Michigan State University

Map Library Hours

Today (Mon.)8:00am to 11:00pm
Mar. 3rd (Tue.)8:00am to 11:00pm
Mar. 4th (Wed.)8:00am to 11:00pm
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Mar. 6th (Fri.)8:00am to 5:00pm

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Map Library Blog

Maps were no longer just for kings and scholars. By the late 1500s, maps were increasingly purchased by ‘regular’ (though still fairly wealthy)...

Richman’s Official Road Map. Made by The Foreman-Bassett Company of Cleveland, Ohio circa 1935. Distributed by Richman Brothers, Inc.

Map Library

The Map Library is located on the 3rd floor of the west wing in the Main Library. It houses the maps and atlases collections.

Map Library
Main Library Building
Michigan State University
366 W. Circle Drive, Room 308W
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 884-6467

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Michigan's Legal Boundaries

This online exhibit highlights the evolution of Michigan's legal boundaries. Few published maps show Michigan's true boundary. Michigan's legal boundary does not stop at the shoreline of the four Great Lakes that encircle it, but extends into them to include almost 40,000 square miles of water, comprising 40% of Michigan's area. Most maps of Michigan show only the upper and lower peninsulas plus a few major islands. The U.S. Geological Survey recognizes 420 named islands in the Great Lakes belonging to Michigan.

Since statehood, eight challenges to the boundary have resulted in adjustments that relinquished territory to Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio, but gained territory from Canada.

The Michigan's Legal Boundaries exhibit is located on the web.

Return to the Map Library.

Clason Road Map & Atlas Site

Clason's refrence Maps title page

Collectors of Clason state road maps issued between 1923 and 1931 are presented with challenges around determining map publication dates. Unlike Rand McNally and Gousha, the Clason Map Company typically did not place dates or date codes on its products during this period. A systematic review of the maps contained in Clason state road maps, touring atlases, and Green Guides reveal that the road legends and other map symbols varied over the years in systematic ways. This Clason Map website, with content developed by Mark Greaves and Carl Liedholm, represents an attempt at providing a guide to dating these maps.

The Clason Road Map & Atlas Site is available on the Libraries' web site.

Footpaths to Freeways

Map of Michigan

This online exhibit traces how roads have been depicted on Michigan maps from the time it was a territory to the present. In addition to maps, it includes photographs, unique short-lived route guides and artifacts. Maps evolved in step with the road system and showed advances such as named roads which were in time replaced with numbered state and federal routes. Publishers include map giants Rand McNally and Gousha who also supplied oil companies with their ubiquitous freely distributed roadmaps.

The Footpaths to Freeways exhibit is located on the web.