Mapping Minnesota

“Minnesota on the Map”: Four Centuries of Maps from the Minnesota Historical Society Collection

Welcome to MAPPING Minnesota, a collection of nine geography lessons developed to incorporate selected maps from the Minnesota Historical Society’s (MHS) exhibit, ‘Minnesota on the Map:’ Four Centuries of Maps from the MHS Collection.

The MHS exhibit features dozens of maps, atlases and artifacts from the Society’s collection, including an atlas from 1595, displayed along side current road, city and tourist maps. The Society’s extensive collection of early exploration and travel maps of North America includes document maps and atlases used by Europeans to understand the geography of the “new world” and illustrates how that understanding changed over time.


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The Northland Bus Routes: The Road to Pleasure. . . Minneapolis: Northland Transportation Company (1920s) Two obvious things that drove the production of countless maps were transportation and tourism. They come together in this map promoting the beauty and recreational opportunities of summertime Minnesota. By combining photographs with drawings potential tourists get a dose of romance and realism.

A subsidiary of the Great Northern Railway, the Northland Transportation Company of Delaware was organized in 1924 to acquire the Mesaba Motor Company which operated in Northern Minnesota. The Northland Transportation Company of Minneapolis was a sibling corporation incorporated to operate those lines.