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Maps and Atlases

Getting Started

NCSU Libraries' Maps Collection covers the following broad areas:

  • Library of Congress (LC) classification number. Maps shelved by LC call numbers include all geographic regions
  • Superintendent of Documents (sudoc) classification number. Maps with sudoc call numbers include all geographic regions
  • Topographic maps.  The library owns 1:24,000 maps for North Carolina.
  • North Carolina maps.  These include transportation maps, historic topographic maps, and more.  See instructions at the map case for arrangement.
  • World maps produced by the National Geographic Society.
  • Small format world maps produced by the CIA.
  • Thematic maps of the USGS from investigations series including coal, minerals, water, and more.

For maps not shelved by classification number (LC or sudoc) you may need to consult instructions at the map case location for shelving arrangements.  In some cases, there is an "index map" in the first drawer for a series, providing the shelving arrangement. In other cases the maps are filed alphabetically, or by a report number that must be obtained from a published index.

Some maps acquired before 1998 may not be listed in the library's online catalog, so if you do not find what you need, ask a librarian for help. 

Using the library catalog

A good way to get started is to try a keyword search using place names and limit your search by format to "maps."  Remember: not all maps acquired before 1998 are listed in the library's catalog, so ask anytime for help.

Using indexes and databases

There are many indexes and databases available to help you identify published maps.  In some cases, these indexes provide report numbers that are used to shelve the maps.  When you have consulted these general indexes or databases, you may need to ask a librarian to help you determine if the library owns the map you are looking for.

Using atlases

Finding maps in atlases is an option if the library does not own an individual map for the area you need.

Borrow

Most maps are circulating items and may be borrowed by NCSU affiliates.

Contact

For more information, use Ask Us or contact:

Jeff Essic
Data Services Librarian
(919) 515-5698
jeff_essic@ncsu.edu