Lehigh Valley Historical Maps Consortium
The Lehigh Valley Historical Maps Consortium (LVHMC) is a group of local archivists, librarians, curators, and historians with an interest in historical maps who collaborate with the goal of establishing a collective inventory of maps related to the Lehigh Valley. Ultimately this inventory will provide a centralized resource for the discovery of maps which have been digitized for access over the internet, as well as for those physical maps which remain in map drawers in libraries, museums and historical societies across the Valley.
What's New - March 2023
We have created a new page for this website called Exploring Maps. Here you will find information about various types of maps, such as Fire Insurance Maps, or Birds-eye Views, as well as links to other large digital map collections which contain these particular sorts of maps. First up we have a section covering Fire Insurance Maps of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These are fascinating zoomed-in maps which allow users to see individual buildings and their immediate surroundings. You might be able to find your own house! Included in this new section are links to the Penn State digital collection of the Sanborn Fire Insurance Mapping Co. maps, as well as a link to an app created to look for Sanborn maps of the Lehigh Valley. Originally these maps were designed to provide information to help fire insurance underwriters and their agents create individual insurance policies. However, they contain such a wealth of other information about individual buildings that historians and genealogists have been using them in more recent years to discover details about homes, factories, businesses and neighborhoods all over the place.
This new page will soon include other sections devoted to other map types , so stay tuned. This page is not intended to overlap the pages for our Digital and Physical Map collections. In fact, many of the map types explored in this new page may already be found among our existing shared collections in this website. This new page will discuss maps as "types" and will provide links to larger digital map collections, such as Penn State's, where our users may explore many more examples inside or outside of our region.
Partners in the LVHMC
Bethlehem Area Public Library, Carbon County GIS & Mapping, Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Easton Area Public Library, Governor Wolf Historical Society, Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites, Hunter-Martin Settlement Museum, Lafayette College, Lehigh County Office of GIS, Lehigh University, Lower Saucon Historical Society, Mauch Chunk Museum, Moravian Archives, Moravian College, Moravian Historical Society, Muhlenberg College, Museum of Indian Culture, National Museum of Industrial History, Northampton County Archives, Northampton County Historical & Genealogical Society, Slate Belt Heritage Center, South Bethlehem Historical Society, Summit Hill Historical Society, Weissport Historical Society.
Our Mission Statement:
The Lehigh Valley Historical Maps Consortium serves as a collaborative forum for cultural heritage and educational institutions to build accessible digital collections of historical maps and other geographic information that illuminates the history of the Lehigh Valley.
The Contact page contains more information.
Sponsored in part by the Lehigh Valley Engaged Humanities Consortium, with generous support provided by a grant to Lafayette College from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Hosted by Lafayette College Libraries.