General atlases are found in the Reference Collection in the G‘s.
Oversized atlases are housed under the stairs next to the flat map case.
Subject-specific atlases are shelved with their subject, some in the Reference Collection, some in Stacks. For example:
- Historical atlas of Washington. Reference Collection. F891.S38 1988 (shelved with items about the history of Washington State)
- Atlas of world population history. Stacks. HB851.M32 (shelved with items about population)
Searching the Online Catalog for Printed Maps
Our collection of flat and rolled maps can be searched in the online catalog in two ways:
- In the Basic Search interface, do a Call Number search for ‘map‘.
- In the Advanced Search interface, search for any term (including either ‘map’ or ‘cartographic material’), and use one of the following limiters:
- Location: ‘Flat Map Case’ or ‘Roll Map Case’
- Type: ‘Map’
- Format: ‘Map’
Locating Printed Maps in the Library
Flat maps are kept in a set of map drawers called the “Flat Map Case”. It’s under the stairs, behind the Reference Desk.
Rolled maps are kept in vertical cabinets called the “Roll Map Cases”, near the Reference Collection and the flat map case. These maps are primarily for classroom use.
We have a binder called the Rolled Maps Finding Aid that shows a picture of each rolled map so you don’t have to unroll them to see what they look like. The binder is kept in a holster on one of the Roll Map Cases.
Folded maps are searched in the catalog like normal items, although they are included in the Type and Format limit to ‘map’ in the Advanced Search interface. They’re shelved in the general collection along with other items on the same subject. For example, geology maps are shelved by subject or location:
- Geologic map of the Badlands National Monument and vicinity, West-Central South Dakota. Stacks. G4182.B32 1976
- Geologic map of the Bellingham 1:100,000 quadrangle, Washington. Stacks. QE176.B455L37 2000
Sometimes you need a black and white outline of a country, continent, region, etc. that doesn’t have labels. First look to:
- Outline Maps On File. Ref. Coll. G1046.A1F3 2002
On the internet: do a search for “outline maps” at your favorite search engine
Maps in WCC Databases
Several of our databases include maps. Some are scans of maps, while others have interactive digital maps.
Collections of Links to Online Maps
U. of Texas Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection: Maps on Other Web Sites – the best collection of links to all kinds of online maps.
USGS Library: Selected Map Bookmarks – the second best link site.
Map History / History of Cartography – everything about the history of maps.
Old Maps Online – Use a map interface to search across several collections of historic maps that are all free to view online.
Specific Online Map Collections
CIA: The World Factbook
Maps of countries and regions.
Library of Congress/American Memory Project Map Collections
Digitized maps from the Library of Congress.
NYPL Digital Gallery
Hundreds of thousands of digital images, including maps.
David Rumsey: Visual Collections
Maps and art from many institutions, searchable through a single interface.
Early Washington Maps: A Digital Collection
From WSU Library.