announced the publication of historic Senate district maps dating back to 1790. Historic state House and congressional district maps are also available on the site. Here are some excerpts from their announcement:
"These maps are a window into our past," Senator Pileggi said. "Knowing this history can provide a deeper understanding of the issues confronted by previous General Assemblies through the decades. This is a tremendous resource, and I'm pleased it will be freely available for anyone interested in studying the history of the Senate."
"The Internet provides a platform where we can give the citizens of Pennsylvania greater access to state government," said Senator Costa. "This historical perspective will be an important resource. People will be able to see Pennsylvania's evolution from our very first legislative districts in 1790 to today."
The 18 newly-posted historic Senate maps feature current county lines, putting prior districts in a modern context. When Senate districts were first created in 1790, Pennsylvania had just 21 counties – fewer than a third of the 67 that exist today. Pennsylvania's final county, Lackawanna, was established in 1878.
Many changes in Senate districts have taken place over the 223 years that the chamber has existed. The first Senate included 12 districts and 18 senators – two districts were represented by three Senators each, and two other districts were represented by two Senators each. Such "multi-member" districts were used until 1874, when the state was apportioned into 50 Senate districts, the same number in use today.