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Official State & Provincial Road Map Collection of the United States & Canada

Identifier: Maps-Official-State & Provincial

Scope and Content of the Collection

Over 2,500 folded road maps (published 1924-ongoing, bulk 1960-2015). Includes all U.S. states and provinces and territories in Canada (except Nunavut). Growing collection acquired as gifts from many individual donors since the early 1980s, including hundreds of items donated by Newberry map curator James Akerman.

Includes variant issues of nearly identical maps published the same year, some with differing folded panel art or dated printing codes or edition statements, as well as duplicate copies of maps hand stamped or handwritten with the names of distributors, such as local travel information centers, chambers of commerce, hotels, commercial tourist attractions, and maps deaccessioned by former owners, such as libraries.

Includes many maps published under contract with commercial map publishers whose archives are held by the Newberry. See separate online catalog records for thousands of other road maps, including maps published by Rand McNally & Co., H.M. Gousha Co., and other official road maps published by state and provincial authorities.


  • Creation: 1924-2020
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1960 - 2015



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Official State & Provincial Road Map Collection of the United States & Canada are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Official State & Provincial Road Map Collection of the United States & Canada are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

History of Official State and Provincial Road Maps of the United States and Canada

Official state road maps were published in administrative documents in the 1920s, but since the 1930s have been widely issued as separate folding maps for free distribution in the United States and Canada. The maps are compiled by a wide variety of state highway commissions and departments, conservation and natural resources departments, tourism and economic development departments, and other state and provincial agencies.

Official road maps were first issued as planning documents recording the development and maintenance of state and federal highway systems, sometimes with text on road conditions, traffic laws, road signs, and statistical summaries. These evolved as separate maps with promotional text on cultural, historical, and tourist attractions, many illustrated with scenic photographs and inset maps of selected cities and portraits of state governors. Beginning in the 1990s, and similar to road maps issued for oil companies, many official maps were published in collaboration with private commercial interests, such as business associations and hotel chains.


13.8 Linear Feet (33 boxes)


Road maps issued by official state and provincial government agencies in the United States and Canada (over 2,500 maps, published 1924-ongoing).


Collection is organized in the following series

Series 1: State Maps of the United States, 1924-2020
Boxes 1-30
Series 2: National and Provincial Maps of Canada, 1930-2012
Boxes 31-33

Collection Stack Location

4a 18 1


Various gifts and purchases, 1980s-present.

Processed by

Patrick Morris, 2020.


Inventory of the Official State & Provincial Road Map Collection of the United States & Canada, 1924-2020, bulk 1960-2015
Patrick Morris
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States