Sketch D showing the progress of section IV, 1845 to 1853.  Coast Survey map, 1853.

Detail from "Sketch D showing the progress of section IV, 1845 to 1853." U.S. Coast Survey map, 1853.


Searching for North Carolina Maps
This project presents several different options for browsing, searching for, and discovering historic maps of North Carolina. To conduct a simple keyword search, use the search box at the top of this screen. Enter terms into this search box and click "Search" to retrieve every map in the collection that has those terms somewhere in the catalog record. To conduct a more specific search, use the Advanced Search option, taking advantage of the terms in the fields listed below. Please note that the default setting for Advanced Search includes all of the digital collections at UNC-Chapel Hill. To limit a search to North Carolina Maps, remove the check marks from the other collections in the "Search specific collections" box.

Each map included in this project is fully described and indexed according to standards developed for this project. These standards are based on map cataloging practices currently in place at the North Carolina State Archives and the UNC University Library, and also draw from national standards developed and maintained by the Library of Congress. Users can conduct specific searches on any of these fields using the Advanced Search option available through the UNC University Library's digital collections page.

Advanced Search Fields in the North Carolina Maps Project

The title of the map, exactly as it appears on the map itself.

Alternative Title
Alternate titles of well-known maps that are known by different titles (for example, the "Mouzon map" or the "Price-Strother map.") It also includes full versions of map names when abbreviations or misspellings are given in the actual title (for example, a map with the title "Nth. Carolina" is also assigned the alternate title "North Carolina."

Creator - Individual
Name of the person or people responsible for creating the map.

Creator - Organization
Company, government agency, or other organization responsible for creating the map (the publisher is not listed here unless it was directly responsible for sponsoring or creating the map).

Place of Publication
The place where the map was published.

Publisher of the map, or of the book or atlas in which the map appears.

Date Published
Date the map was published.

Date Depicted
Date that the information on the map depicts. In many cases, this will be the same date as that in the Date Published field, but there will be exceptions. For example, a historical map published in 1876 might show North Carolina as it was in 1776. Or, the information on the map itself might include detailed information that enables us to extrapolate a date, for example, "based on a survey done in 1841." Many State Archives map catalog records refer to this as the "situation date."

Transcriptions of text that appears on or around the map, especially relevant bibliographic information that is not given in the title. Please note that not every single place name or word printed on the map is included in this field.

Informal description of the map itself, including the area that the map covers, as well as significant features and details.

Historical Note
Historical information about the map itself, including circumstances of its creation, the people involved in creating the map, and/or how the map relates to other, similar maps.

Bibliographic Note
Notes about how the map was cataloged. A Bibliographic Note might explain the method that was used to determine the title or the author when it was not clearly specified on the map.

If the map is listed in a major bibliography, or is the subject of an article or section of a book, that citation is given here.

The map "Type" describes the original purpose of the map. This field will allow users to browse for maps of a certain type, or to narrow searches to include only specific kinds of maps. The following map types are used in the North Carolina Maps project:

  • Agricultural
  • Bird's-eye view
  • Coast and Geodetic Survey
  • Commercial
  • Decorative
  • Demographic
  • Discovery and Exploration
  • Fire Insurance
  • General
  • Geological
  • Government (Local)
  • Government (State)
  • Government (National)
  • Historical
  • Legal
  • Military
  • Nautical
  • Political
  • Post Office
  • Property
  • Soil Survey
  • Topographic
  • Travel and Transportation

Specific elements shown on the face of the map. These details can appear just once on the map, or in many locations. Whenever these details appear on a specific map, they are noted in the catalog record for that map in the North Carolina Maps project:

  • Battles
  • Businesses
  • Canals
  • Colors
  • County Boundaries
  • Creeks and Streams
  • Decorative Illustrations
  • Distances
  • Elevation
  • Forts
  • Houses
  • Lakes
  • Land Cover
  • Land Use
  • Landowners
  • Legends
  • Mills
  • Mines and Mineral Resources
  • Mountains
  • Native American Settlements
  • Parks
  • Photographs
  • Places of Worship
  • Political Districts
  • Population
  • Post Offices
  • Property Lines
  • Public Buildings
  • Railroads
  • Roads
  • Schools
  • Soil Types
  • Soundings
  • Stores
  • Swamps
  • Tides
  • Townships

Subject - Geographic
The geographic subjects assigned to each map are taken from a list of terms established by the Library of Congress, and are consistent with subject terms used at libraries throughout the country.

Subject - Name
Names of people who are pictured or represented on the map itself.

Subject - Organization
Names of businesses or other organizations that are the subject of the map. These are often different from the organizations responsible for creating the map, which would be listed in the "Creator - Organization" field.

Subject - Topical
Non-geographic subjects of the map, also using Library of Congress Subject Headings.

Subject - Graphic
Non-geographic illustrations (such as ships, coats of arms, or sea monsters) that are included on the map itself. The terms assigned to these illustrations come from the Thesaurus of Graphic Materials maintained by the Library of Congress.

Places Depicted
Geographic places that are shown in detail on the map. Please note that this field does not list every single place name printed on the map.

The medium on which the map was printed. In most cases, this is paper, but there are some maps in the collection printed on other surfaces.

The language, or languages, of the text on and around the map.

The repository that owns the copy of the map that was digitized for this project.

Call Number
The call number of the map that was digitized for the project.