View Full Version : Old Map Repositories

01-02-2015, 01:23 PM
Sorry, couldn't think of a better title.

I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions on where I might be able to peruse maps from the 1940s. Specifically, I am looking for California road maps from that period, and--more specifically--I'd like to educate myself on the evolving highway system in Northern California.

I've inquired at the local (Nor Cal) library and they were unable to assist.


01-02-2015, 01:26 PM
Here's a 1940 road map for California (http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239585~5511890:Road-Map-of-the-State-of-California). I didn't look further, but there might be more.

01-02-2015, 01:45 PM
Here's a 1940 road map for California (http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239585~5511890:Road-Map-of-the-State-of-California). I didn't look further, but there might be more.

Yes, thank you! I was actually thinking I wanted actual maps (as I would have to refer to them again and again, but...*!).

A great site for anyone doing similar research!

(*I seem to making headway with cutting and pasting. Is that illegal? That's probably illegal. No, I'm definitely not doing that!)

01-02-2015, 02:41 PM
I picked a random one (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Late-1940s-FLYING-A-CALIFORNIA-Road-Map-TIDEWATER-ASSOCIATED-Gas-FREE-Post-/251743597294?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a9d1672ee), but there are just tons. You can find specific counties, companies, etc. They seem to run around $10-15, but a lot are obo. It's not free like the library, but nor do you have to pay to copy or print, it's yours forever, and the price seems pretty reasonable, though it's not exactly something I shop for.

This one looks nice too (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-1940-USA-California-State-Official-Calso-Gas-Oil-Road-Map-/231197969178?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_2&hash=item35d4790b1a).

King Neptune
01-02-2015, 07:05 PM
You might trying searching the California statee site. There might be an agancy that handles maps; the Highway department is an obvious choice. There are universities that have huge map collections of maps, and they don't sneer at highway maps.
See if any of these collections help.

01-03-2015, 01:49 AM
University libraries might be a good possibility. Are you anywhere near Berkeley?

Also historical museums.


01-03-2015, 06:05 AM
Any of the UC libraries should be able to help. (cross posted with blacbird, I know.)

Try the California Historical Society (http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/?gclid=CjwKEAiAoJmlBRCxjKeizPHVs1ESJAC6cxjU9LXn3-zexjUytP64RE1WfWytoKEH5U8Hgsq2DF6SexoCVW7w_wcB).

Also get in contact with Sunset Magazine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunset_%28magazine%29).

01-03-2015, 06:42 AM
Ask used/antiquarian booksellers. Many of them deal in old maps, though 1940s sounds awfully recent. Maybe you can find a road atlas (book). Try various keywords here and other book search engines:

01-03-2015, 07:14 AM
The closest I found was this 1925 map of Nevada & CA. It shows major highways. Not sure if the roads were still the same by 1940