United States

Image of StateName

3141 Counties

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Maps and text covering the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county, and unsuccessful county proposal from the creation of the first county through 31 December 2000. Choose a date (day, month, and year) to view historical county configurations against the modern county network. Use the toolbar to zoom, pan, measure, view descriptions and citations, or print a desired map. Use the Help button on top right of the interactive map frame to read full descriptions of how to use the layers and tools on the interactive map site.

View Historical Commentary

Commentary on the research problems, materials and dates that were remarkable or unusual in the process of historical compilation (Not every state requires a commentary). Also accessible from the Supplemental Texts link at the bottom of the interactive map frame.

View Metadata - Summary Form (US Historical Counties)

Single-page document providing information about the shapefile data used for the interactive map site and available for download. Based on the US Historical Counties shapefile including Alaska and Hawaii. Includes: Project Description, Preferred Style for Citation, and Spatial Reference Information.

View Metadata - Summary Form (US Historical State/Territories)

Single-page document providing information about the shapefile data used for the interactive map site and available for download. Based on the US Historical State and Territory shapefile including Alaska and Hawaii. Includes: Project Description, Preferred Style for Citation, and Spatial Reference Information.

View Metadata - Full FGDC Form (US Historical Counties)

Document providing complete information about the shapefile data used for the interactive map site and available for download. Based on the US Historical Counties shapefile including Alaska and Hawaii. Includes: Identification and Citation Information (abstract of the project coverage, purpose, contents, and method of historical compilation), Data Quality Information (attribute and positional accuracy, historical and digital sources, step-by-step process descriptions), Spatial Data Organization Information, Spatial Reference Information, Entity and Attribute Information, Distribution and Metadata Reference Information. Also accessible from the Download Shapefiles page.

View Metadata - Full FGDC Form (US Historical State/Territories)

Document providing complete information about the shapefile data used for the interactive map site and available for download. Based on the US Historical State and Territory shapefile including Alaska and Hawaii. Includes: Identification and Citation Information (abstract of the project coverage, purpose, contents, and method of historical compilation), Data Quality Information (attribute and positional accuracy, historical and digital sources, step-by-step process descriptions), Spatial Data Organization Information, Spatial Reference Information, Entity and Attribute Information, Distribution and Metadata Reference Information. Also accessible from the Download Shapefiles page.

Download Shapefiles for use with GIS Programs (zip files)

Full contents of the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries may be downloaded free of charge for use under the stipulations and constraints described in the Creative Commons License. Downloads a zipped folder containing the national dataset. Contents include:

  1. Shapefile of US Historical Counties or US Historical States & Territories
  2. Summary metadata and full FGDC metadata for the selected shapefile
  3. Copy of the free access Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons License
  4. Read Me file describing how to use the shapefile within ESRI's ArcGIS application

US Historical Counties (1629-2000)

Files GIS Files
+AK/HI
Full file not generalized
Generalized .0001 degree tolerance
Generalized .001 degree tolerance
Generalized .01 degree tolerance
Generalized .05 degree tolerance

US Historical States & Territories (1783-2000)

Files GIS Files
+AK/HI
Full file Not generalized
Generalized .0001 degree tolerance
Generalized .001 degree tolerance
Generalized .01 degree tolerance
Generalized .05 degree tolerance

Download the KMZ File for use with Google Earth (zip files)

Downloads a zipped folder containing Atlas data formatted to be used with Google Earth and Google Maps.

US Historical Counties (1629-2000)

Files KMZ Files
-AK/HI
KMZ Files
+AK/HI
Full file Not generalized
Generalized .0001 deg. tolerance
Generalized .001 deg. tolerance
Generalized .01 deg. tolerance
Generalized .05 deg. tolerance

US Historical States & Territories (1783-2000)

Files KMZ Files
-AK/HI
KMZ Files
+AK/HI
Full file Not generalized
Generalized .0001 deg. tolerance
Generalized .001 deg. tolerance
Generalized .01 deg. tolerance
Generalized .05 deg. tolerance