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Interpreting the Evidence

Beers Atlas, Map of Jerusalem, 1873

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    Industrialization (1870 - 1900)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Lower Elementary
    Upper Elementary
    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:


  • Primary Source Types:


  • Regions:

    Long Island

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Beers Atlas, Map of Jerusalem, 1873 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Beers Atlas, Map of Jerusalem Village, Ridgewood P.O., Town of Hempstead, 1873
Historical Context
In the 1860s and 1870s, F.W. Beers and Associates mapped a major portion of New York State. These maps were prepared for the county, town, city, and village levels. This collection of maps includes names of property owners, streets, and bodies of water. Similar maps are found in the New Century Atlases (circa 1904). Beers’ maps are found in most County Clerk’s offices, historical societies and libraries. This map is courtesy of the Freeport Historical Museum, Freeport. The New York State Historical Association in Cooperstown and the New York State Library in Albany have the most comprehensive collection of these historical maps.
Essential Question
How can historical maps compared to recent maps show geographic and community change over time?
Check for Understanding
Have students respond in writing to the following questions:
  1. How do these two maps show change in the geography or the community over time?
  2. Why are these maps different? They are both maps of the same area.
    Historical Challenges
    Research about map-making techniques. What would F.W. Beers have to do in order to create this map? How are maps made today? With the advent of technology (ex. Google Maps, GPS), is the way that we use maps changing? How so?