Web Resources for Illinois History and Maps

AHTC Focus Workshop

April 8, 2006

  Website: Description:  

Federal Township Plats of Illinois (1804-1891)



Hand drawn plats of Illinois’ landscape before American settlement and legal surveying measurements.  There is a brief description of the Land Ordinance of 1785, as well as information on how the plats were drawn and how the survey lines were determined.


University of Illinois Library and the University of Illinois Press Historical Maps Online



Search topographic maps of Illinois, former colonies in North America, the Northwest Territory, and other countries.  Topographical descriptions are given for areas as well as the maps.

Illinois Historical Aerial Photography Interactive Map



You’ll want to play with this one awhile, but the instructions are helpful!  View multiple “layers” of maps to see interstates, county borders, and rivers and streams in different places in Illinois.

(Parent site – www.isgs.uiuc.edu)


National Geographic Xpeditions




Home to the United States National Geography standards.  Here you will find lesson plans, online activities for you and your students, and printable maps.  There is also a terrific virtual museum that is slow to load at times, but would be a valuable resource for students.

National Geographic Society



Click on Maps and Geography to find online maps or go to their interactive Civil War map.

NASA:  Cities Collection



Astronaut photography of cities taken during spaceflight.  Roll your mouse over cities all over the world to see aerial photos of them.

The US Gen Web Project




This website includes the early history of the Champaign County area, historical maps, military records, and a collection of information about early residents.  (Scroll down to find school information, and click on “Yankee Ridge” school to see a teacher’s contract from 1914.)  Many, many links to other local and state resources.

Timeline of Urbana History



This timeline runs from the 1700s to the present, and includes information about the Illinois Central Railroad, the University of Illinois, Lincoln Square, and Busey Bank.  (Parent site - http://www.urbanabusiness.com/)

The Newberry Library



This is the Newberry Library’s section for K-12 teachers.  They constructed this resource for teachers to bring historically significant maps into the classroom.  Each map is accompanied by lesson plans for a wide variety of ages.  The “Map and Lesson Index” is organized by theme:  “Exploration and Encounter,” “Migration and Settlement,” “Environmental History,” “Historical Geography of Transportation,” “Political and Military History,” and “The Geography of American Communities.”  All core maps are in Flash and PDF format. 

Illinois Secretary of State’s Office



Here you will find Illinois history resources for your students.  For grade school students, there is the “Quest” newsletter with information about the Ferris Wheel and the Columbian Expo.  For middle and high school students there is “Kids Invest” – lessons for teaching beginning economics.

Illinois Historic Preservation Agency



The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency operates over 60 historic sites and memorials.  There are many links to historic sites in Illinois, the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, and it also has a “Prairie Pages” link where you can download Illinois history pages for grades 4-8.

Illinois State Historical Society



Here you can find an Illinois History resource page with great links for Illinois history and geography, including a variety of Illinois maps and links that are “just for kids.”

University of Texas Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection




Over 5,000 map images.  Find maps of the continents, specific countries, or states.  The historical maps are organized into categories such as “Early Inhabitants,” or “Military History.”  There are also many links to other maps sites.