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Mapping Historical Addresses - Breslau

Posted by Jessica Green, Tuesday 27th January, 2015

collections staff blog



Do you enjoy looking at historical maps?

Are you curious to discover where historical addresses would appear on a map of today’s world? 

Sometimes this is much harder than it sounds, which is why we are enlisting the help of our online community to aid in this research and help improve the accuracy of our new digital resource, Refugee Family Papers: An Interactive Map. The Jewish refugee families represented on this digital resource come from a range of different cities and towns across Europe. Since they left their homes behind before and during WWII, many of Europe’s borders have shifted and the names of cities, towns, and even countries have changed.

Take for example, the former city of Breslau, from which some of families represented in our collections stem. This city was part of the German Empire from the unification of Germany 1871 until the country’s defeat in WWI, when it became the capital of the newly created Prussian Province of Lower Silesia in 1919. After WWII, the city was renamed Wroc?aw and became part of Poland. Consequently many of the street names have been changed from German to Polish, making it difficult to determine that a street once called Gutenberg Strasse is now called Drukarska Street.

Today we invite you to help us find the current street address for the former home of German Jewish refugee, Charlotte Lewin. Based on the documentation in her donated collection of personal/family papers and correspondence at the Wiener Library, we believe that she grew up at Nicolai Stadtgraben 22 in the former city of Breslau.

Can you determine the coordinates for the current location of this historical address?

To get the coordinates of a place:

  1. Open Google Maps
  2. Right-click the relevant place or area on the map
  3. Select "What's here?"
  4. Under the search box, an info card with coordinates will appear

Please share your thoughts and findings in the comments section below.

Alongside your comments, please share with us the resources you consulted during your search and the process you went through to find and access said resources. By providing information about your research process, you will be aiding others in conducting similar research of their own and making it easier for library staff to verify your findings. In the interest of making sure all of the content on the Interactive Map is as accurate as possible, we will only change the locations of addresses after following your process to verify your answer.

Please report misuse to our Education team.

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