This is a day that should live in digital history for two reasons. First is that the New York Public Library (NYPL) in Manhattan has released a large collection of digitized state and county atlas maps.
The Burr’s Atlases and many of the individual County Atlases are able to be viewed online for free! Having only just now found them and testing only a few, they do leave you wanting more. The quality of the scans that I have checked so far is poor to fair at best, but they still are able to be used for reference as to locations.
The individual homeowners names on the few that I checked were almost unreadable, but you should check them yourselves and maybe you will have better results. I for one would just like to give the NYPL credit for such forward thinking, and with thanks. Possibly the quality will improve.
It is possible to purchase map copies from them so perhaps the quality will improve with price. The old saying has always been true. “You get what you pay for.”
Not all of the counties are available but here is the link to the collection: NYPL Maps. http://tinyurl.com/62eaue
*** Note: Update: Leland Meitzler at Everton’s Genealogy Blog also wrote about these maps today and his experience as to quality was excellent. So after checking again, I realized that in my excitement to get the news out I did not use the online pan and zoom tool provided with the maps. What I did was to download a couple of the maps in total to my hard drive and then tried to view them, so that is why the scans were of poor quality. So thanks even more to NYPL. The maps are great! ***
The second reason that this day shall remain famous is that this is the day that Mozilla wanted to set a world’s record with the most amount of downloads in one 24 hour period, upon the release of their new Firefox 3.0 browser that was to be available at 1:00pm today.
For what it is worth, I have been hammering on that download site for three hours and have not been able to get in yet. The only time there was a connection it ended up being an error message about http: (something) not available.
Looks like the new firefox is a little popular, even though you can’t download it.