Michigan State University

Collections Overview

The Map Library houses a collection of general and thematic maps and atlases for every area of the world. The collection consists of approximately 236,000 sheet maps, 14,000 folded geologic maps, and 4,000 atlases, gazetteers and other reference aids including wall maps, globes, CDs and Internet-accessible resources. The collection is especially strong in Michigan, United States, Canada, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, though all areas are collected at some level.

The sheet map collection includes maps from the 17th to 21st centuries. Major collections are:

  • International topographic and geologic maps
  • United States Geological Survey topographic maps, all scales
  • U.S. Department of Defense maps of countries of the world
  • United States Geological Survey geologic maps
  • Michigan county plat books, 1859-present
  • Rare and antique maps

Generally, all other maps and map series are arranged by geographic area, using the AGS (American Geographical Society) classification system. The sheet maps are grouped by regions of the world and further divided by subject so each country has its own classification number. Please ask for assistance when visiting the Map Library.

USGS topographic maps of the 7.5' (1:24,000), 15' (1:62,500), and 30' x 60' (1:100,000) are arranged alphabetically by state and then by sheet name. The 1 x 2 (1:250,000) series is filed alphabetically across the United States.

Maps that supplement books or were received from magazine subscriptions such as Petroleum Economist and National Geographic are filed in the Map Library in the Supplementary Maps collection.

Not all maps appear in the library's online collection. Please contact the Map Library staff to ask about our holdings in a specific area.

All atlases and other books in the Map Library are fully cataloged and can be located through the Libraries' Online Catalog.