Michigan State University

Antique and Rare Maps and Atlases

The MSU Map Library holds several thousand rare and antique maps and atlases supporting research in history, natural sciences, area studies, geography, and urban planning. Notable rare map collections include Michigan and the Great Lakes though the collection contains maps of every part of the World.  All of the materials may be seen and used in the Map Library from 8am-noon; 1pm-5pm, Monday-Friday or by appointment.  Hours may vary due to staff availability; call ahead to verify at 1-517-884-0849. 

Please see our Scanned Maps Page for MSU Map Library maps that are already available online.

Access

Patron may look at items stored in the Permanent Reserves and Locked Cabinet collections according to the procedures outlined belowAntique map

  • MSU Map Library Professional Staff will retrieve all items from Permanent Reserves and the Locked Cabinets.  Patrons may not access the locked cabinets directly.
  • Absolutely no food, drink, tobacco or ink pens can be used at the same table as items from the locked cabinets.
  • Items from the locked collections are only available when full time professional staff are in the area, usually 8am-Noon; 1-5pm Monday-Friday.  Appointments outside this time may be arranged by contacting the Map Librarian.  Hours may vary due to staff availability; call ahead to verify.
  • Patrons may ask for a small number of items at a time, a reasonable number that can be kept track of (usually 1-4 items).
  • When patrons are using the maps from the Locked Cabinet, a staff person will unlock the cabinet and carry the items to the patron’s table. 
  • If patrons want to sit and use the locked cabinet books or maps, will will require your ID number (MSU student/staff number ID number, driver’s license number, or other picture ID).
  • The patron must sit at the table closest to the staff desk.

Patron Conduct

  • Absolutely no food, drink, tobacco, ink pens or markers will be used at the same table as items from the locked cabinet.
  • Patrons do not lean on or place objects on top of the maps
  • Patrons do not fold anything that came to them unfolded
  • Patrons do not draw on or trace over items
  • A magnifying glass, cotton gloves, measuring sticks, and other items are available for use upon request

Photocopies and Scans

  • Photography is encouraged
  • Map Library professional staff will determine whether an item is suitable or too fragile for photocopying or scanning.
  • Map Library professional staff will handle the item during photocopying and scanning.
  • Special arrangements might be made to obtain oversized scans or obtain color photocopies of items, please ask.