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Mapping Local and Commuter Rail Transit in NYC: IND

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 the IND

  • Independent subway sign in 14th street F trainIND is an initialism for Independent City-Owned Subway System. 
  • Years of Note
    • 1924: Transit act gave New York City the ability to build and control new subways via the Board of Transportation, making it it both financed and operated by the city. 
    • 1925: Construction started for IND lines.
    • 1932: Service began.
    • 1940: Merged with IRT and BMT, and managed by New York City Board of Transportation.
    • 1953: The Board of Transportation was replaced with today's New York City Transit Authority

Image Source: Photo by J. Wong in 14th Street/6th Ave Station

A Selection of IND Maps at NYPL's Map Division

  • Supervue of New York. 1938Map of the 8th Avenue Subway showing local and express stations and detailed map of Manhattan. 1932
  • Supervue of New York. 1938
    • Map Div. 04-5179
    • Creator: Supervue Map and Guide Corporation, New York.
    • Note: Maps on verso: Routes of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company -- BMT lines, Rapid Transit Division -- Station guide, Independent City Owned Rapid Transit Railroad -- Principal theatres and shopping district -- [View of] site of New York's World Fair as seen from Manhattan ... [and] the great Triborough Bridge with approaches and connections ...
  • New York City transit system subway and elevated lines. [1952]
    • Map div. 04-1803
    • Creator: Hagstrom Company
    • Note: Service information on IND, IRT, and BMT divisions and stops for general points of interest on verso.
  • New York subways / Hagstrom. [1974]
    • Map Div. 04-1809
    • Creator: Hagstrom Company
    • Note: Includes publisher's notes and service information on IRT, BMT, and IND divisions.

Image Source: Supervue of New York. 1938, Map Div. 04-5179

How to Search the Catalog for IND Maps

Online Research Catalog

When using the Online Research Catalog:

  • In the Advanced Search function, checkmark "Cartographic" under Format.
  • Not all maps that include IND 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 have 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 Resources

To find supplementary books and documents related to the IND, 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: