Ever get the feeling that the state of California is disparate/one-of-a-kind/unique/special/possibly-anointed among the states in the Union?

Apparently early European explorers were light years ahead of that sentiment.

Stanford University has recently made available to the public an extensive collection of antiquated maps, dating from the 17th and 18th Centuries. The collection is notable for its common illustration of California as separate from the continental United States.

The maps come from the private collection of one Glen McLaughlin, a businessman from Northern California who has spent the past four decades purchasing early maps with the Golden State depicted as an island.

Last year, McLaughlin made a deal with Stanford, in which he would donate some and sell others

California enthusiasts and history buffs alike should check it out.

And it’s incredibly easy to do so; Stanford University has made the collection available online. View it here.