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The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > Map Collections

[Detail] Mediolanensis dvcatvs from the atlas [1570].

Map Collections brings Americana and cartographic treasures of the Library of Congress online, covering approximately four hundred years of map making. Students can study maps from seven theme categories to learn about the changing face of America and the evolution of map-making techniques throughout history: Cities and Towns, Conservation and Environment, Discovery and Exploration, Cultural Landscape, Military Battles and Campaigns, Transportation and Communication, and General Maps. Within these categories there are links to other collections: Panoramic Maps, 1847-1929, Mapping the National Parks, Maps of Liberia, and Railroad Maps.

1) Cities and Towns

This category includes maps that cover everything from individual buildings to panoramic views of large urban areas. These maps record the development of American cities and include individual maps as well as a collection of Panoramic Maps, 1847-1929.

Search on L'Enfant or use the Cities and Towns Maps Title List to locate L'Enfant's 1791 Manuscript Plan of the city of Washington.

Students can study the development of the nation's capital using Pierre Charles L'Enfant's historic 1791 plan for Washington, D.C. Using the National Park Service site on the National Mall, students can compare today's mall with L'Enfant's original plan.