Whiteprint copies of maps of portions of canals lands belonging to the State of New York

Held by the New York State Archives

Overview of the Records


New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

The whiteprint copies of original "blue line" maps are arranged geographically by portfolio then numerically by map number. The maps show boundaries of state-owned lands along the Erie, Champlain, Black River, Cayuga, and Seneca Canals and depict old and new canal lines; structures, streets and adjacent roads; and state and privately owned land. Each portfolio includes full titles. The maps depict in minute detail lands acquired for canal purposes.
28 cu. ft.(69 portfolios containing ca. 850 maps) :whiteprints ;55 x 84 cm on portfolio sheets 59 x 93 cm.
Inclusive Dates:
Series Number:


Geographical by portfolio and therein numerical by map number.

Scope and Content Note

The series consists of a set of whiteprint copies of original survey maps, commonly referred to as "blue line" maps, of lands appropriated by the state for canal purposes. The maps depict lands acquired for canal purposes up to and including construction of the Barge Canal. They indicate the boundaries (blue lines) of state-owned land along the Erie, Champlain, Oswego, Black River, and Cayuga and Seneca Canals.

The maps were commissioned by the state legislature pursuant to laws of 1910 and 1917 to determine which portions of the canals were not included among the improved sections and to mark all of the land not belonging to the state adjacent to the canals. The original maps were produced by the State Engineer and Surveyor. When this office was abolished in 1925, the Department of Public Works continued the work. Until 1925 the original maps were submitted to the Canal Board for approval and then filed in the State Engineer and Surveyor's office. In addition whiteprint copies were filed with the Comptroller, Secretary of State, and the Superintendent of Public Works. After 1925, whiteprints were filed with the former two officials, while the latter retained the originals. The set in this series was previously filed in the Comptroller's office.

The maps depict: old canal lines; new canal lines; structures, streets and roads adjacent to the canals; state owned land; and privately owned land. They have full titles, including reference to authorizing legislation and signed and dated attestations of examination and approval by officials. Maps measure 55 x 84 cm within neat lines. Portfolios have a cover sheet that includes a description of methods used in locating and drawing lines for state owned lands, and various attestation blocks. Portfolio size is 59 x 93 cm. Each portfolio covers a general geographic area accorded a "sheet" letter. Individual maps, each assigned a number and depicting a smaller limited area, are filed numerically within each portfolio.

Attached to many of the portfolios is a transmittal letter from the State Engineer and Surveyor to the State Comptroller stating that the maps, approved by the Canal Board and made pursuant to Chapter 199 of the Laws of 1910 and amendatory laws including Chapter 51 of the Laws of 1917, should be filed in the Comptroller's office. These letters date from 1918 to 1925 and give the sheet letter and the map numbers included in each portfolio, along with a brief description of geographical coverage. Some of the portfolios may be lacking certain sheets described in the transmittal letter; in the event of gaps researchers may consult series B1761, Maps of portions of canals lands belonging to the State of New York, the original set of blue line maps as executed by the State Engineer and Surveyor and its succeeding agencies.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of the material.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series B1761, Maps of portions of canals lands belonging to the State of New York, contains the original linen maps for the copies in this series.

Other finding aids

A portfolio list gives inclusive map numbers and brief description of canal and geographic area.

Custodial History

Previously unidentified portfolios A through L were restored to the series by Archives staff in December 1991.

Access Terms

Corporate Name(s):
Geographic Name(s):