Digital Collections

Thousands of maps and images available for free digital access

Quick search digital collections

Using the digital collections

The Leventhal Map & Education Center has one of the most significant digital collections of any North American map library. We encourage all kinds of research and exploration into our collections through digital access, and seek to make digital material available on the most permissive licenses possible.

Map of libraries in Massachusetts

This early twentieth century map of the libraries of Massachusetts celebrated the statewide circulation of nine million volumes of library material.

Digital repositories

Our materials are mainly available on two online repositories, both of which are free to access without registration.

Other digital discovery tools

  • Atlascope. The Atlascope project involves the digital transformation of over a hundred fire insurance and real estate atlases of Boston and its inner suburbs, showing detail down to the parcel and building level for a period from 1860–1940. Go to the Atlascope web app
  • Digital Commonwealth. Our Digital Collections portal is part of Digital Commonwealth, a consortium of more than 180 cultural heritage organizations across Massachusetts. From the Digital Commonwealth repository, you can search Map Center collections together with maps, images, texts, sound records, and millions of other objects from other institutions. Go to the Digital Commonwealth portal
  • Flickr. Before the development of our Digital Collections portal, we uploaded full-resolution images to the photo-sharing site Flickr. You can browser our images here. We are no longer actively adding new material to our Flickr collections.

Advanced access to digital objects

IIIF Manifests and Images

All objects in the Digital Collections portal are available for access through the International Image Interoperability Format (IIIF). To access the IIIF Manifest for an object, add the suffix /manifest.json to the end of the URL. For example, the Manifest of the Bonner map of Boston can be found here.

Search API

JSON search results of the Digital Collections portal are available at the endpoint, which takes the same query parameters as the search portal. For example, a search returning results for the keyword “Boston neck” can be found here.