ILLINOIS STATE LIBRARY
Illinois County Land Ownership Maps and Atlases
The 19th century county atlas/plat book is more popular than ever, not only with genealogists, but with newer audiences finding them useful for historic site and environmental research. The Illinois State Library owns a very extensive collection of plat books and maps. It does not include every one published, but its unique value is that the library’s collection circulates, whereas most such collections do not.
This is not a guide to the literature on the genre, nor scanned images of the atlases themselves, but rather a simple checklist of the State Library’s collection of 19th, 20th, and 21st century plat books and maps. The State Library’s county land ownership maps and atlases are cataloged on the OCLC WorldCat and I-Share databases, but are comprehensively listed here separately for ease of use. This list includes maps and atlases acquired as of May, 2011.
All these atlases are available for circulation and interlibrary loan with the following exceptions:
- the most current plat book is reference.
- microfilm may be substituted for the original atlas, especially if the original is in poor condition.
- microfiche is duplicated and the patron may keep the copy.
- sheet maps are photocopied and the patron may keep the copy.
Please contact your local library to borrow these atlases from the Illinois State Library.
County: The list is in alphabetical order by the name of the county. Some plat books cover more than one county. When two or three counties are covered, the plat book is listed under each county.
Year: After the county, the date is the most important item. The atlases are in order basically by the year or years covered by the map or plat book, with the latest first. Usually this is the year of publication, except in the case of reprints. Reprints often combine two or three old atlases, hence the double or triple dates in the year column.
Call Number: This is the State Library's specific call number for each piece.
Index: This column is used when an index has been added to a reprint that was not in the original atlas. Usually this is an index of names on the map. "Included" means that an additional index is published as part of the reprint edition. When a different call number appears in the index column, a separate book under that call number indexes that plat book.
Publisher: When the plat book is a reprint, the publisher listed is the reprint publisher rather than the original. When the column is blank, the microfilm includes plat books from more than one publisher and the publishers are evident from the entry for the original atlas. The "Sidwell/Hixson" entry simply indicates the Sidwell sticker was placed over the Hixson imprint.
Copies: The number of copies the State Library owns.
PRES: This column indicates which atlases have been preserved (each page deacidified and the atlas post-bound) and is mainly for internal use.
For more information, or to obtain a print version of the inventory, please call 217-782-5823 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.