The maps collection is separated into:
- Topographic Maps
- General Maps
- Oversized Maps
- Tourism and Recreation Maps
USGS Topographic Maps are available in the library. These circulate.
The following is a guide to locating a topographic map within the collection.
How to Find a Topographic Map
Locate the correct region.
The topographic map cases are arranged first by region. There are five regions: Northern, Southern, Midwest, Western, and Hwaii and Alaska (including Puerto Rico).
Locate the correct state.
Within each region, they are arranged alphabetically by state.
Choose a series.
Then, the maps are arranged by scale series. There are two primary series:
1:62,500 (15 minute) and 1:24,000 (7.5 minute).
Puerto Rico is 1:20,000.
Check by the area name.
They are they arranged alphabetically by area name. For example, Mankato is under both Mankato East and Mankato West in the 1:24,000 series.
If the general location of the area is known:
If the general location of the area is not known:
- Locate the index maps for the appropriate series.
- Find the desired area on the index map.
- The brown colored name next to the desired area is the area name.
- Use the online catalog system to locate an atals or highway map of the area.
- Locate the name of the largest city or most prominent land mark within ten miles of the desired area.
- Use this as the area name.
Otherwise, Topographic Quadrangle names can be found online using MapFinder: A USGS Topographic Map Index
General & Oversized Maps
The General Maps cases wrap around the Southeast corner of the Maps Area and finish on the eastern edge of the Maps Desk.
Oversized Maps are in the larger map cases behind the Topographic Maps.
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
Sanborn Maps are in a few different places. A majority of them are available as microfilm.
The legend for the Sanborn Maps is located on top of the microfilm reels.
The reel numbers for the grey box microfilms are next to the legend. To search for them in the catalog, use the keyword "sanborn" followed by the state. If necessary, refine the format on the left side bar to show only microfilm. Click on the result to see a breakdown of the maps available. Microfilm readers are available on the first floor of the library and in Maps. Microfilm readers are also available for check-out in the ERC downstairs. Microfilm prints can be made in the Copy Room on the first floor of the library.
1947-1969 - Minnesota, Grey Box Microfilm (G4141.G475 1950.F4 1993)
Before 1952 - IA, MN, ND, SD, WI, White Box Microfilm (G4121.G475 1983.S26 to G4181.G475 1983 .S26)
Sanborn Maps of Mankato from 1908 are in the General Map Cases. They are under the call number, G4144.M2G475 1908 .S3.
The Maps Area also has a CD-Rom of Minnesota Sanborn Maps prior to 1952. G4141.G475 2000 S26.
The book, Fire Insurance Maps in the Library of Congress (Z6026.17 U45 1981), serves as a guide to all Sanborn Maps. It is divided into sections alphabetically by state. Some territories and Mexico are covered in the back.
Sanborn maps are available electronically through this database:
Sanborn Maps of Minnesota "Sanborn maps are large-scale plans of a city or town, drawn at a scale of 50 feet to an inch. They were created to assist fire insurance companies as they assessed the risk associated with insuring a particular property. The maps list street blocks and building numbers including numbers in use at the time the map was made and previous numbers."
Web Resources for Maps
- Algebra Help
A Proportion Calculator that can help determine scale.
- Floating Sheep
This site is dedicated to mapping and analyzing user generated geocoded data. The results provide one glimpse of what internet users (in the aggregate) think about particular places.
- Harvard Map Collection
The Harvard Map Collection is the oldest map collection in America, having grown to include ca. 400,000 maps, more than 6,000 atlases, and several thousand reference books. Topographic maps, city plans, nautical charts, and thematic maps comprise this excellent research collection representing all chronological periods and significant map makers. The Map Collection also has a strong commitment to digital resources and manages the collections of the Harvard Geospatial Library.
- How to Read Topographical Maps | Ghosttowns.com
A quick guide to reading topographical maps with pictures.
- Karlsruhe Institute for Technology -- Geography Resources
A list of geography resources, some of which are free on the web.
- Library of Congress Maps & Geography
These pages link to selected collection content available online at the Library of Congress, arranged by broad categories. The Library's online content represents only a small percentage of its physical holdings.
- Map Resources
Offering High-Quality, Royalty-Free Vector Maps for Graphic Design. Since 1984.
- New Mappings Collaboratory
The New Mappings Collaboratory, an initiative of the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky, is committed to innovations in mapping. Drawing on both applied and conceptual traditions in mapping practices and mapping thought, New Maps represents a stream of scholarship centered at the University of Kentucky and focused on public engagement, ‘big data’ and user-generated Internet content, as well as the affordances of place-based thinking, analysis, and representation.
- The Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at University of Texas at Austin
This collection consists of atlases, travel guides, gazetteers and many types of maps, including United States Geological Survey (USGS), navigational charts, International (World) maps, travel maps and items included in the U.S. Depository Library program. More than 46,000 map images from our collection are also available online.
- United States Digital Map Library: A USGenWeb Archives Project
The maps in the United States Digital Map Library were either published prior to 1923, produced by the United States government, or both. Each map is accompanied by information regarding the date of the publication and source. The United States Digital Map Library is providing access to these maps for research and genealogical purposes and is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection or any other restrictions.