Sources for Historic and Contemporary Newspapers

Data and Maps

Census Data:

  • Social Explorer (census data: 1790 - present). Create your own account! 
  • NHGIS provides, free of charge, aggregate census data and GIS-compatible boundary files for the United States between 1790 and 2014. Census data on the census tract level for Baltimore, MD, is accessible on Goliath/Geo/Baltimore. 
  • SimplyAnalytics (formerly SimplyMap) census data from 2000 and 2010, as well as market and business data). Sign up with your Harvard email!  Includes the Claritas Prizm Market segment data, descriptions available here. There is a zip code look-up available as well.
  • The book, The Clustered World, also goes into detail on the group characteristics.
  • American Factfinder
  • Ancestry Library Edition
  • PolicyMap  has current data on housing and income in the US. 


Aerial Photos and Images


Tips for Working with Ancestry Library Edition is a useful tool for accessing census schedules.  Unfortunately for researchers of cities, it was designed primarily for genealogists, and therefore is much easier to search by name of resident rather than location of residence. In order to research your neighborhood of interest:

Find a range of addresses and intersections representative of your neighborhood of interest (use Google Maps, etc.).

Go to Ancestry Library Edition

Navigate to US Census Collection, then year of choice.

Navigate to your state and county of interest, and note how the city is divided up (wards, enumeration districts, etc.).

Use Obtain EDs in One Step  ( to find correct enumeration district and ward by street intersection.

Go back to Ancestry and find the ward or enumeration district of interest.  You may have to flip through many pages to find your location of interest.

Use the 1930 enumeration district number to get the corresponding enumeration district number for the 1940 Census.

Locating City Directories

Mapping Tools & Other Resources

Related Guides

Selected Indexes to Journal Articles

Most useful databases: