Place boundaries for 1970 and before

Boundary data for census places is available on IPUMS NHGIS for 1980 onwards, and it is explained here that for 1970 and before, data was gathered from maps in printed Census publications. Are these Census publications the volumes detailing the number of inhabitants in different areas of the US (e.g., here for 1950)? If I wanted to extend the NHGIS boundaries for places in 1970 and before, would using the maps in these volumes be the right thing to do?
Thanks a lot!

Dear Vincent,

Yes, those are the volumes from which you could try to extend boundaries backwards from 1980. We used the maps in those volumes to create our Place Points shapefiles.

The main drawback to the maps is that they don’t necessarily show the actual place boundaries on the maps. In some decades and in some years, the Bureau used a point to indicate the location of a place. The scale of the map precluded use of an actual polygon. Additionally, the scale of the map means that the place boundaries will be generalized.

These are all reasons why we chose to create place points instead of place polygons!

Dave Van Riper

Dear Dave,
Thank you very much for your detailed answer! This is very helpful.