From interactive maps to exploration tools, our digital projects expand the horizon of historical collections
Fire insurance and real estate atlases offer one of the most incredible tools for researching urban form in the period roughly 1860–1940. However, these physical atlases can be cumbersome to use and difficult to compare across multiple volumes. Our Atlascope initiative has geotransformed 101 atlas layers of Boston and its inner suburbs and made them discoverable as never before on a custom new web interface, suitable for browsing on a computer or mobile device.
Our annotated map stories bring our collection alive through narrative, zoomable tours. Check out some of our recent stories:
This story explores the history of the Wampanoag reserved land in Mashpee, Massachusetts, through a manuscript map created by an eighteenth century missionary, Gideon Hawley.Go to story
This story explores how Boston created the first subway railroad in the United States, along Tremont Street near Boston Common.Go to story
Our Digital Collections portal includes a georeferencing module for transforming historic objects so that they match onto real-world geographies. This crowd-sourced system allows participants to help us enrich our collections so that they can be overlaid onto modern maps and compared with one another. You can also browse maps that have already been georeferenced.