How Did Arizona Get its Shape?

State Library unveils new digital map

For Immediate Release
November 30, 2017


Matt Roberts, Director of Communications 
Phone: (602) 542-2228
[email protected]

The State of Arizona Research Library has just launched a new digital Story Map called, How Did Arizona Get its Shape?  A Story Map is an interactive platform that combines digitized maps, images, and text to show the comparison between a historic map and the modern world.  The unique platform encourages users to explore historical maps of North America to see how Arizona evolved into its modern borders from 1679 to 1912.

“This digital Story Map is a tremendous resource to view historical maps and a great way for users to learn more about our history and importance of Arizona in a larger global context,” said Secretary Reagan.  “The program highlights important periods in history in which significant events occurred on the North American continent.  Each historical period includes a digitized map that shows how borders on the continent changed as a result of the events within that period.”

The maps initially cover large geographic areas, and transition to smaller areas as the story advances until the focus is entirely on Arizona as its borders are shaped today. 

The interactive map is available at

For more information, contact the Digital Platform Coordinator Ryan Ehrfurth ([email protected]) within the Arizona Research Library, a branch of the Secretary of State’s office.