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Maps & Atlases: Finding maps

This subject guide looks at finding different maps and atlases throughout our collections. This is not an exhaustive list, but the guide does list various examples of resources within each section.

Generally ...

    Most maps are kept in the Evans Map Room. The map room has some type of coverage for every part of the world. Finding a map in the online catalog is simple: just do a subject search for the place you want. Once you see a list of the subject headings for a place, look for the subject heading which ends with --Maps.That is how all maps in the online catalog are described. For instance, you want to see what maps we have for Paris, France. A subject search for just Paris France reveals 353 subject headings for 1,704 items. If you add --Maps to the original search, you get 6 headings with 28 items.

    Once you click on a title, you see the particular information about that title. The location, most of the time, will be in Evans. The call number will begin, most of the time, with a "G." The following is an abbreviated list of countries and continents with their corresponding call numbers.

Country/Region Call number range
World G3200 - G3202
Polar regions G3260 - G3272
North America G3300 - G3302
Canada G3400 - G3612
United States G3700 - G4383
Mexico G4410 - G4763
Europe G5700 - G6966
Asia G7400 - G8198.54
Africa G8200 - G8904
Oceans G9095 - G9794

G9800 - G9804

   Each continent of the world has its own call number range. Within each continent, each country has a call number range. Countries like the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Indonesia and several others have call number ranges for their first administrative divisions. For the United States, the first administrative division is the state. Individual states are better known. Also, cities are more associated with their states than with the country as a whole. For example, in the United States, you have Boston, Massachusetts or Columbia, South Carolina. However, in most other countries, cities are more associated with the whole country. For example, you have Berlin, Germany; Harare, Zimbabwe or Paris, France.

Finding a subject maps

    Above is how you can find many of the maps in the online catalog. However, this technique won't help you find everything in the collection. The best way to do that is a keyword search limiting your terms to the subject headings. As another example, you want to find all the maps listed in the online catalog for Paris. You think there should be more maps than the 28 listed before. If you do the following keyword search, "s:paris and s:maps," you retrieve a list of 32 items. The additional items do not use a straight forward subject heading like Paris France Maps, but they are still maps of Paris. These are subject maps.

road maps for the United States G 1201 .P2 or G 3701 .P2
maps of Concord, New Hampshire G 3744 .C7 or G 1224 .C6
California wine country G 4361 .M8 or G 4373 .S75 M8
earthquakes G 1046 .C55 or G 3201 .C55
maps of land ownership in Brattleboro, Vermont G 1229 .B7 A45 2003

Once you have a specific call number or call number range, come to the Evans Map Room and the staff will help you locate the map or atlas.



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