As the City Grew: Historical Maps of Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Public library (LAPL) is a wonderful resource that is underappreciated by many in the city. Take for example its 100 year old map collection, which consists of more than 100,000 items. According to the LAPL, “it is one of the largest collections owned by a public library in the U.S. and is noted for materials relating to Los Angeles and the West including historical topographical maps, road maps, street guides, and fire insurance atlases.”

Now visitors to the library’s central branch can view 34 rare maps from this extensive collection in a new exhibit called As the City Grew: Historical Maps of Los AngelesAccording to LAPL’s map librarian Glen Creason, the exhibition depicts the City’s development “… from Native American settlements to the colonial pueblo to the modern megalopolis.” He went on to explain that the exhibit includes some real treasures, such as “a rare first printing of the Ord Survey, the first surveyed map of Los Angeles, a signed copy of the Kirkman-Harriman maps showing Indian villages, the first topographic map of the area, a 1903 automobile road map, one of the few copies existing of Laura Whitlock’s depiction of the Pacific Electric streetcar lines and the dazzling Jo Mora pictorial map from 1942.”

The Old Spanish & Mexican Ranchos of Los Angeles County Title Insurance and Trust Company Gerald Eddy, cartographer, 1937DETAILS

When: On display through November 4, 2012

Where: Downtown Central Library, First Floor Galleries, 630 W. Fifth Street Los Angeles.

More Information:
Web: Los Angeles Public Library


  1. Kevin Weiss says:

    It's my first time in LA and I'm feeling so excited to visit the library. I can't wait to see the most talked about 100 year old map collection. πŸ™‚

    – Kevin