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Reference Maps

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What can I find here?

The Reference Maps Collection has approximately 200 modern maps of basic cultural and geographical data about Wisconsin and its history. They are primarily intended for teachers, students, and others needing answers to simple questions such as: Can I print a map of all counties and county seats? Where were Wisconsin's Indian tribes when the first white explorers arrived? What parts of the state did German immigrants settle in? Where were Wisconsin's first roads?

Thematic Maps
  • 91 maps were scanned from "Cultural Resource Management in Wisconsin" (1986).
  • Subjects include: agriculture, fur trade, religion, social & political, transportation, industry, government, settlement and education.
  • There are also maps from "Wisconsin: Our State, Our Story" (2008), the Wisconsin Historical Society's elementary school history textbook. Subjects include: Blackhawk's route, fur trade routes and tribal lands.

Geographical Reference Maps
  • 96 maps were scanned from "Origin and Legislative History of County Boundaries in Wisconsin" (1942).
  • All Wisconsin counties are represented based on the General Land Office township and range system.
  • The maps show the precise boundary of every Wisconsin county at any point in time.
  • The original book was crudely printed by mimeograph and the scanned images accurately reflect the quality of the original work.
  • There are also maps from "Wisconsin: Our State, Our Story" (2008), the Wisconsin Historical Society's elementary school history textbook. Subjects include: counties, glaciers, topography, longitude and latitude markers and waterways.

How is it organized?

Physical

  • The reference maps were compiled from numerous sources for online retrieval only. They are not available in one location physically.

Online

  • All reference maps are available online.
  • To browse reference maps, type "reference" in the Search box.
  • To find maps on a particular topic, enter a specific term such as "Norwegians" or "rivers".

Related Resources

The State Cartographer's Office is a clearinghouse of information on maps and geographic data about Wisconsin.

The Department of Transportation offers current county highway maps.

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