Overview of OSU Libraries map collection
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of maps does The Valley Library have?
All kinds! Road maps, geologic maps, soils maps, topographic and other maps showing physical features, political maps, bathymetric charts and many more covering all parts of the world and even other planets and star charts. The Valley Library is a federal depository library so we receive a lot of government maps, but we also purchase maps and atlases from publishing companies.
How are maps organized at The Valley Library?
For the most part, very much like other materials in the library. Many of our maps have entries either in the online catalog or, in the case of older materials, in the Maps card catalog (3rd floor, Maps & Government Publications). These give call numbers and location information.
One of the most successful ways to search is to use the place name as the subject (city, county, country, region, national forest, river, etc.) with --Maps or --Road maps or some other map designator (you can find more in the Library of Congress Subject Headings books).
Sample subject heading searches:
Map of Eugene search: Eugene (Or.)--Maps
Road map for Lincoln County: Lincoln County (Or.)--Road map
Do you have old maps?
Many of OSU Libraries' historic and rare maps are located in the Special Collections and Archives Research Collection on the 5th floor. Finding aids have been created for most of them and can be seen on their website at http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/coll/maps.html along with information on how to access them. Most have a record in the online catalog, too, with a link to the finding aid.
What about atlases?
The Maps collection has several hundred atlases on the 3rd floor, all designated as Map Room Ref in the online catalog.
May I check out the atlases?
No -- they are part of a reference collection and do not circulate. However, there are some atlases in the general circulating collection; check the location codes in the online catalog for individual titles, because sometimes a reference atlas also has a circulating counterpart somewhere else in the library.
What about maps? May I check them out?
Most of our maps do circulate! Those that do not include the various historic maps collections, Army Map Service maps and Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, as well as "storage" maps which are usually over 30 years old and beginning to deteriorate (see Map Collections for more information).
So should I take maps I'd like to check out to Circulation?
Yes, maps are checked out at the Circulation Desk on the second floor. They are circulated in map tubes. Please don't fold these maps (even if it looks like they used to be folded), but keep them rolled in the map tube when not in use. Be sure to return the tube with the maps!
How long can I keep maps I check out?
Our checkout period is three weeks (with three renewal periods allowed) for every patron, regardless of his or her status (undergrad, grad, faculty, community patron, etc.).