About the Hurd Atlas

The Town and City Atlas of the State of New Hampshire: Compiled from Government Surveys, County Records and Personal Investigations, published by D.H. Hurd & Co. in 1892, is an example of a type of atlas very common in the latter part of the 19th century.

The distinctive feature of these atlases is that they show either (1) the shapes of each parcel of land and the name of the owner of each parcel of land or (2) the outline of each building and the name of each primary occupant. Hurd’s atlas shows the latter.

The Hurd atlas is typical in that it also shows information such as local scenes, sketches of prominent buildings, and tables of demographic or other data. These atlases vary in the geographic area that they cover. For a small state like New Hampshire, a single atlas of the entire state can easily show maps of each town. In many parts of the country, where states are larger and counties more numerous, county-level atlases with detailed maps of each township were also published.

Single sheet maps for individual towns showing names of owners or residents had been published for decades. Large wall maps showing similar information for entire counties were published primarily in the 1850-1860s, with about 350 in existence in 1860. The oldest known county atlas (Berks County, Pennsylvania) was published in 1861. During the 1860s and 1870s, bound volumes became more common than the wall maps.

In 1877 Henry Francis Walling and Charles H. Hitchcock published an atlas of New Hampshire. The full title of this atlas gives some idea of its scope: Atlas of the state of New Hampshire: including statistics and descriptions of its topography, geology, river systems, climatology, railroads, educational institutions, agricultural and manufacturing interests, etc. It contains detailed maps of a few major towns, but none of the maps show individual properties.

Hurd evidently published only two state atlases, the first being the NH atlas (1892) that is shown on this website and the second a similar atlas for the state of Connecticut (1893). Thus, D. H. Hurd is a relative late comer to the publishing of atlases.

About the Images

The digitized version of the Hurd Town and City Atlas of New Hampshire was developed as a project of The Digital Library at the University of New Hampshire.

The images are presented as jpegs scanned at 200 dpi in 24-bit color on a Microtek ScanMaker 9600XL. They were scanned in pieces and stitched together with PanaVue ImageAssembler and optimized with Adope Photoshop. They are optimized for Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher. If you are using earlier versions of IE, or Netscape, save images prior to printing.

The images are also offered in MrSID format.

Use & Reproduction

See our Conditions of Use.


Meredith Ricker, Government Information Department, University of New Hampshire Library, scanned the images and created the web site.

Text by Thelma Thompson, Government Documents Librarian, University of New Hampshire Library, October 28, 2004.

Timothy Frye, Technical Support.