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Archive for March, 2021


Standard Atlas of Clay County, South Dakota (1912) by George. A. Ogle & Co. can now be viewed on the Digital Library of South Dakota.

… Ogle’s atlas maps. … emphasize clarity of cadastral delineation, a concern for the graphical accuracy of a civil engineer, a minimal approach to property depiction (boundaries, roads, water courses, hand-inscribed owner’s names – and little else), and professional trim, such as a colour tint for the map area and a page border composed of a chain of miniature globes.


Conzen, Michael P. “The County Landownership Map in America Its Commercial Development and Social Transformation 1814-1939.” Imago Mundi 36 (1984): 9-31. P. 24. Accessed on JSTOR March 17, 2021.

If you are interested in the history of cadastral maps in the United States and atlases and how their styles have changed through time, I recommend the articles and books by Michael Conzen, a geographer at the University of Chicago.

Cadastral maps are helpful to historians, genealogists, and those tracing landowners for legal reasons. Though cadastral maps (particularly Ogel’s atlases) are often reliable, the ultimate source of past and present ownership information is the county courthouse.

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At 33 inches by 25 inches and weighing more than 50 pounds, this lunar atlas is the largest book in the Archives and Special Collection at USD. The moon was photographed through the Observatory of Paris’ telescope in the late 1890s, and the photographs used to produce photogravure plates for the atlas.

Library of Congress sponsors #ArchivesHashtagParty once a month, and March’s topic is #ArchivesYouAreHere. LOC invited groups to share their maps, astrolabes, star charts, tidal maps, compasses, globes, visitor guides, treasure maps, city plans, or even architectural drawings.

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The atlases contained information on routes, hotels, gas stations, car repair shops, road conditions (including which roads to avoid when it is muddy and which roads had sharp turns). The ads in the book are beautiful and informative about car culture.

Volume Ten is in the Archives and Special Collections.

Library of Congress sponsors #ArchivesHashtagParty once a month, and March’s topic is #ArchivesYouAreHere. LOC invites groups to share their maps, astrolabes, star charts, tidal maps, compasses, globes, visitor guides, treasure maps, city plans, or even architectural drawings.

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