic maps project please contact Ira Beckerman, the
Cultural Resources Group Leader, at (717) 772-0830(Voice). If you'd like access to the electronic images of the maps please contact Sharon Nelson at the State Archives at (717) 787-5953 (Voice).