Maps & Charts of Chesapeake Bay

The late Alan Voorhees admires the maps of Chesapeake Bay with Former British Prime Minister and W&M Chancellor Margaret Thatcher in Chesapeake Bay Hall.When Chesapeake Bay Hall at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science opened in 1997, longtime friend and supporter Alan Voorhees generously donated a large part of his collection of historical Bay maps and charts for display in the lobby. These framed documents graphically portray the fascinating history of the Bay region and remind a generation raised on satellite imagery and GPS-enabled phones of the painstaking work required to create early maps.

Maps and navigational charts are both a product and a tool of scientific research. Captain John Smith's 1608 map of Chesapeake Bay is remarkably accurate given the tools used in its construction.VIMS researchers use these tools—evermore accurate due to the advent of remote-sensing technologies such as LIDAR—for everything from fish-monitoring surveys to computer modeling of coastal flooding.

Viewing of the Voorhees map and charts is possible during guided tours of the VIMS campus and our annual Marine Science Day open house. Those unable to visit our campus in person can view the maps in a digital form below.