Guide to Geography and Maps in Missouri

Digital Collections

Aerial Photograph Collection

The Aerial Photograph Collection is a special collection of images taken from the late 1930s to the 1960s. This collection contains a select number of counties. Additional counties and images are available through the Research Centers.

Map Collection

The State Historical Society of Missouri is home to thousands of unique Missouri maps chronicling our state and territorial history, western exploration, and the complexities of westward expansion.

In addition to the individual maps, many of our manuscript collections also contain rare, unpublished, annotated, and sometimes even hand-drawn maps and diagrams that are of considerable interest.

Plat Map Collection

County plat books or atlases contain descriptions of land owners and landmarks. Utilizing the Public Land Survey System, each map is divided into township, range, and sections. Owners of these divisions of land are identified on the maps, which sometimes also include landmarks such as churches, cemeteries, and schools. Many plat books contain a brief county history and a directory of county residents.

The online collection contains plat maps of Missouri counties published between 1875 and 1917. Additional plat maps are available at the State Historical Society of Missouri’s research centers.