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Library Research Guides

Finding Map Resources in Mirlyn

How to find maps, atlases, CD-ROMs, and other spatial resources in Mirlyn.

About the Card Catalog

Many of the collection's older items have not been assigned subject headings in Mirlyn, and are organized by accession number. It may be necessary to consult the (paper) card catalog or the shelf list for an exhaustive search. Ask a Map Library staff member for assistance.

3 Ways to Find Historic Maps

Here are three approaches to finding historical maps, roughly defined as pre-20th century.

1. Limit by publication year

Follow the advanced search instructions for Key Word Limiting to limit by publication year. If you are looking for late-17th century maps of Italy, a Mirlyn Classic search might look like this:

k=italy.su. 169?1.dt1.

2. Identify appropriate subject headings

Library of Congress Subject Headings may help in identifying older maps. You can browse subject headings in Mirlyn by typing a keyword and selecting the 'subject' button. The LCSH volumes may also be consulted.

Some useful LCSH headings for historic maps:

    • Cities and towns, Ancient
    • Cities and towns, Medieval
    • Cities and towns, Renaissance
    • Classical Geography--Maps
    • Early Maps
    • Geography, Ancient--Maps
    • Geography, Medieval--Maps
    • Historical Geography--Maps
    • Maps--Early Works to 1800
    • Maps--Facsimiles
    • [Place]--History--Maps

3. Historical Atlases

Historical Atlases include maps and are important supplements in answering research questions. Depending on the location and the time period, it might be the only item that fits your particular query. Search for historical atlases by keyword, or using the subject headings listed above.