Locating maps and other cartographic materials

last modified 2020-01-02T17:23:35-04:00
Library Atlases and Maps

Mercer University Library has a number of atlases and maps available, primarily in the reference and government documents collections; over 4,000 more are available electronically through the online catalog. You can search for specialized atlases in the library catalog using the template "(topic) and atlas." Some examples include:

Essential world atlas  G1021 .E88 2011 Tarver Stacks - Third floor

New atlas of world history: global events at a glance   G1030 .H39 2011 Tarver Stacks - Third floor

Historical atlas of Jerusalem G2239.J4S1 B4 2002 Swilley Reference - Second Floor

In Tarver Library, you can also find maps in the atlas cases on the second floor, including over 250 National Geographic Society maps (political, physical, and historical). Additionally, there are maps in the government documents collection cabinet on the second floor, ranging from those on general topics to the very specialized.

You can also find many maps online via Discovery and GALILEO, including these historical collections:

Sanborn Fire Insurance maps for Georgia Towns and Cities, 1884-1922 has 4,445 maps by the Sanborn Map Company depicting commercial, industrial, and residential areas for 133 municipalities. Originally designed for fire insurance assessment, the color-coded maps relate the location and use of buildings, as well as the materials employed in their construction. The maps indicate which city utilities--such as water and fire service--were available. (description taken from the website)

Ancestry Library Edition has a searchable collection of maps and gazetteers, primarily from Europe

Government websites

The CIA world factbook offers static, relatively uncomplicated political maps that are a good choice for illustrating reports

The Library of Congress' Places in the news provides some historical and political context

National map (U.S. Geological Survey) has dynamic, customizable topographic maps

American factfinder allows users to create thematic maps that compare demographic data among geographic areas

American memory (Library of Congress) has a number of specialized map collections

U.S. Forest Service has customizable physical and topographic maps

United Nations Geospatial Information Section has general maps (mostly political) of all regions, plus some historical and mission maps

Atlas of Canada has a comprehensive collection of static maps, including political, economic, physical, and road maps

Georgia state archives' "virtual vault" has several specialized historical collections

Other websites

Atlas of historical county boundaries has both static and interactive maps with county-level historical data

David Rumsey historical map collection has 44,000 rare historical maps, with an emphasis on the Americas

Social explorer can be used to create maps of demographic data. (It offers both a free and a subscription service.)

About.com maps has links to a wide variety of maps (most of them fairly simple)

Basic land navigation (National Interagency Incident Management System) is an introduction to reading topographic maps and using GPS systems

Basic map and GPS skills (National Geographic) is a 32-page pamphlet with navigation tips

Learn about historic mapping and navigation tools at the National Museum of American History's Measuring and Mapping Collection

Google earth offers limitless possibilities for creating maps; get started by reading Google earth basics, or take a look at Eleven great sources of government data sets to view in Google earth

Just for fun: test your geography knowledge with GeoGuessr

Citing maps

When citing maps, you need to follow the general rules for citing for your citation style, but also include specific information about the map used. The links below will take you to detailed guides on what information to include for a variety of map types. You may also want to refer to the various style guidebooks, which are available at the circulation desk for use in the library.

Western Washington University - This guide details citation formats for several types of maps, formatted in both MLA and APA styles.

North Carolina State University - Example citations and formats for a variety of maps, according to MLA style.