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Online Plat Maps & City Directories Offer Historical Land Use & Ownership Information

A collaboration between the University of Wisconsin Digital Collection Center and the Madison Public Library has produced a digital collection of Historical County Plat Maps from South Central Wisconsin and Early Madison City Directories. The collection spans the latter half of the 19th century.

In addition to their usefulness for historians and genealogists, these plat maps and city directories are also an important resource for legal researchers seeking historical land use and ownership information.

From the MPL site:
Historical plat books help people to trace neighborhoods and streets from what was once farmland. These maps show the division of the land into streets, blocks, and lots, indicating the measurements of the individual parcels.

Early city directories of Madison provide helpful historical information on the early years of the state capitol in addition to helping those looking for information on specific people and businesses in the area in the 1800s and early 1900s. The directories provide an alphabetical list of citizens with their addresses and occupations, a classified business directory, lists of city and county officials, churches, schools, societies, streets and wards.

For other digital collections of Wisconsin historical materials, see the UW Digital Collections State of Wisconsin Collection and the Wisconsin Historical Society web site.