Bancroft’s Official Guide Map of City and County of San Francisco, Compiled from Official Maps in Surveyor’s Office

Cartographer(s): The Bancroft Company
Date: 1887
Place: San Francisco
Dimensions: 64.8 x 77.5 cm (25.5 x 30.5 in)
Condition Rating: VG

Out of stock

SKU: NL-00232 Category:

Fine example of Bancroft’s pocket map of San Francisco


A stunning 1887 example of Bancroft’s important pocket map of San Francisco, California. This map covers the northern top of the San Francisco Peninsula rom the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco Bay and as far south as Rancho Canada de Guadeloupe. Bancroft employs shading to indicate developed and undeveloped blocks. At the bottom of the map there is a numerical key wherein some 376 individual buildings are located and categorized. Concentric circles on the map indicate half-mile distances from the ferries. Development extends as far as the race track. Rancho Laguna de la Merced, San Miguel Rancho, and Rancho Cañada de Guadalupe Rodeo Viejo y Vistación are at this point undeveloped. An inset map in the right details the greater San Francisco Bay area.

This map was first published in 1871 and enjoyed an immediate popularity. Revised editions appeared in 1873, 1877, 1881, 1882, 1883, 1887 (present copy), and 1891. In 1973 two editions were issued with the latter of these two exhibiting a vast expansion of the map to include growth in the western part of the peninsula including Golden Gate Park and the surrounding lots. Some editions feature a light blue outline of the landfill in eastern San Francisco, but this was omitted from the 1887 edition. Sally Woodbridge speculates that ‘it was not part of the original base map but was added because of special interest at the time.’

Today all examples of Bancroft’s San Francisco are highly desirable as the finest map of San Francisco available during that city’s most expansive period of development.


The Bancroft Company

Hubert Howe Bancroft (May 5, 1832 – March 2, 1918) was an American historian and ethnologist who wrote, published and collected works concerning the western United States, Texas, California, Alaska, Mexico, Central America and British Columbia.

In March 1852, Bancroft was provided with an inventory of books to sell and was sent to the booming California city of San Francisco to set up a West Coast regional office of the firm. Bancroft was successful in building his company, entering the world of publishing in the process. He also became a serious collector of books, building a collection numbering into the tens of thousands of volumes.

In 1868, he resigned from his business in favor of his brother, A. L. Bancroft. He had accumulated a great library of historical material and abandoned business to devote himself entirely to writing and publishing history.

Condition Description

Very good. Professionally flattened and backed on archival tissue. Accompanied by original binder.


Rumsey 2742.000 (1891 edition), 3371.002 (1887 edition). Phillips (Maps) p.777. Huntington Library 15238 (1889). Woodbridge, S., San Francisco in Maps and Views, page 80-81. Boston Public Library, Leventhal Center, G4364.S5 1873 .A422, G4364.S5 1873 .A42, G4364.S5 1877 .A42, G4364.S5 1881 .A42. Clark, H., A Venture in History, p. 9