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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Guides to Map Collections

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maps area atlases and books

The atlases and books occupy the shelf on the northern edge of the Maps Area and the island (oversize atlas stands) that parallels it. 


Atlases are found in two locations. Regular-sized atlases are on the shelf along the northern border of the Maps area. Oversized Atlases are on display on the maps island parallel to the shelf. Atlases may or may not circulate depending on the title. Typically, oversized atlases do not circulate due to size and fragility.

Travel Guides

There are travel guides to various destinations around the world. These circulate.
The library encourages students to take these books on trips.

Travel guides can be searched in the online library catalog using the keyword "guidebooks" followed by the name of the destination. The guides are kept updated.

Plat Books

Plat books contain township maps by county. They illustrate the location of property boundaries and label major landowners.
Acreage information and local landmarks are also shown.
Directions for reading Public Land Survey System descriptions are included in the introduction of each book.
Local lake maps and highway maps are often included.

Plat books can be searched in the online library card catalog using the keywords "plat book" followed by the county name. Some plat books may be located in the Lass Center for Minnesota Studies on the second floor of the library. - Minnesota Maps Online Icon The Minnesota Historical Society has digitized some of the older county plat books and atlases. They are searchable by county.

Land ownership--Property Boundaries Icon This is a list of available information by county that has been generated by the Minnesota Geospatial Information Office.

Soil Surveys

Soil surveys are available for the following states: Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. These circulate.
A list of available soil surveys and coordinating years are listed on a separate page, which is accessible by hovering over the "Atlases & Books" tab and clicking on "Available Soil Surveys."

To search for a soil survey in the online catalog, use the keywords "soil survey" followed by the county and/or state name.

Web Resources for Soil Surveys:

  • Web Soil Survey | USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
    Web Soil Survey (WSS) provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It is operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world. NRCS has soil maps and data available online for more than 95 percent of the nation's counties and anticipates having 100 percent in the near future. The site is updated and maintained online as the single authoritative source of soil survey information.

Collections Beyond Memorial Library

Other nearby collections include:
  • John R. Borchert Map Library | University of Minnesota
    The Borchert Map Library has cartographic materials: maps, atlases, and aerial photographs. The Automated Cartographic Information Center (ACIC), housed in the Map Library, offers access to digital spatial data to create and print maps.
  • Don Lee Kulow Memorial Library | Earth Resources Obervation and Science Center The collections comprise more than 6,500 reference works, including books, professional papers, reports, conference proceedings, atlases, and audiovisual resources; 30 print serial subscriptions; online full-text access to more than 1,500 journal titles; and online research reference databases funded by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Department of the Interior, the South Dakota Library Network, the South Dakota State Library, and the EROS Library.
  • Map Collection | Minnesota Historical Society
    The map collection at the Minnesota Historical Society consists of about 19,000 maps and nearly 2,000 volumes of atlases. The collection strongly emphasizes Minnesota Territory and the state of Minnesota, its regions, counties and cities from 1849 to the present.