Map Resources: Historic Colorado Maps

Historic Colorado Maps

Emphasis on this page is upon Colorado historic maps, either in the collection at the Colorado State University Libraries or online.  The arrangement is from newer maps to older.

7.5' (1:24,000) USGS Topographic Maps:
This has been the standard detailed mapping series since the 1950s.  A listing of CSU library holdings can be found by a number search on Sage of the SuDoc call number I19.81:CO.  This list is not complete nor does the library own all editions and printings.  Please check the map cabinets when in doubt.
 

County Maps (1:50,000) USGS:
This map series was published in the 1970s.  A listing of CSU library holdings can be found by a number search on Sage of the SuDoc call number I19.108:CO.

Older 20th-Century Topographic Maps:
Most of these maps from the USGS were published 1890 through 1960.  Some from the Defense Mapping Agency date from the 1980s.  Scales are usually 15' or 30'.  A listing can be found by a number search on Sage of the SuDoc call number I19.81/2:CO.  These maps are inter-shelved alphabetically with the 7.5' Colorado maps. 
A number of these and other historical topographic maps can be found at these websites:
Colorado Historic Quadrangle Maps; from the Historical Maps Archive, University of Alabama Libraries.
Fort Collins History Collection - Historic Maps
Broer Map Library  
 

Geologic Atlas of the United States:
This atlas set is on the flat map shelves at I19.5 MAPS.  It is also online at Texas A&M Libraries.  The atlas includes topographic as well as geologic maps.  The maps were published from 1894 to 1945.  Names and folio numbers for those from Colorado:
Anthracite/Crested Butte  (9)
Apishapa  (186)
Castle Rock  (198)
Colorado Springs ( 203)
Elmoro  (58)
Engineer Mountain  (171)
La Plata  (60)
Needle Mountains  (131)
Nepesta  (135)
Ouray  (153)
Pikes Peak  (7)
Pueblo  (36)
Rico  (130)
Silverton  (120)
Spanish Peaks  (71)
Telluride  (57)
Tenmile District  (48)
Walsenburg  (68)

Geographic/Geologic Surveys of the 1870s:
Surveys by Hayden, Wheeler, King, and Powell provided topographic maps for Colorado other than the Great Plains, usually at approximately 1:250,000.  All maps can be found on the David Rumsey Historical Collection.  Listings appear below with notations of those in CSU collections.

Hayden:
Colorado Triangulation
Colorado Drainage
Colorado Land Classification
Colorado Geology
Northwestern Colorado
Northern Central Colorado
Central Colorado
Western Colorado
Southwestern Colorado
Southern Central Colorado
The last six maps are duplicated as geology maps and found in the map cabinets at
G4311 .C5 1877 .G4 2005 MAP.  All maps can also be found in:
Geological and Geographical Atlas of Colorado and Portions of Adjacent Territory
QE74 .H55 Special Oversize

Wheeler (numbers are map sheets):
52D  Part of Central Colorado [Breckenridge/Leadville region]
53C  Part of Central Colorado [Denver region]
61A  Part of Southwestern Colorado [Gunnison Valley]
61B  Central Colorado [Upper Arkansas River]
61C  Part of Southwestern Colorado [San Juan Mountains]
61C  San Juan Mining Region
61D  Part of Southwestern Colorado [San Luis Valley]
62A  Central Colorado [Pikes Peak region]
62C  Part of Southern Colorado [Walsenburg region]
62D  Part of Southeastern Colorado [La Junta region]
69     Part of Southern Colorado [Durango region]
69B  Part of Southern Colorado [Antonito region]
70A  Part of Southern Colorado [Trinidad region]
Maps 61B, 61C (both), and 70A can also be found in volume 7 of: Report upon United States Geographical Surveys West of the 100th Meridian.  QE79 .R46 1875 Special

King:
Green River Basin [Northwestern Colorado]
Rocky Mountains [North-Central Colorado, including Fort Collins area]

Powell:
Green River [Dinosaur National Monument region]

Other 19th-Century Coverage of Colorado:
Wheat, Carl.  Mapping the TransMississippi West.  GA405 .W5 Special Oversize
    Discusses and reproduces important maps, 1540 to the 1870s.
David Rumsey Historical Collection 
Library of Congress Map Collections
Serial Set Maps  (CSU affiliates only)
   Browse by "Colorado" or "Colorado Territory."



Other Online Colorado Historic Maps:
Sanborn Fire Insurance Map Collection  (University of Colorado Map Library)
Detailed maps of 79 Colorado cities from 1883 to 1922.
Aerial Photos of Colorado  (University of Colorado Map Library)
US Forest Service photos from 1938 to 1947 for these counties: Boulder, Clear Creek, Eagle, Gilpin, Grand, Jefferson, Larimer, and Summit.  Generally excludes areas outside the mountains.

Other Printed Maps: 
Atlas of Colorado, 1977  (three volumes on map cabinets)
Map of the Irrigated Farms North of Denver. 
G4311 .J2 1914 .M36  Maps
Nell's Topographical & Township Map of the State of Colorado.  1885-1906
     G4310 Special
Topographic Map of Colorado.  G4310 1913 .G4 Special
Historic Trail Map of the Greeley..... Quadrangle.  I19.91:I-2326 Maps
Covers Larimer and Weld counties. Other quadrangle maps in this "historic trail" series from the USGS include La Junta, Greater Denver, Pueblo, Raton, Sterling, and Trinidad; i e, the entire Front Range. Excellent description of historic map sources.

Plat Maps:
Historic plat maps with boundary survey information can be purchased from the Colorado Bureau of Land Management Cadastral Survey.  Agencies in other states can be found at the BLM Cadastral office directory. 

Historic Map Libraries in Colorado:
Fort Collins History Connection Map Collection
Denver Public Library Western History Collection
Colorado Historical Society Research Collections

Sources/Lists:
"Bibliography of Colorado Maps,"  Quarterly of the Colorado School of Mines,  October, 1925.
Cartobibliography of Separately Published US Geological Survey Special Maps
. Z6027 .U5S7 1989 Map.
CIS US Serial Set Index, Part 14: Index and Carto-Bibliography of Maps, 1789-1969
.
     Y1.9:Pt. 14  Doc Ref
Colorado Catalog of Topographic and Other Published Maps.  1986.  On map cabinets.
Catalogue and Index of the Publications of the Hayden, King, Powell, and Wheeler Surveys.
     I19 3 #222  Doc Ref
"Index to the Folios of the Geologic Atlas of the United States," Western Association of Map Libraries Information       Bulletin, March 1988.
Map Index to Topographical Quadrangles of the United States,1882-1940. GA405 .M64 1986 Map