The Louisiana State Museum’s cartographic holdings, comprised of original works as well as photostat, photographic and facsimile reproductions, are dated 1525 to the present. Many of these works are housed in the special collections of Dr. and Mrs. E. Ralph Lupin, Helen and Solis Seiferth, Machrina Francois, Gladys Mossmeir, and Gaspar Cusachs. The museum’s collection contains maps related to the exploration and settlement of Louisiana during the colonial period as well as maps delineating Louisiana and her cities after the Louisiana Purchase, from 1803 to the present time.
Other works depict the Mississippi River and her delta, other Louisiana waterways, the Battle of New Orleans and the Civil War, the Gulf of Mexico, the circum-Caribbean region, as well as Canada and South America. Other North American cities and states, Europe, Asia, and Africa are also represented.
Many early cartographers such as Jean Baptiste B. d’Anville, members of the Bleau Family, Rigobert Bonne, Emanuel Bowen, Gaullaume de L’Isle, Nicolas de Fer, Thomas Jeffreys, Thomas Kitchen, Gerard van Keulen, Herman Moll, Sebastian Munster, Jean Baptiste Nolin, Abraham Ortelius, Henry Popple, Didier and Giles Robert de Vaugondy, Nicolas Sanson, John Senex, George Matthäus Seutter, John Speed, Nicolas Visscher, Martin Walsdeemuller and Frederick de Wit are represented in the collection.
Maps by John Arrowsmith, Henry Abraham Châtelain, Victor Collot, William Darby, Louis Hennepin, the Homann family, Tobias Conrad Lotter, John Melish, S. Augustus Mitchell, John Ogilby, Robert Sayer, Isaak Tirion and Antonio Zatta are also included in the collecton.
Maps published by T. G. Bradford, Mathew Carey, J. H. Colton, Covens & Mortier, George Cram, Anthony Finley, Laurie & Whittle and James Wyld are also housed in this collection.
All titles are rendered as printed on the map. Thus, title words may not correspond to modern methods of spelling and capitalization. Such words as "Missisipi," "shewing," and "copyed" were accepted spellings in previous centuries.
Dimensions are rendered by height and width, in inches, using the outside neat line as the measurement. In those instances where no neat line is present, outside paper dimensions are delineated.
Unless otherwise noted, the medium is that of a copperplate engraving, rotogravure, or lithograph. Manuscript and wood block maps are noted, as well as reproduction and facsimile works.
Many of the maps included in this database are later editions or reproductions of original maps. In such instances, the date of the original rendering is noted in the "date" field as "historical." The date of subsequent publication (if known) is given in the "notes" field. For sorting purposes, circa maps dates are rendered with the "c." following the approximated date.
Words surrounded by brackets ([ ]) are those inserted by the cataloger. Those words surrounded by brackets and followed by a question mark [ ?]) denote words which are a best guess by the cataloger. A bracketed insert with a question mark in the center ([ ? ]) represents an unintelligible word.
Note: At the Louisiana Purchase bicentennial in 2003, there were many requests for period maps outlining territory included in the treaty. Because the treaty was vague in defining Louisiana Purchase boundaries, no such contemporary maps were drawn.
In fact, several years passed before all the final boundaries of the Purchase were established. In 1810 a revolt in Spanish West Florida led to the annexation of the territory from the Mississippi to the Perdido River. The northern boundary of the United States was fixed at the 49th parrallel from the Lake of the Woods to the Rocky mountains in 1818, and, a year later, another treaty brought the remainder of Florida under the dominion of the United States.