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Mapping Local and Commuter Rail Transit in NYC: BMT

This guide covers how to research for maps related to subways and railroads in New York City within the Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal's Map Division.

Quick Facts about BMT

  • Culver Line of the BMT subway system in Brooklyn, N.Y.BMT is an initialism for Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation.
  • Years of Note
    • Was previously the BRT before it was reconstituted as the BMT in 1924
    • Purchased in 1940 by the City of New York, unifying BRT with IRT and the already city-owned IND; managed by New York City Board of Transportation.
    • In 1953, the Board of Transportation was replaced with today's New York City Transit Authority


Image Source: Culver Line of the BMT subway system in Brooklyn, N.Y. 1954. NYPL Digital Collections Image ID 5817562

A Selection of BMT Maps at NYPL

How to Search the Catalog for BMT Maps

Online Research Catalog

When using the Online Research Catalog:

  • In the Advanced Search function, checkmark "Cartographic" under Format.
  • If you are interested in finding maps created by the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation, we recommend the following searches into the Author Field:
  • Not all maps that include BMT routes were created by the rapid transit company itself. Commercial, government, and other rapid transit companies would also showcase these local transit lines on their maps. As such, to include these maps in your search results, we recommend the following searches in the Keyword field:
  • Please note that you can narrow your search to more specific results by combining the above search terms with any of the terms listed in the "Terms to Search in the Online Research Catalog" portion of this guide's Using Our Catalogs page.

Dictionary Catalog

Additional Recommended Books and Documents at NYPL

To find supplementary books and documents related to the BMT, please conduct the searches listed on this page's "Catalog Tips" with "Cartographic" NOT checkmarked  in either our Online Research Catalog or Digital Collections Portal. See below for a list of recommended materials: