History 280

Emancipation to BlackLivesMatter
Professor Tyran Steward
Spring 2021

Using Road Maps

mileage and driving time from 1950 Shell road map

Image credit: map legend of Shell Map of Kansas, 1950. From the David Rumsey Map Collection

As you plan your journey, you will need to use historic maps and atlases to chart your course. Road maps will help you determine what routes to take, what road conditions you might encounter, and what cities you might visit or avoid. Depending on the map or atlas, you may also find information on driving times, distance between major cities, traffic laws, speed limits, and attractions. Be sure to consult the map legend (like the one above) for the scale and features of the map.

Examples of Road Atlases

Finding Historic Maps & Atlases

The LUNA Viewer of the David Ramsey Map Collection provides options for browsing and searching.

Use the What, Where, Who, and When limits for narrowing the browse results. Multiple selections within each limit is allowed. For this assignment, the following limits would be helpful:

  • What: National Atlas, Automobile (available after choosing More at end of list)
  • Where: United States, states, regions, or cities from the More list
  • Who: Rand McNally, Shell, State Farm
  • When: dates around the year of your Green Book

When you identify an interesting item, click on "Related Items" to see all pages from the atlas.