Skip to Main Content

Maps for historians

Working area

copyright and maps

creating maps

finding maps in the library catalog

atlases -- reference

Rand McNally, road maps

Finding maps and atlases in the library catalog

Whether you use the Main Catalog interface or the Books+ interface, the easiest way to find maps and atlases is to use "maps" and "atlas?" as keywords in your search. This is because library catalogers describe maps e.g.


Europe, Eastern --Maps.

Princeton (N.J.) --Maps.

for places in the U.S. you may need the abbreviation for the state, e.g "new york n y maps"

 New York (N.Y.) --Maps.

Downtown Los Angeles guide map [cartographic material].


other useful headings --

Narrow Term:Aeronautical charts.
Narrow Term:Atlases.
Narrow Term:Cadastral maps
Narrow Term:Cartometry
Narrow Term:Cataloging of maps
Narrow Term:Comparative maps
Narrow Term:Digital maps.
Narrow Term:Grids (Cartography)
Narrow Term:Index maps.
Narrow Term:Manuscript maps
Narrow Term:Map reading
Narrow Term:Military maps.
Narrow Term:Mine maps
Narrow Term:Nautical charts.
Narrow Term:Outline maps
Narrow Term:Pictorial maps.
Narrow Term:Statistical maps.
Narrow Term:Thematic maps.
Narrow Term:Topographic maps.
Narrow Term:Tourist maps.
Narrow Term:World--Maps.



Road maps -- [Place] -- [Date]


Embedded maps

Serials Set Maps

Serial Set Maps - Additional Information and Research Strategies

There are three ways to access the maps in the U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection:

  1. Check Serial Set Maps on the Advanced form, leaving the drop-down list option at the All fields except full text default to search the following segments from the U.S. Serial Set Index and Carto-Bibliography of Maps:
    • Map Title - Includes the title as it appears on the map. If no title is available, a bracketed title is supplied using the graphic contents of the map or information from the publication in which the map is located.
    • Map Content Notation - Includes notes on content, structure, and context of the map. This segment might explain graphic features or on the map or other important elements, such as whether or not the map is in color, if the map was indexed from the departmental edition, whether the title supplied was editorially created from the graphic contents of the map, or any number of other miscellaneous notes.
    • Names on Map - Includes all non-title information related to the original creation and printing of the map. Includes information on: printing companies; government agencies and offices; and individual engineers, surveyors, cartographers, geologists, lithographers, and engravers.
    • Relief - Includes the following types of map relief: bathymetry, contours, form lines, gradient tints, hachures, isolines, pictorial, shading, soundings, and spot heights.
    • Map ID - Composed of Serial Set or American State Papers volume number, publication series, publication number, and order of map within that publication. For example, 6841 H.doc.1717, map 2 indicates that this is the second map in House Document 1717 in Serial Set volume 6841.
    • Map Area/Subject - The Midwest Mapping Project and the resultant Checklist of Printed Maps of the Middle West to 1900 (1981) provided the initial vocabulary for the geographic indexing used by the Carto-Bibliography of Maps to categorize the maps in the Serial Set. Library of Congress subject headings were also consulted, but the bulk of the extremely detailed indexing was based on the content of the map itself. Future enhancements to the map indexing will include modifying, rationalizing, and harmonizing the detailed geographic indexing and, more importantly, providing a hierarchy for the final terminology. For specific term lookup, use the Serial Set Map Terms accessible from the Index Terms look-up tool.
    • Serial Set ID - Composed of Serial Set volume, publication series, and publication number of the document in which the map occurs.
    • Document Title - Includes the title of the publication in which the map occurs.
  2. Check "Serial Set only" (and not "Serial Set Maps") to search the map captions in the main bibliographic record for the publication in which the map occurs. The map captions are a component of the illustration caption data. To limit the search to items with illustrations, use the check box provided as a Serial Set Only Option. To limit the search to illustration captions only, select "Illustration caption (Serial Set only)" from the box drop-down list. Maps may be accessed in this way even though the user has not selected the Serial Set Maps option.
  3. Search for a specific volume number on the Search by Number form.