This website illustrates and describes a selection of original rare and historic maps chosen from the Map Collection of the University of Arizona Library. They portray a region of New Spain once called Pimería and chronicle four centuries of mapping from the earliest map of the region in the collection, a 1556 view of North and South America, up to the Gadsden Purchase of 1854 when Pimería Alta--or southern Arizona--was acquired by the United States from Mexico.
Pimería was a province or region--never precisely defined--of Spanish colonial Mexico encompassing what is now southern Arizona and northern Sonora, the name being derived from the Pima Indians who live in the region. The use of the term Pimería dates from the late seventeenth century, first appearing on a 1696 map prepared by the indefatigable explorer Fr. Eusebio Kino. The term appeared on eighteenth century maps, and on a few early nineteenth century maps. The name Pimería was one of five names proposed for the new Territory of Arizona established in 1863.
Rights & Permissions
These images are the property of the University of Arizona and may not be included in any commercial publications (printed or online) without the written permission of the University of Arizona Library. You are welcome to retrieve and save these images for educational purposes. The maps in this exhibit are now stored in the University Library's Special Collections. Contact Special Collections for information regarding photos or images of these maps, or for questions about seeing these maps in person.
About the Website
Maps of the Pimería: Early Cartography of the Southwest was initially created in the spring of 1995. Images were scanned from 35MM color slides that Jack Mount, then Map Librarian at the University of Arizona Library, used in presentations to classes and other groups. Mr. Mount wrote the descriptive sections and also provided a list of references that will be of interest to scholars and researchers. Since 1995, the site' interface has been revised three times. The slides were re-scanned in 2000 and archival TIFF versions are housed in the UA Library's Special Collections. This recent version of the website was published during the summer of 2005. Visitors should note that links to larger images are provided for each map on its description page.Follow the link below to learn more about the history and culture of Southern Arizona.