Map and Poster Collection

The Memphis/Shelby County Map and Poster Collection is located in the Memphis and Shelby County Room. The collection includes over 5000 maps and posters of local and regional interest. Here is a list of cataloged maps.

The poster collection includes Memphians During War (patriotic posters from World War I, World War II and other wars) and the Beale Street Collection (musical advertisement posters). Both of these collections have published finding aids.

The Library of Congress has two birds-eye view maps of Memphis on their website. These maps can be enlarged to show neighborhoods and individual buildings (street names and addresses have changed over the years). Please remember to check the computer catalog for other Memphis map holdings and Shelby County map holdings.

The above 1870 map is reasonably accurate. Most of the buildings and streets are drawn realistically. The 1887 map is somewhat less accurate. The artist took some liberties with the sizes of the buildings. However, both maps are extremely useful in determining the early layout and development of the city.

The above Civil War map shows the settlements on the Mississippi. It gives an overview of the small settlements around Memphis that existed in the 1860s such as Big Creek and Fort Pickering, Tennessee and Austin and Mound City, Arkansas. The map is laid out with north at the bottom of the map and south at the top. Memphis is located at the left bottom of the large bend in the river near the top of the page.