Research and Reference

Services and information to help researchers of all kinds

Research at the Map Center

The Leventhal Map & Education Center offers research services free to the public. We welcome all researchers, whether you are a scholar working on a book manuscript, a Boston resident looking to discover more about the history of your home or neighborhood, or a data analyst looking to find geospatial information about demographic patterns.

What kind of research questions can the Map Center answer?

Maps and geographic material can be useful for answering countless different types of research questions. To take just a handful of examples, you may find our collections useful if you want to know:

  • When did Boston engineers and land speculators fill in the tidal flats around the Shawmut peninsula?
  • Who lived in your neighborhood in the nineteenth century, and when were the houses around yours built?
  • When did the New England states begin managing public lands for recreational purposes?
  • How did European cartographers of the early modern period incorporate new knowledge about the Americas into their maps?
  • What is the relationship between race, income, and housing prices in urban areas throughout the United States?

Types of research assistance

Ask a librarian

If you’re unsure where to start, or have a general question about maps, historical geography, or geospatial data, please use the following form to contact a librarian.