Research at the Map Center

Our collections are open to anyone with a Boston Public Library card. Library cards are available to any resident of Massachusetts at either entrance of the BPL. More information about getting a BPL library card can be found on the BPL’s website.

Non-Massachusetts residents can apply for a research card for the purpose of using Research Library materials (in-library use only). This can be obtained with photo identification that shows your name and address, and has your signature. The easiest form of ID is a driver’s license or State ID card showing your current address.

Research Guides

Historical Urban Atlases of BostonTopographic Maps From The U.S. Geological Survey

Research Appointments

In order to provide you with the highest level of efficient service, it is best to schedule an appointment to examine materials from the collection. For general reference inquiries or to schedule an appointment using this form.


Monday-Friday: 10 am-5 pm

Thursdays: 10 am-7 pm


Before making an appointment, you may want familiarize yourself with our collection by searching the BPL’s catalog and the Leventhal Map Center’s digital collection.

BPL’s CatalogLMC’s Digital Collection

You may also want to find out more about some of our research collections.

LMC’s Research Collections




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