LINKS TO RESOURCES

More extensive resources and information about the Birmingham Mineral Railroad and other historic railroads in the Birmingham area can be found at locations such as the following:

Cartographic Research Laboratory at the University of Alabama website

Birmingham Rails website

Holdings of the Birmingham Public Library–both digital and hard copy

Jefferson County Historical Association

Birmingham History Center

Birmingham Historical Society

Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum

Holdings of the Alabama Department of Archives and History

Louisville and Nashville Historical Society

EXCELLENT ON-LINE HISTORIC MAPS OVERLAY TOOL:

In addition to the historic maps presented below, if you are interested in overlaying historic maps onto current maps, the United States Geological Survey has provided an excellent resource for doing that.  Many of the historic maps that can be overlaid at that website show the Birmingham Mineral Railroad (usually as “L & N Railroad”), and the overlaying capability will enable you to see where it ran in relation to present-day maps.  Visit the USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer website at http://historicalmaps.arcgis.com/usgs/  The following are instructions for using that online map overlay tool:

USGS HISTORIC MAPS OVERLAY
Below is the link and instructions for the USGS historic maps easy-to-use online tool that will overlay their old historic maps onto a current map, then the transparency of the old map can be changed to compare it (see through it) to the current map locations.
http://historicalmaps.arcgis.com/usgs/
INSTRUCTIONS:

A. After you type a location in the search box (for example, Bessemer, Alabama) and bring up that current map, you will need to choose the spot on the map by clicking on it (like clicking on a spot in downtown Bessemer).  You can zoom in closer using the mouse wheel.  Red cross-hairs will appear. To change to another spot, just click on that new spot.
B. You can move the map around with the mouse (or your finger if you are on an iPad, but transparency does not work on the iPad).
C. Then it will list along the bottom all the old maps they have available to overlay for the location where your red cross-hairs are.
D. If you click on any of those maps, it will overlay it, and you can change the transparency with the slider bar.  (As noted above, transparency does not work on the iPad.)
E. You may have to pick and choose different old maps to get the one with the best scale for the site you are inquiring about.
NOTE THAT SOME OF THE OLDER (1800’s) MAPS ARE NOT VERY ACCURATE FOR SOME AREAS, SO YOU MIGHT WANT TO USE THE ONES AFTER 1900.  OFTEN THE OLDER ONES WERE NOT WELL GEO-REFERENCED.  THEY PROVIDE GOOD INFORMATION, BUT MAY NOT LINE UP EXACTLY WITH TODAY’S FEATURES.